How to Cope With Losing a Child
Losing A Child Is One Of The Most Traumatic Events Any Parent Can Face In Their Lifetime, So How Do We Cope With The grief That Follows The Loss?
Coping With Losing A Child Is Difficult To Understand.
Ordinarily, when it comes to the subject of grief, we often go through certain stages of grief, between 5 and 7 steps in fact, where the natural process of grief plays out in a natural humanistic process.
While this process can be the case when dealing with the grief that accompanies coping with losing a child, the process can be incredibly muddled, and that is totally ok.
The loss of a child is potentially one of the most traumatic events that any parent faces in their lifetime, and it is said that we never expect to outlive our children.
Unfortunately, it is a reality for some parents, and the grieving process can take many years to get to the point where a normal way of living can resume without feeling intense pain and sorrow.
For some parents, those intense feelings never, ever go away; and that is ok too.
What Is Grieving?
Grieving is incredibly personal, and when you ask people what they feel when they feel grief, it can encompass such a wide range of emotions and feelings, such as:
- Loss Of Daily Function
- Cannot Continue Life Without Them
- Physical and Emotional Pain
Grief is a feeling that, as you can see, contains many other emotions, and it can be incredibly confusing and frustrating trying to figure out which one you are feeling and trying to make sense of it.
The immediate days and weeks after losing a child can seem like you are lost in a vortex of such extreme sadness and loss where nothing makes sense, and you have no idea which way to turn or which task to attempt to complete next. Hence, it is so crucial that you let happen whatever comes naturally. There really is no right or wrong way to do this, and whatever way you choose to cope, it is essential to feel it in your own time.
How To Cope With The Grief Of Losing A Child
There are many coping mechanisms a parent can adopt to cope with the grief of losing a child.
While in the very early moments of loss, none of these may seem important to deal with the way you are feeling, it really is vital to try and be local and prioritise the most important things first.
Talking Can Help You Cope
Talking is such a powerful thing to do to start the process of understanding the feeling associated with losing a child. While it may not be the first thing on your agenda, the opportunity to talk to people throughout the grieving process will always be there.
Some of the people who can help you by talking may not ordinarily appear as deliberate help. Still, any form of communication will help in the early days and throughout your journey.
These people can be:
- Friends and Family
- Religious Ministers
- Medical Staff and Knowledgeable Peers
- Partners and Siblings
- Support Group Members
- Services Like The Samaritans
You may find that these incredible services are available in all different formats these days, such as online, in person, or on the telephone, and you may also find it helpful to speak to people anonymously, which is also accepted by most organisations and groups, which can be incredibly useful to express the absolute truth.
Online Support Can Be A Great Way Of Coping With Loss
Sometimes, coping with losing a child can provoke the feeling of staying away from other people.
This can allow you that you need time alone to work through your grief, or even seeing other people with their own children may be painful for you personally.
Wanting to be alone is an entirely normal effect of loss, but there are ways you can continue to seek some support via online resources, and these may give you the privacy you need as well as the support you may need too.
- Very Well Family is a beneficial service that is designed around camping with the loss of a child for all of the family. They can be an advice lifeline, a service that can recommend other local services that can help you cope with your loss, or you can simply read the incredibly helpful information they have available.
- Child Bereavement UK is a very sympathetic yet practical service that you can seek online that specialises in ways to cope with the loss of a child at any age. They are providers of all of the essential information you may need to help with grief and organisation of affairs, as well as organising events for people who are in the same position as you to create a network of emphatic support.
- Heal Grief Org Gives some great advice on understanding your grief and allowing you to participate in virtual elements of the process, such as remembrance and lighting a candle, which can bring some comfort when you are feeling at a low point.
- Social Media Forums- Social media can be an excellent avenue to explore when seeking some online support.
There are many groups and pages that will provide excellent information and support from individuals or groups of people who have been or are in the same position as you are.
It is essential to mention that these services and forums will all generally operate a “No Judgement” policy and uphold your privacy as the most important concern.
Some services you will be drawn to, and some areas may not suit your needs or align with you, and that is totally ok. Finding an avenue that suits you is going to be the one you open up to the most and utilise freely, so although the search can seem like an uphill task, once you find something that helps you in a way you accept, it can be your lifeline to finding ways to cope with grief.
Remembering Your Child At Every Stage
Only when a child passes away do we realise that we should remember every moment in their life, which includes every milestone, every “First,” and every last. Their journey was precious on this earth, and every moment should be remembered fondly as their journey with you, no matter how short that time must seem.
By physically remembering your child can help in coping with losing a child, and you can do this in many ways, such as:
- Having a memory box created to permanently store all of the precious physical memories to look at in the future to remind you of a really precious child.
- Make a memorial garden for you and your family and friends to visit and remember your child.
- Having a remembrance blanket or teddies created from your child’s favorite clothing can be highly comforting for yourself and siblings.
- Creating a memorial timeline picture, including little snapshots in time that depicts the child’s life through every milestone or every moment they experienced.
- Turning a portion of their ashes into jewellery, to always keep them close to you.
When you are in the midst of grief after losing a child, coping with losing a child can seem like a difficult task, and every day can seem like a battle just to get through.
There is help and assistance available to guide you through each stage of the grief process, and everything that is available to you can be sought and delivered on your terms in a way that you are comfortable with.
Talking is free, and it can be a really powerful way of interacting with people who are trained to address grief and maybe offer some mechanisms to implement to help you cope solo. At the very least, finding people who are or have been in the same situation as you may be a really helpful thing to do, and by learning from their grief journeys, you can start to figure out your own way forward.
Grief is a personal journey, and you are most certainly not alone; if you ever feel alone and overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, guilt, or anything else that takes over you, reach out to someone and talk, maybe write your thoughts down or think about memorialising the memory of your child into a more permanent feature so you know you will have somewhere to go or something to hold that can really help you to cope on the days that seem never ending.
You can survive through the loss of a child, and one day soon, you will be able to smile at their memory.