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Grieving the Loss of a Child

I don't think any of us can understand how devastating it is to lose a child unless we have gone through this. I can't even go there in my own heart - such a loss is unimaginable.

In suffering the death of elders in my family over the years, I have experienced grief in many forms. Shock, confusion, disbelief, guilt, regret - these are the main emotions that I recall feeling in the months after losing a loved one.

Christina, a friend who lost her grown son late last year reached out to me the other day with the following note:

I was wondering if you'd consider writing something about grieving?

I find I go up and down. I have days in a row where I feel happy and balanced, and then "out of nowhere" the loss of my son hits me again, and again, and again. I don't believe time heals anything, but rather that we learn to live with the loss, learn to go on. It's tough though.

If you have suffered the death of a child and can share how you grieved or any other thoughts of comfort for Christina, I would really appreciate you using the comments section below to send her a note.

I have also posted this at our Facebook page if you prefer to share there.

Thank you so much.

Ben Kim

 
 

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Comments

First, I am so sorry for your loss. I can only pray that the Lord helps you through this as only He can. Please search out the following site. While I have not experienced the loss of a child, this family has, and there are so many lessons that this father shares about the journey in the loss of his son. I think you will find yourself in the midst of it. God bless.

https://www.facebook.com/mitchellsjourney

Hello there,

I was pregnant at the same time this other family in my parenting group was and they lost their baby unexpectedly and tragically at 39 weeks in gestation. I've followed his blog and his writing is so real, touching, and beautiful. His website is: www.jackatrandom.com. From there he became a contributor to www.glowinthewoods.com which is a site entirely devoted to help parents deal with loss with a host of contributors sharing their grief/pain. Mostly its about parents dealing with the loss of an infant, but everything is very real and relatable. God Bless.

Although I have not experienced the loss of a grown child, I have experienced the loss of two children before birth and have been experiencing the loss of my daughter and grandchildren being kept away from me. I understand these losses are not the same and yet I have experienced what she has talked about with the going on with your life and being fine one day and the next being overwhelmed with grief. In my opinion there is no cure for loss. There is healing of the pain and it takes time and effort. I don't know if you have found a support group but I can tell you that the one thing I have found through years of healing is something called The Emotion Code. I am a massage therapist and I have had massage, chiropractic, acupuncture and counseling, etc. and the thing that has really been the most effective for me is The Emotion Code. If you google it you can find a free pdf download of the book that Dr. Brad makes available to anyone. Its not difficult to do but it is effective. My son and I spent about 5 months working this until we were clear. It takes the charge of the emotions. The first thing about grief is you have to allow yourself permission to grieve. I know it isn't comfortable and you may concern yourself with what others perceive about you. Don't. Just give yourself permission to feel. This was your child and only a mother who truly loves her child can understand your pain. Over time the loss becomes manageable but as long as you are alive you are going to feel the loss because you still carry those stem cells from your child inside your body. You can turn your loss into strength and live for him in a way you didn't before. He wouldn't want you to destroy yourself with grief. That would be the extreme. Good nutrition and taking care of yourself to help balance your hormones is important too. And massage helps to release as well. I wish you love,comfort and support in your healing journey.

Hi Diana. I am also a massage therapist, mostly hospice, and lost my son on June 12 from cardiomyopathy. He was 39. It is interesting that some people, mostly older, want to talk to me about everything but my son. On the other hand, his many friends are right there for me. In the end, though, it is a lonely experience, because in the end, no one really feels the grief like a mother.
I know I will be better as time passes, but I also know I will never get over the loss. I pretty much cry alone and only talk about him when the listener is very present, and allow tears when they come. I pray every day I will find meaning in this so that I will be able to help others. Sending peace.

Dear Christina,

I am so sorry about the loss of your son. I have no children, I can only imagine what it is like to loose a child in death. Here is a resource that will help you. Please read it. Many people like yourself have found comfort as there are many emotions that one goes through. Don't feel bad that you feel the way you do. Everybody is different. Please find comfort and solace in this. I lost my parents and even though it has been many years, at times so to speak, it still stings me when either of their anniversaries is coming up. Peace to you my friend :).
Go to this page: http://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/?start=48
look for the publication when someone you love dies. There are also other publications there that will also help you with this situation.

I lost my daughter in August of 2013 when she committed suicide. I understand your loss, at least a little.

In my case I thought I was doing pretty well on my own but by January of 2015 it became painfully clear that things were not getting better. In truth I had managed to mess up several areas of my life with poor choices and out of character behaviors (we can do funny things to avoid our pain).

I sought help in my community and in February ended up in a free grief group run by the Franciscan Heath System. I'm not a Christian but the group was nondenominational and didn't push a religious agenda. I learned a lot form this group of fellow grievers and will be forever in their debt.

