If you have lost your child, the pain you experienced is indescribable to most people. The topic will be avoided by some people around you out of fear of saying the wrong things and for others not knowing what to say. How you have lost your child may add even more complicated feelings and impact your ability to heal. Some parents lose a child due to illness, accidents, birth defects, stillborn, miscarriage, or violence.
With a loss of a child you may experience some of the following thoughts and feelings:
What can I do now while going through the process?
Allow the love of your child to live on in words spoken, memories shared and the activity of life.
Take action to grieve by talking, crying, remembering the good memories and releasing the pain of loss. Taking action helps give the energy to fight the weight of sadness, the feelings of fatigue. Taking what actions you can to move, talk and express will help you balance your emotions.
One of the most anxiety-provoking and painful moments is revealing and retelling about the loss of a child to someone who does not know. It is helpful to decide what you want others to know and how you plan on telling them before this happens. This gives you control of your narrative, allows you to decide who is worthy of the full story and who is not ready to handle or hold the sacredness of your pain.
You get to choose how your child has impacted the world in their time on earth or time in the womb. You as the parent, grandparent or family member are a part of telling the story of their life. It is not the length of time they lived that defines their impact its the mark left on your heart and others. From the moment of their conception to their last breath your child caused changes to take place and had an impact.
Take care of yourself by eating health, getting sleep and staying physically active. This will be difficult in the beginning; it’s needed to fight off the negative emotions and allow your body to work at full capacity during the healing process.
Seek support from other parents who have experienced this type of loss. Talk about your thoughts, feelings, disappointments with others, don’t try and do this alone. If the feelings worsen, and you are unable to carry out necessary functions such as work, sleep or take care of yourself, seek professional mental health services. If you are drinking or using substances to cope, or feeling suicidal, seek professional help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
If you are in the El Paso, Texas area give us a call at 915-540-5771.