The loss of a child is the most devastating experience an individual can experience. An enormous piece of yourself is lost, the void is greater than anyone can imagine and your future is forever changed. It feels completely unnatural for a child to die prior to his or her parents. Grieving parents ponder whether life will hold any meaning for them and wonder how they will survive the pain of their loss. It seems impossible to go on after the loss of a child. Parents describe the feeling as having a hole in their heart that will never heal, may blame themselves and experience regret.
Parents feel alone and isolated in their grief, as friends and relatives are often at a loss as to how to respond. Consequently, it is vital for parents to talk to people who understand the loss. This may be family, friends, clergy, therapists, or support groups. Everyone suffers loss in a unique fashion depending upon their beliefs, culture, family history, and relationship with the person who died. Grief can also vary greatly depending upon how the child died.
Couple Distress and the Death of a Child
Parents often experience more anger, depression, guilt, and physical symptoms than those grieving other losses. Conflict can occur between the parents due to lack of understanding about each person’s way of experiencing and expressing grief. Couple difficulties, which were present before the child’s death, can re-emerge, often with increased strength. Blaming can occur and the words that are said to each other in anger and grief can have a lifelong impact. During the bereavement period, a wide array of emotions and symptoms can be experienced, such as denial, self-blame, sleeplessness, fatigue, anxiety and despair. These are all normal parts of the intense grieving process.
Tips to Assist Parents During the Bereavement Process:
- Keep a journal. It can be beneficial to write about your thoughts and feelings.
- Talk about your child, if you want to. Although it may be painful, it can help you heal.
- Take time to do a familiar activity with your family. This helps to provide stability when your world is feeling chaotic.
- Join a support group; parents often respond that becoming involved in bereavement groups helped them through their loss and with their relationship.
- Seek therapy when you, or others close to you, feel that your grief is becoming too difficult to bear, or is too prolonged.
I am committed to providing the highest quality of care and maintain a deep desire to facilitate personal transformation that allows individuals to live whole-heartedly. My desire is that individuals live a life embodied with peace, joy, love, and prosperity. I hope to accomplish my purpose, which is to help you live your dream of realizing your fullest potential in a personal and meaningful manner that allows you to live the life you want.
A.C.T. will provide free resource information for individuals and families to help promote education. For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at Dr.Drecun@a4ct.com or (858) 792-3541. You may also visit us online at www.a4ct.com. ACT serves the Del Mar 92014 and Rancho Santa Fe 92067 area.