How to Keep Going After Losing a Child
Losing a child is a very unnatural course of life.
Whether through illness or a sudden loss, children should never pass before their parents. Sadly, this is not always the case.
You bring your beautiful baby into this world, and before they’re even born you’ve already dreamed of the life they’ll have, full of joy and laughter. Maybe you’ve imagined their first steps, their first day of school, their graduation, wedding, and even having children of their own. You know that whatever choices they make in life, you will always love them and support them. Then, suddenly, your hopes are dashed and your heart is shattered when they are taken from you.
How will you ever move on?
As a parent, one thing that will never die is your love for your child.
No matter how much time passes, no matter how life moves on, that love will remain in your heart just as pure and true as the day your child was born. For as long as you are breathing, you will have days of missing your child more than others, days of feeling empty and lost. “Moving on” and “getting over it” are terms that don’t apply to your grief.
Accepting that grief is now a way of life and that hole in your heart is there because you loved GREATLY and that will help you start to move forward every day.
There are a few emotions you may get to know better through your loss, especially in the beginning, like:
“This isn’t really happening. I know my child will be walking through the door any minute.”
That feeling of numbness you experience is a way for your mind to help shield you from the pain.
Desperately feeling like you just need to be with them, hold them, for a few minutes.
Feeling like you didn’t do enough or “if only” you had done something differently; your child would still be with you. You are their parent and should have been able to protect them.
Towards yourself, your spouse, your family, and friends, God, even strangers who are just going on about their life like nothing has happened. An uncontrollable anger can take over.
A loss of hope for the things you wanted for your child’s life and a feeling of hopelessness about your life and how you will go on.
These are all normal feelings to experience. In fact, there are no wrong feelings when it comes to grief. Allow yourself to feel every feeling that comes, it will help you to heal. There are a few things you can do to help you get through the most painful part of the process though:
Get plenty of rest
Your body and mind need more rest now than usual so allow yourself to sleep or just spend some time lying down. A lack of sleep will intensify your emotions so make sure you are taking care of your body and mind during this time and giving them what they need.
Eat and stay hydrated
Again, your body is healing and needs to be cared for. Although you may not feel like eating, be sure to get a little something every day and stay hydrated so you don’t become ill.
Avoid big decisions
The time to make life-changing decisions is not when you are feeling vulnerable.
Avoid alcohol and use prescription meds carefully
Keep your mind functioning clearly by avoiding alcohol and only use prescription medications as prescribed.
Honor your child
Plan a celebration, start a charity organization, plant a tree, write a book. Do something to honor your child; it will bring you peace.