How to Cope with the Pain of Losing a Child?
As of September 2010, 22,000 children were dying every single day, most of them under the age of five, to say nothing for those below 25 in general or the world at large. This figure indicates that in their lifetime, most parents are likely to lose a child at some point. This is one of the most painful things a parent can go through and the pain never heals. Parents are meant to be buried by their children and not the other way round, and so when a parent faces the possibility of losing a child, they may be left with questions to which no one seems to have any answers.
It does not matter at what age your child is when they die, the pain of losing a child can be almost impossible to get past. From having miscarriages to them getting caught in a gun fight or motor accident, your child can leave you in a number of ways, some more cruel than others but the pain remains the same.
The loss of a child brings with it intense fear and pain. You will experience a variety of emotions from anger, panic, shock, guilt, loneliness, and depression. It may seem that the world has literally come to an end especially with parents who have a miscarriage or death of a first or only child. These are the parents who are most disturbed by the loss of their child and are less willing to come out of the pit of sorrow.
There are however some ways in which you can try to ease this gigantic pain and get back to a semblance of normal life after the demise of your child. Some of the tips are discussed below:
- Allow yourself to grieve and heal. There is no specific time table for grieving the death of your child and you should let nature take its course. No one expects you to be strong at this moment and you should let others comfort you. However, if you feel that after two years the pain is increasing instead of reducing then you may need to seek professional help in order to be able to move on.
- Get a support group of people who have been through this before and avoid being alone a lot of the time. Being on your own will give you depressing feelings and no one will help you deal with them so stay with supportive people like family members and friends. Also associate with people who have experienced the loss of a child, especially one in similar circumstances as yours and managed to get through it. They likely will be able to understand and feel your pain and can help you on your road to recovery.
- For some people, distraction is the key. They keep themselves so busy that they do not have time to wallow in grief and so become depressed. If you are one of these people who can feel better about something just by staying busy, then by all mean keep busy till the worst of the grief passes. The worst time is said to be the first year after the death.
- Whatever you do, do not play blame games as to who and what is the cause of your child’s death, especially if you are a couple. This will not only prolong you pain but it will also push the only person who can understand exactly what you are going through away, leaving you isolated and alone. When grieving the loss of a child, you need people who can relate to your pain because it is only something someone who has gone through can understand. Plus, it is most likely that the reasons for blaming one another will eventually appear irrational as you heal.
- And finally, be patient and remember that time heals all wounds and dulls all pain. While you will never get over the loss of your child, the intense feeling of pain shall reduce with each passing year. But do not expect for you to magically heal totally and completely. Give it time and eventually the pain shall become one that you can live with, instead of one that attempts to consume you.
While it may be the toughest thing you ever have to go through, for your sake and for the sake of your surviving children, you have to come through this time. Allow yourself time to grieve but do not wallow in self-pity and depression at the expense of your remaining children. The pain of losing a child is not going to disappear but it will ease eventually. And do not be afraid to smile, simply because you manage to regain your grasp on life does not mean that you did not grieve the loss of your child or that you do not love them. It is important to allow yourself to heal and you will make it.