Loss of a Child
Suffering a loss of any kind whether it is the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, loss of independence or other types of loss is devastating but losing a child is a fear that no parent ever wants recognized. In the circle of life children should not die until after their parents but unfortunately this tragedy occurs every day. Fortunately there are a number of organizations and methods of coping that have proven helpful for those that have lost a child and family, friends and other support networks are typically essential during this time. Where you never completely get over the loss of your child you will in time be able to move forward and find the joy in your life again.
One of the most important things you can do after suffering the loss of a child is to lean on your friends and family. This is a time when those that want to help and be there as support should be let in and given the tasks that you can't bear to do. Whether it is packing up your child's things, making arrangements that you can't focus on or simply holding you while you cry, that support system will assist in holding you up when you simply can't bear another minute. It's okay to depend on those that have the strength to do what you can't and focusing on your grief and getting through one day at a time will be imperative and essential.
Realize that the first year after the death of a child will most likely be the most difficult. Holidays, birthdays, special occasions are certain to bring fresh pain and tears and that is normal and to be expected. Time will heal but you will never fully get over the loss of losing your child. Give yourself time before rushing right back into the thick of things as if you go before it's time this can cause inhibited or delayed grief in which you are not going through the expected emotions and stages of grief that are necessary in order for you to heal and move forward.
Expect in time that life will not return to normal as it once was but instead you will have a new type of normal. A new way of thinking, a new path or building a new meaning to your life can all be types of this new normal and giving yourself this direction can be instrumental in helping you find some fulfillment and joy once again. And it is important to remember that there is an extreme difference between letting go of the pain and forgetting your child that has passed away. You can let go of the grief and the pain with time but letting go does not mean you no longer love or miss your child. It simply means that you are choosing to head down the path of finding a new life where they are not a physical part of your world but still very much with you in your heart.