Death of a Child
The loss of a child is one of the cruelest blows that a parent can suffer. It is an out-of-order process that brings consuming pain and grief. It should be noted that bereaved parents do not ever “get over” the death of their child. Nor should they be expected to “snap back” to the person they once were. The death of a child is not an illness from which one can recover. It is a life altering change that parents must learn to live with. Bereaved parents are forced to do what they see as impossible. They must learn to rebuild their life without their beloved child.
Bereaved parents experience a wide array of frightening and intense emotions. All of these emotions are normal and natural. It is important for bereaved parents to understand that while they will always feel the pain and loss, the intensity does decrease with time.
The emotions that accompany the death of a child can include:
Grieving the death of a child is a long, arduous journey. There are no guidebooks or directions through the process. If you find yourself stuck in your grief, you may benefit from the support of a counselor or a bereaved parent’s support group. Many parents also benefit by finding an outlet for their grief such as journaling, painting, gardening or other creative endeavors. Remember, you are not alone. Be patient with yourself.
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