Losing a Child – How to Get Through Grief
We aren’t meant to outlive our children, so when we have to suffer through our child’s death, it is another kind of heartbreak. Often we get stuck in the past, reliving memories of our kids and refusing to acknowledge that they have passed on. Instead, we need to take a healthy route through our grief so that our mental health is stable.
Read on for my advice as an experienced counsellor on how you can get through your grief effectively. Rather than isolating yourself and refusing to accept the truth, you can work with your partner to acknowledge your new situation and look towards a future without pain.
Acknowledge the Situation
If we lose someone as close to us as a child is, the first thing that we might do is fall into a void in which we don’t acknowledge their death completely. People might try speaking to you about the passing to try and support you, but you will avoid the topic completely. You think that by avoiding these conversations, what has happened didn’t really happen, and your child is still alive. Unfortunately, to successfully grieve, you need to acknowledge the situation at hand.
Give yourself the time to grieve in your own way; whether that’s locking yourself away for a week, or having time alone with your partner to face reality together. Just don’t isolate yourselves from others entirely for too long, or tell yourself that what has happened, hasn’t.
Consider Your Partner’s Feelings
As much as this experience that you are going through is personal, and you have every right to be grieving, you also need to consider your partner’s feelings, too. You and your partner are a family, and together you have lost a member of that family. Not only will this be affecting you hard, but it will also impact your partner’s life significantly. Make sure you are aware of your partner’s feelings throughout the grieving process.
If you isolate yourself from your partner then you could create irreparable damage to your relationship. At a time like this, you need to band together as a team to grieve properly, not push apart from each other.
Don’t Hold onto the Past
There comes a step in the grieving process where you need to start moving on from the loss of your child. You need to start looking towards a future without them and not let this loss hold you back from continuing your life; instead, you will respect and honour them without holding onto the past. If you try and hold onto the past, you can surround yourself with painful memories of losing your child all over again.
Do what you need to do to move on; whether that’s packing up their room or even deciding to move house and start fresh somewhere new. It can also be as small of a step as getting back to work and starting your regular daily routine again. As long as you acknowledge that your life needs to get back to normal, you can let go of the past while still remembering the positive impact your child had on your lives.
Seek Therapy for Support
While you might be surrounded by friends and family who want to help you and your partner overcome your grief, it might not be the perfect environment for you to do so. Sometimes the way our families try to help smothers us or involves too many reminders of the past. Speaking to a therapist can be the ideal outlet for your emotions and thoughts during the grieving process; you can talk alone or with your partner to better understand how each of you is coping.
Therapy can help you acknowledge the passing of your child and provide the help and advice you need to make a smooth transition to the next stages of your life. A counsellor can give you their expert knowledge on how you can start your life back up again and move on from the past, without feeling like you are abandoning the memory of your child.
Don’t suffer through grief alone, and instead, seek support from others, such as your partner and a therapist. Therapy can be a safe, open environment for you to grieve appropriately and speak honestly. Contact me today to learn more about my services as a therapist.