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Grieving the Death of a Child
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  2. The pain that never ends
  3. After the Death of a Child: Living with Loss through the Years
  4. How to Survive the Death of Your Child (with Pictures) - wikiHow

Finkbeiner, who herself lost a child in , is an award-winning science journalist and co-author of "The Guide to Living with HIV Infection.


She lives in Baltimore, Maryland. For a parent, losing a child is the most devastating event that can occur. Most books on the subject focus on grieving and recovery, but as most parents agree, there is no recovery from such a loss. This book examines the continued love parents feel for their child and the many poignant and ingenious ways they devise to preserve the bond. Through detailed profiles of parents, Ann Finkbeiner shows how new activities and changed relationships with their spouse, friends, and other children can all help parents preserve a bond with the lost child.

The pain of grief can often cause you to want to withdraw from others and retreat into your shell. But having the face-to-face support of other people is vital to healing from loss. Comfort can also come from just being around others who care about you.

The key is not to isolate yourself. Turn to friends and family members. Now is the time to lean on the people who care about you, even if you take pride in being strong and self-sufficient. They may feel unsure about how to comfort you and end up saying or doing the wrong things. Draw comfort from your faith. If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals can provide.

The pain that never ends

Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you—such as praying, meditating, or going to church—can offer solace. Join a support group. Grief can feel very lonely, even when you have loved ones around. Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. To find a bereavement support group in your area, contact local hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and counseling centers, or see the Resources section below.

Talk to a therapist or grief counselor. If your grief feels like too much to bear, find a mental health professional with experience in grief counseling. An experienced therapist can help you work through intense emotions and overcome obstacles to your grieving.

After the Death of a Child: Living with Loss through the Years

As well as allowing you to impart practical information, such as funeral plans, these pages allow friends and loved ones to post their own tributes or condolences. Reading such messages can often provide comfort for those grieving the loss. Of course, posting sensitive content on social media has its risks. Memorial pages are often open to anyone with a Facebook account. This may encourage people who hardly knew the deceased to post well-meaning but inappropriate comments or advice.

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Worse, memorial pages can also attract Internet trolls. There have been many well-publicized cases of strangers posting cruel or abusive messages on memorial pages.

How to Survive the Death of Your Child (with Pictures) - wikiHow

To gain some protection, you can opt to create a closed group on Facebook rather than a public page, which means people have to be approved by a group member before they can access the memorial. The stress of a major loss can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time.

Face your feelings. In order to heal, you have to acknowledge the pain.

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Trying to avoid feelings of sadness and loss only prolongs the grieving process. Unresolved grief can also lead to complications such as depression, anxiety , substance abuse, and health problems. Express your feelings in a tangible or creative way. Write about your loss in a journal.

Father Gives Tips On How To Survive Child Loss

Try to maintain your hobbies and interests. Look after your physical health. The mind and body are connected. Combat stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. These and other difficult emotions become less intense as you begin to accept the loss and start to move forward with your life.

If the pain of the loss is so constant and severe that it keeps you from resuming your life, you may be suffering from a condition known as complicated grief. Complicated grief is like being stuck in an intense state of mourning. You may have trouble accepting the death long after it has occurred or be so preoccupied with the person who died that it disrupts your daily routine and undermines your other relationships.

But with the right guidance, you can make healing changes and move on with your life. Remember, grief can be a roller coaster. It involves a wide variety of emotions and a mix of good and bad days. With depression, on the other hand, the feelings of emptiness and despair are constant. As a general rule, normal grief does not warrant the use of antidepressants.

While medication may relieve some of the symptoms of grief, it cannot treat the cause, which is the loss itself. Furthermore, by numbing the pain that must be worked through eventually, antidepressants delay the mourning process. Instead, there are other steps you can take to deal with depression and regain your sense of joy in life. Left untreated, complicated grief and depression can lead to significant emotional damage, life-threatening health problems, and even suicide.

But treatment can help you get better. Grief and Loss — A guide to preparing for and mourning the death of a loved one. Mayo Clinic. Buddha Dharma Education Association. In the U. Australia: GriefLine at 03 National Alliance for Grieving Children. The Compassionate Friends. Seek help immediately. Authors: Melinda Smith, M.