I learned that it's not uncommon to have difficulty sharing with family and friends. They get tired of hearing it over and over. The truth is everyone grieves differently and there is no set time when you "SHOULD" be finished :)

I'm not a joiner but in this group I found support and encouragement. We helped each other to develop a personalized set of things to do plan that help us to work through our grief. I dedicate time every day to do my grief work and it has paid off.

One of the things I do each day is to start off the day with an open and honest conversation with my daughter. I’ve ritualized it a bit by lighting a candle next to her picture on the mantel and speaking to her while looking at her picture.

The conversations were initially filled with tears, guilt, recriminations and anger but over the last several months they have evolved into something gentler and more loving. I’ve had the opportunity to say everything I didn’t get to say when she was alive. Today our one sided chats are more like a daily howdy and a check-in where I fill her in on my life and that of other family members.

I never forget my daughter but when I think of her now it's with joy for the time I had with her. I think I may begin to drop a few things off my grief work plan soon. My grief will always be with me but it has/is slowly transforming into a source of strength and compassion for others.

There is light at the end of the tunnel :)

Thank you. This helps.

For Christina: As someone who has lost their daughter and is also a grief counselor you are doing the right thing. You are right, time does not heal all things unless you work between the minutes. Learn all you can about grieving since we learn many falsehoods as we grow up that turn into limiting beliefs. Grief will revisit--that is normal and to be expected. Cry as you see fit. Crying is copy and is a great release. Do not resist. Let your emotions work through you. Lou LaGrand, Ph.D.

When my 17 year old son died in a car accident in 1972, I asked to go too. I really didn't think I could go on. I heard an immediate and tangible "No-o-o-o."(That was a first!)Two weeks at a Transcendental Meditation Course in Canada that summer helped me move through the worst of the grief and I began to see color again, only realizing then that I had been seeing only in shades of gray.
When my grown daughter died of cancer in 2012, she who had been my chief mental, emotional, and spiritual support and cheerleader, I didn't ask to go. (I guess that's a sign of growth.)I just allowed the buckets of tears to flow. I can say with authority it takes two years to slow the tide, and you never "get over it." Their memory is always with you.
It helps enormously if you have discovered that the soul lives many lifetimes and therefore there really is no death. Just no access any more.

I too am very sorry for your loss. I hope this is in no way offensive but I too have been working with this with the loss of my dog (my best friend) on 5/12/2015. At first the cruelty of the information coming at me (in my head) was almost unbearable. The regret, the life's not worth living, the loss of any interest in life, the minute by minute replay of what I was doing while she was dying etc. It was cruel and the opposite of gratitude. There was no relief. I was either in the present moment with her unconditional love or living in that cruel blackness. So I don't think I had any choice but to choose life instead. I was (and currently am) able to do it with a recording and listening practice that I use and teach. Able to honor her by being present with life and with her through unconditional love and gratitude for all especially her. I can not express what a life saver it is. It is a simple technique that can be taught through some experiential practicing. The result is you will have a tool that you can use for this and anything you encounter for the rest of your life. It just takes willingness. But it is possible. I know. I am doing it now. Janice - I can be contacted from the contact page at backtoearthfarm.com

I'm so sorry that this happened to you, and to all of you other commenters. I don't know what it's like to lose a child, but I've certainly lost several people who were very close to me, both to natural causes and to suicide. Three things I want to pass on that I learned: first, for those who lost someone to suicide, IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. I don't care what the situation was; don't listen to the little nyahnyahnyah in your head saying 'shoulda coulda woulda, what if I had just ___, if only I'd seen ___'. It's not your fault, period, full stop. If you have to listen to the 'shoulda coulda woulda,' then instead of using it to beat yourself up with, use it as 'should can will' with those who are still alive. Use it as an excuse to treat people better, not to treat yourself worse. But again, it's NOT your fault. It may be hard to accept, but ultimately, it's on them.

And second, when we lose someone, grief comes out in all sorts of different ways, and sometimes we might feel guilty or ashamed for the things we feel. (I'm not saying it's okay to DO destructive things that hurt yourself or others because of those feelings, but rather that it's okay to actually HAVE those feelings, whatever they are.) Let yourself feel whatever it is you're actually feeling, whether it's resentment, or anger, or whether you want to laugh or even feel relieved at the same time as you're grieving. And if possible, find someone who's willing to listen to those feelings, even if they can't fully understand them.

That brings me to the third, which is how much it helps to talk about the person! It may hurt at first at the same time as it helps, but being able to talk about the person you lost to other people, whether they knew that person or not, helps so much. Sharing the little things they did and the big things, little quirks of personality, dumb things they would have loved; whatever comes to mind, sharing it all helps enormously. Among other things, it sort of solidifies their memory in a way that makes it feel like they're still there as an actual part of you--as that part of you that intentionally remembers them, intentionally takes a moment to remember how that person would have reacted to the situation. Through your memory of them, they're still having an impact on the world. God bless you all.

