Losing a child is perhaps the worst kind of pain parents can ever experience. For many parents, it's an unfortunate reality that they will outlive their child. We all cope with loss and grief in our own way. If you are a parent who has had to say goodbye to your child far too soon, here are seven things you must remember in order to stay strong.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for yourself after the loss of your child is to give yourself time to grieve. It is not a sign of weakness by allowing yourself the time to cry and mourn over your child. It is absolutely necessary for you to do so.
Do not deny yourself the ability to go through the healing process of grief. It will be difficult to endure, but once you reach the final stage you will be ready to accept your new reality. It will be hard, but life isn't easy. We must weather the storms and seek out the rainbow at the end.
2. Cling to your spouse
More than anyone else, cling to your spouse. You are both experiencing the same pain. Don't push your spouse away to grieve alone, you need each other. Grieve together. Your relationship will only come out stronger in the end because you will have endured this trial in patience together. Lean on and support each other; your spouse will be able to hold you up when you feel like you can't stand any longer.
3. Write down your feelings and memories
Preserve your memories of your child by writing them down. You'll be able to carry those memories with you. They'll be in a tangible form where you can return to them whenever you need to. This way you'll never forget those moments you had with your child.
Don't be afraid to not only write down your memories, but write down the feelings you are experiencing. It will be therapeutic for you to get it all down on paper so it isn't bottled up inside. Emotions can only be held back for so long. Allow yourself to feel the pain and loss. Writing your feelings down will only help you to overcome the suffering you are enduring to be able to live a full life.
It's easy to shut yourself away from all the ones you love. Do not force yourself to endure your suffering alone. You are surrounded by people who love you, care about you and are concerned for you. They want to help you and provide you with anything you need in any way they can. Your family and friends are there to lend a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen to your lamentations. Allow them in your life to help you.
In the powerful words from the popular musical, "Annie", "The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun."
The earth hasn't stopped rotating, so while the night is dark and lonely, in just a few short hours the sun will rise in the east and bring light and happiness into your life. The sun will always come out tomorrow, so do not despair - tomorrow is a new day.
6. Life is worth living
Though your child is gone, you still have a life that is worth living for. You have your spouse, your family and friends who all love you. There is still a life to live without your child. It will be painful to not see your child and their bright smiling face every day, but you have the rest of your family and friends there to support you. Life is full of surprises and has so many blessings in store for you if you are willing to seek them out. Do not let grief and pain hold you back from living the life you were destined to live.
7. You will see your child again
Your child may be gone from this life, but this does not mean you will never be able to see them again. One day you will. For now, your child is in heaven watching over and protecting you. Your child is your guardian angel, there to comfort you when you feel the most vulnerable. No matter what you may believe, your child isn't gone forever and you will be able to see them again.
Callie has two Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Communication and when she isn’t writing, she’s reading. Some of her favorite things include Harry Potter, all things Disney, road trips, and telling stories.