No one prepares for the loss of a child. It is no parent’s wish to send off their child away forever since we are wired to protect our offspring at all costs. When such a devastating experience happens, it is hard to cope with it as you experience a mixture of grief reactions—confusion, despair, intense shock, disbelief, hopelessness and sadness. The grieving period is undefined and has no particular timing for ending (most moms mention it’s a lifelong process.) As such, you are allowed to walk through this season in the best way you know how. Here are some tips that you can use to see you through this hard season.
Since we are surrounded by a network of people around us, you will need a strong support system around you. Aside from your family, a support group adds a layer of support around you. It offers a safe place where you can talk about your feelings and what you’re experiencing. Support groups are great as people who face the same challenge come together and talk about it. Thus, you will not feel alone on this healing journey.
Friends, family, and neighbors will be there too to support and help around. Be willing to accept the help offered even as simple as running errands. Some friends will come and sit down with you in silence, while others will give you a shoulder to lean on as you cry your heart out. If some of your family or friends tend to invalidate your feelings, it is important to let them know so that they know that they are overstepping.
Seeing a therapist is essential to the healing process. You cannot do it on your own by searching for the ones running organizations you are comfortable with. The purpose of seeing a therapist, or grief counselor is that, they may caution you from unseen issues caused by the loss of a child. These could be the possibility of nightmares, how to cope around your day to day life without your child as well as sign of depression you should look out for.
Listen to our Podcast Here. DEALING WITH CHILD LOSS- VIVIAN GAIKO
Although things are not the same (a void is felt), find life in your surviving children and partner or if alone, look for something within. Make grief a shared experience with the rest of the family or friends who were close and knew your child. They too lost someone close. Talk about your feelings, happy moments shared, and experience what it means for a family to stick together during this time. Your surviving children will get to understand that they too matter.
Loss of a child may affect your health, emotions, and social life. You may lack the energy to do simple tasks such as taking a shower or going to the grocery shop. You might forget to exercise or eat. As said healing is a process, so set a goal then start making baby steps to achieving the goal.
Healing doesn’t take away the pain but keeps the memories that comfort the heart. Remember, you are still, and will always be a mom.