The most horrific thing that could ever happen has happened to you. Your child has died. No doubt, the birth and death of your child has and will change your life forever. Things will never be the same again. Living a life after your child has died is next to impossible but you can survive and you will endure. You are right now.
- Healing from this loss will be a long and slow journey that will have no defined ending or set destination. It will always hurt and it will hurt very much for a very long time. The pain of the grief you have over the loss of your child is an expression of your love, a love that will always be part of your every day experiences. As you go through the days, months and years without your child, you will learn how to include your loss into your life in a meaningful way.
- Unpleasant and unwanted feelings such as anger, guilt and fear may be part of your experience. You might find yourself angry at God, doctors, the other parent or just at the world in general. Feelings of guilt and anger towards yourself may surface repeatedly as you try to make sense of your loss. You may be fearful to trust the world again as you ask constantly, “Why?” None of these emotions are bad or wrong. Not acknowledging if these feelings are part of your experience is actually what’s “bad” or “wrong” for you. Allow yourself to feel your feelings, all of them.
- No one understands how you feel. Only other parents who have lost a child can truly understand what you’re going through. Find them. They will be looking for you, too. Lean on each other, cry with each other, cry for each other. Being with others who know how you feel can help you carry the weight of this grief.
- Your grief will still be unique to you and you will become familiar with your particular grief reactions and expressions as the years pass. Though the sorrow of losing your child will always be there to some degree or another, the fear associated with going through a grieving process will lessen. You will start to recognize your grief and learn how to cope with the different yet predictable triggers and emotions along the way.
Healing from your child’s death is not going to be easy. Why would it be? You will be a different person because of this loss. How could you not be? Adjusting to one of life’s most traumatic events will take time, patience and support. Give yourself these things and take it day by day, hour by hour and if necessary, minute by minute. You are surviving it right now.