loss of a Loved One
Parents Can Cope With the Death of a Child
It is most important to be
gentle and kind to yourself. Have patience with your grief. Over a long time
the intensity and frequency of the emotions will lessen.
wives tend to grieve differently. It is very difficult for one to meet the
needs of the other when grieving styles differ. Couples may need to negotiate
when and how to talk about their grief. Don't expect your partner to be able to
read your mind. They cannot know what you need, unless you tell them. If
because of their grief they cannot provide the support you need, find others to
yourself permission to mourn:
* Reading books on
parental bereavement and joining support groups for grieving parents (like The
Compassionate Friends) can be very helpful.
* Talk about your child. People
may avoid mentioning your child's name, because they don't want to cause you
pain. Unfortunately it's up to you to let them know how important it is to you.
* Keep a journal or write about your feelings. This helps to express the
emotions. Over a period of months you will be able to see how things change for
* If talking and writing don't feel helpful, find something active to
do. It may be related to your child's interests or a way to remember your
child. Some people, particularly men, find active working helps them work on
* Memorialize your child. Write down memories as they occur.
It's a good way to ensure that you won't forget things about them. Actively
create a memorial or ritual to continue your child's part in your lives.
Be mindful that in the first year, you experience all of the firsts (e.g.,
Mother's Day, family gatherings, holidays) that trigger your grief. In the
following years, you have a better idea of what to expect. You may want to
think of starting some new traditions on these days.
These tips will help to ease the emotional roller
* Get plenty of rest. If sleep
difficulties persist for many months, you may want to speak to your physician.
* Maintaining a good diet is essential. While you may not feel like eating
meals, eat numerous healthy snacks throughout the day.
* Exercise on a
When to Get Professional
If depression and anxiety or panic attacks
continue past six months to the point that you cannot maintain normal activity,
you may want to contact a grief therapist and/or your physician.