Death is always a time of sorrow even if the person has lived a long and prosperous lifetime. But when it’s a child, the loss is felt much stronger since children have yet to fulfill their full potential and are not expected to die so young. And when such as death occurs, the parents of the child are horrified, saddened, and feel as if their world has come to an end due to this great tragedy.
The parents are frozen in their grief and find it hard to do even regular day by day things like eat or go to work or anything. They are numb and feel an injustice has happened to them that they will never recover from since it is unnatural for parents to live longer than their kids. Some may feel it is their fault their child died, even if they had nothing to do with whatever caused it. So, what exactly can they do so they can go on living? That is a hard question, but there are a few things they can try.
Your Faith Can Move Mountains
One of the things that helps some parents are their faith in whatever God they believe in, but if they have no religious beliefs, then things are tougher to handle. Even so, they must make some sort of brand-new commitment so that they can move on and recover, perhaps by dedicating something to the death of their child.
For instance, if the child died of a particular disease, some parents end up becoming ambassadors for that disease and work to help other parents or to help in the search for a cure for the disease. If their child was, for instance, killed by a drunk driver, they may join organizations that work to make stronger laws against drinking and driving and stronger punishments.
Listen To Your Heart
Another thing that helps some parents is doing things like dedicating a scholarship in their child’s name as a way for the child to live on and help other children. Or if their child was killed in a car accident or other manner in which some of their organs are still ok for donation, it helps some parents if they donate their child’s organs to help give life to another deserving child.
Even so, the parents must first get through the several phases of suddenly losing someone to death, which happens in all deaths whether a child or an adult. This includes phases of shock, denial, replay (feeling of what if?), yearning for more time with the lost child, guilt, anger, powerlessness, hopelessness and confusion. All these phases are difficult and not everyone may feel them and they could happen in any order for any amount of time.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to get over it! That is rude and unkind, and everyone faces such things differently.
Hold Your Loved Ones Close
Another problem is that the death of a child often breaks up a couple, as the grief hurts them so deeply they cannot even talk to one another or get comfort from each other. They stay deep in their own despair and sometimes break up because of it. Yet others gain strength in each other and get stronger. It all depends on the people, their beliefs, etc. This is because everyone grieves differently, none of us can say how we will react to it unless it happens to us.
Another issue is the siblings of the child that died. They too are affected greatly and are likely going through similar things as their parents. They may think they somehow caused it or are scared to want love from their parents for fear of being accused of not caring about their dead sibling. It’s hard for the parents to give love to the children that are left, and all of this gets wrapped up in a huge ball of pain that the whole family must someone get through.
All in all, it’s vital not to try to hide any guilt you may be feeling. It’s a normal reaction even if there is nothing you could have done to stop your child’s death. You must learn to forgive yourself because no one is perfect and especially if you have other kids, you have to go on for them.
Plus, don’t feel bad if you have moments of happiness after your child dies. Happiness is a survival tool and you are not betraying the memory of the dead child if you have a joyful moment after their death. They would have wanted you to be happy and it is part of the healing process. It will be small steps to get to this point, but you need to start taking those tiny steps and learning a way to handle it and move on with the rest of your life so your other kids will be ok too.
Make sure you have a support group to talk things out, whether that is a religious counselor, a doctor, or a group for parents who have lost a child to death. Talking about it will help your mind handle it better and eventually help you to recover and move on. It could take a long time to do this, so don’t rush things, go at your own pace.
You Have To Find A Reason To Live
The bottom line is no parent is ready to face a child’s death whether that child is a baby or an adult, they are still your child forever. But you have to find a reason to live and to move through this tragedy. Seek out professional help to get through this horrible timeframe and trust in your personal religious beliefs if you have them.
Just remember that you will never forget your child, and no one is asking you to do so. Time does make the process better, but everyone has their own timeframe and whatever happens know that your child loved you and find a way to celebrate that love and their life.