The loss of a child



Different people handle grief in different ways but the worst form of grief surely comes at the loss of a child. It somehow seems to defy the natural order of things, as none of us expects our children to die before us.

When a child dies it feels like a part of your own being has died, and also a part of you future, as that is what children represent. Often, couples find it hard to support each other. They become overwhelmed by their personal loss as a parent, and also by the loss of future grandchildren. This adds to their grief and often causes them to lose faith.

There is help at hand when you are in emotional painGrief often begins as either a numbness or confusion of emotions as you try to make sense of events. Guilt and anger are normal emotions, and in the case of the death of children the grief can last for many years, although it is a cyclical process and gets less over time.

At first, you can sense much emptiness at home, especially if the child was younger. Parents sometimes find comfort in the child’s friends, if the child was a teenager, but if the child was an adult then they may have the added matter of an estate to sort out. Parents of married children may find it hard when they have to realise they are not next of kin, and that their relationship with the spouse or grandchildren may change.

There are lots of books you can read on what to do in times of grief, and there are many people who will help you through it. Ultimately, however, until you come to a personal reconciliation as to what the event means to you on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level, it’s just all intellectual jargon with no meaning.

The issue of death is a difficult one as many people see it as final, and scientific proof otherwise is lacking. For those of you who believe in an afterlife as such, or even have insights into this, it is a little easier.

Ultimately though, the cold hard fact is that one cannot hug a spirit. No matter how much you intellectualise about a better place, you will always miss the hugs of the loved one you have lost, be it five years ago or 50. Life may get easier after time, but when you lose those you love, a part of you never quite stops yearning for just one more hug.

If you are overwhelmed by the loss of someone you love, there is help at hand. It will take time, but shutting your pain away is not the way to go. Talk about it, cry about it and laugh about the good times you remember. This is the time you need your friends and relatives, or even professional help, to get some kind of routine back in your life.

It is normal to be depressed and listless so doping yourself up with medication is not necessarily the answer. There are many good therapists you can see to help you begin to heal and start to live your life again. Go to seek help. Your loved one would not want to see you suffering so, and it would be good to use the life that you have wisely.

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Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website.