A child’s death is a parent’s worse nightmare. The pain never really goes away. Coping with grief is a within-to-without process. Support gets you through the dark times.
Can you feel it in the air? Leaves letting go. Darkness returning. We’re once again moving inside.
And grief too calls us to go within. Remember, grief is a within-to-without process.
So, it was with curiosity that I read a post by Nat Juchems and decided to share it with you. Nat has graciously allowed me to reprint it.
When I first opened the article I wondered, “What will this person’s perspective be? Have they had their child die? Have they felt their heart break and that gaping hole of bleakness in their chest?”
I’m always curious and open to new viewpoints. I want to learn more ways to convey support, self-care, and encouragement. And discover unique paths through the pain of loss.
With that in mind, I invite you to read Nat’s article that he graciously allowed me to reprint. Let him be your guide as he offers his perspective on coping with grief after losing a child.
5 Ways To Cope With Grief After The Loss Of A Child
Death is something we associate with old age; a conclusion to a long-winding book. But, the true reality of death is that it can happen to anyone, at any time.
This is a fact that is incredibly hard to accept. No one wants to see the life of their loved one cut short. This sentiment rings especially true for parents. The thought of losing a child is unfathomable. While a special resting place or cremation urn will keep the memory of your child alive, nothing will ever fill the hole their loss leaves behind.
The death of a child is irrevocable and comes with its own complex challenges. Navigating through the harsh terrain of loss can feel impossible, but support will act as a guiding light through this dark time. Here are 5 things you can do to help you through this troubling process.
1. Lean On Your Loved Ones
Grief is a particularly personal but isolating experience. When you’re dealing with the loss of a child, it’s easy to feel alone in your pain. While many of your family and friends cannot experience the full extent of your experience, it’s important to understand that they too are dealing with this loss. This is why it’s essential to stand by each other. Your family is your own emotional outlet, express your feelings to them and lean on them for support. Sharing your individual processes with your loved ones will give you comfort and help you understand that you are not alone.
2. Join A Grief Support Group
Undeniably, deeply traumatic experiences bring people together. Only a fellow parent can understand your powerful connection to your child. In this instance, parents who have experienced the loss of a child share an unspeakable connection. As such, finding a support group may help connect you with a group that will sympathize with your situation. While your experience is unique and individual, sharing your grief with others will help lighten the heavy emotional load. The act of sharing will give you a space to release your feelings instead of keeping them bottled inside your mind.
3. Honor Their Memory
As a parent, you will always grieve the loss of your child. But, this doesn’t mean that you won’t survive this experience. Maya Angelou once said, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” In other words, the love you feel for your child will always persist. It’s important to cherish the memory of your child, instead of shying away from it. Sharing your memories with your loved ones may offer you a nice reprieve from your grief and help you to come to terms with your loss.
4. Look After Yourself
Loss will take both a physical and emotional toll on your body. While it may be easy to surrender to your feelings of hopelessness, it’s essential that you maintain some sort of routine to help you heal. Take small steps at a time, start with pushing yourself to leave the bed one day and then perhaps leave the house next. Give yourself the opportunity to heal and recover, but don’t push yourself past your limits.
5. Seek Professional Help
If you are having an especially difficult time managing your grief, it’s essential that you seek help from a professional. A person who specializes in grief counseling will help equip you with the strategies and tools to manage your pain.
The loss of a child is one of the most harrowing experiences any person can go through. The most important thing to remember is that you will never ‘get over’ it, but you will get through it. Employing these simple strategies will not heal your grief, they will simply help you manage it. But sometimes, that’s all you need to help you reach a point where the loss of your child no longer prevents you from having a sense of normality in your life.
Author’s Bio: Nat Juchems is the Marketing Director at Green Meadow Memorials. Nat helps those grieving the loss of a loved one to find the right memorial to cherish. When not writing, Nat enjoys spending time with his family and balancing that with training for triathlons.
Alright then, my friends. What new perspectives did you get from Nat’s article? Share your thoughts with me.
Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,