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Hilary Swank's New Role: Malaria Hero

In her latest film, the actress plays a mom determined to eradicate the disease.

Expert Tips on Coping With the Loss of a Child continued...

How can a parent face the sudden loss of a child without becoming clinically depressed or even suicidal

The loss of a child can be overwhelming, and certainly depression and even guilt are part of the process of loss. There are no easy solutions, but what can be helpful is to know that remaining active in your life is a way of providing the structure that will act as a "life raft" through this terrible storm of emotion. Loving a child is a great gift, and remembering the joy rather than the loss is another way to make it through. 

Can a parent grieve for too long or too intensely?

There is no hard-and-fast answer. It takes as long as it takes. But if it's disabling, it's time for professional help. 

How do couples cope and not blame one another when a child dies?

This is a time of intense emotion that can lead to misunderstandings, accusations, and a change in the relationship. To survive, the couple needs to be prepared for the ebb and flow of emotion, and to maintain communication. A parents' grief support group may be helpful. 

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD Magazine." 

Reviewed on December 15, 2012

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