How to deal with the loss of a child

It's impossible to forget, but it is possible to hope.

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  • I have never had to deal with the loss of a child, but I have dealt with loss in other capacities very close to home. I have friends and family who I've watched struggle day in and day out, for years upon endless years with the torture of losing a child, a parent or a sibling. I feel extremely unqualified to even attempt to discuss such a grief-ridden topic...but it breaks my heart to see their hearts break anew with each day that brings reminder of the ones they have lost.

  • Through their struggles and my own losses, I want to lend some words of comfort and perspective.

  • They have taught me that there is hope. They have taught me that the cure never comes in giving up. They have taught me that love, faith and family truly transcend all. Because they have shown me by example that it is possible to rise above this level of grief:

  • Remember love never dies

  • Even though the child you loved so much is gone, the love you have for him will never end. It will live on everyday and in every memory. You will love him forever and that is something to rejoice in. Choose to remember and revel in the joy those memories bring. That being said, the memories will not always be joyful. They will come with pain, especially at first, but don't shut them out. Embrace the pain and use it to increase the love.

  • Acknowledge your emotions

  • Do not pretend everything is alright. Do not pretend nothing happened. Do not pretend that child never existed. Hold the place that child occupied in your life open. Hold it open and fill it with the love they gave. Don't run from grief. Cry, feel and push through. Feeling all the emotions is the only way to ever be whole again, but don't let them rule your life. I know that is easier said than done, but only you know what you are capable of and even you can't know it until you find yourself strong enough to live through the worst pain imaginable.

  • Accept that it will get easier but it will never be easy

  • This is a trap I have fallen into on one too many occasions. I assumed there was a period of grief, then anger, then depression and then it was time to get over it and move on. I assumed it would be OK at some point, but it never is. It will never feel good to have lost a child. The thought of where in life they would be now will always bring pain. There will never be a point where you are completely over it and can move on with life, but it will get easier.

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  • Don't search for the reasons why

  • "Why" is the ultimate unanswerable question. It is the only question in the world you want answered and the only question no one can answer for you. This question will torment you if you let it, which is why you must not let it. This is the time to turn to the higher power you believe in. He is the only one who can bring you peace, so whatever you choose to believe, just believe in something and trust that He knows why.

  • No matter what you read or what people say, nothing will ever make it better. The only way to heal is with time and Angela Miller knows this first hand. She is a grief advocate and a writer who lost her own son way too early in life. She said it best on her blog:

  • "Because I've clawed my way from the depth of unimaginable pain, suffering and sorrow, again and again - when the joy comes, however and whenever it does - it is a joy that reverberates through every pore of my skin and every bone in my body. I feel all of it, deeply: the love, the grief, the joy, the pain. I embrace and thank every morsel of it. My life now is more rich and vibrant and full, not despite my loss, but because of it."

  • There is still hope, no matter how much grief is in your life. Do not lose site of that.

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Kelsey is a student studying to broaden her horizons through the written word. She loves the outdoors, family, car washes and punny witticisms.

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