Before I lost my child, before this life of an adult and all, I remember knowing how to break cheap coffee cups when life threw me a grief I could not handle. I had forgotten that silly destructive joy until I read your note tonight. I'm too old to enjoy breaking things at this point, but it made me smile to think about it. Who the hell cares about cheap coffee cups anyway? It's the people in our lives that matter so deeply. Thank you for bringing back that childish memory of fighting grief with anger at the inanimate. Fighting something that was not human and could not talk back, something that honestly never really mattered. When young, there is a catharsis sometimes in breaking things, in closing doors, in hurting the world around us.
Now, I just want the world to be whole and at peace, and to close their windows if I need to howl at the Moon with sadness. Just ignore my howls.

Below are 3 EFT videos​. The first is a short 4 minute one as to how to do it. Watch this first.

The next 2 are more lengthy EFT videos specific to grief.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAclBdj20ZU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDyw3MLwzmo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1nJV7p1Lsk

Hello Christina,
First of all, I am sorry for your loss. And I think you are right, time does not heal such a loss. But over time, we do acquire the means to function and go on with our lives. We lost our 18 year old son in June of 2006. In fact, the anniversary date is fast approaching and I find myself weepy and sad, and thinking about how much I miss him. I think of him everyday and will love and miss him for as long as I'm on this earth.
They say it takes 5-7 years to grieve a child. Myself, husband and other son all felt like we could move on after 6 years. That simply means that we felt that moving on is what the son we lost would want. It's funny how we all got to that point at the same time.
Everyone grieves differently. I worked very hard at my job in the beginning to try to take my mind off the unbearable hurt. It didn't really take my mind off of it, but allowed me to keep moving. I felt that was important. You can't put a time limit on these things so just allow yourself the time you need. The first year is so difficult. I hope you have someone you can talk to that will just listen. There isn't much anyone can say and like Dr. Kim said, if you haven't been through it, you have no idea. The sad days are going to keep coming, that's normal. Over time you will have more days in between that you can think about all the good memories without crying. I cherish those memories. Take care of yourself,
Kindest regards,
Cheryl

Hi,
I hesitate to write, since I don't know any of your readers personally. And it's a scary thing to try and comfort someone. Still, help from others is needed. I feel that comfort (as opposed to escape) is part of a larger experience. Having said that, having the raw materials to build or grow with is also necessary.
Years ago I read C.S.Lewis' very small book "A Grief Observed". He published it in his own name only after his death. It is his diary from when his wife died. It is quite concentrated! I can not express how much it helped me on my journey. I offer it as a suggestion for all our griefs. For me it was not a shortcut to comfort, indeed I did not want to escape from my feelings. They were real and strong. I did find comfort, but it was a comfort within a larger thought process, not a smaller one.
Thanks for letting me share,
Jon

I lost my 21 year old son eleven years ago. Christina, I believe that you are exactly right about time not healing it, but that we learn to go on. Like you, I go for periods of time when I seem to be coping well and then something triggers me to grieve as though it had just happened. I can only say that without my faith in God, I'm not sure I could have made it through losing Brian. Not only did God hold me through those horrible days following his death but He gives me the knowledge that I will see Brian again one day and that helps more than anything. As for grieving, my way was to allow myself to express it in whatever way I felt I needed to and for whatever timeframe was necessary. I listened to music that spoke to my grief and allowed myself to wail or cry to express all that I felt. Many cultures encourage this, but I'm afraid mine does not. However, I gave myself permission to do it anyway. Nothing is as harmful as repressed grief to the body or soul. May you find comfort in the beautiful memories of your son and the love you shared.

My husband of 24 years passed away 4 years ago this month after a year long battle with cancer. I can relate to the ups and downs your friend spoke of. I too, felt 'normal' at times, followed by what I call the 'roller coaster'. I disagree with her conclusion though. It took me at least two years to feel like the roller coaster ride was ending. It was as if the highs weren't quite so high and the lows not quite so low and the amount of time between the highs and lows lengthened. The stages of grief for me started with anger. I was amazed at how much anger I felt, at times pure rage. I am a very religious person. My faith was not so much tested by my loss as was my ability to function normally in everyday life. I made poor decisions about finances. I trusted the wrong people. I was not my 'normal' self. I was like a wounded animal that attracted predators. Gradually though I 'came to myself'. That is the healing I am seeing in myself. Getting my feet under me. Being able to cope, yes. I have also completed the stages of grief. I am happy on the inside. I have hope for the future. I do not fear the 'come what mays'. If 'our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting' (Wordsworth)in my opinion our death is a vacuum created in this life and that vacuum must be filled to keep us (the loved ones)from imploding. As our spirit moves from this life to the next, we who knew that person in mortality, feel the loss. I believe they linger close by, though. I feel the presence and the protection of the angels who lived among us as friends and family and who now guard and influence us until we have completed our own life journey. Grieving takes time. A year is not much time. For the loss of a child, I don't know how much time it would take. My mother lost a child in childbirth and cried every year on his birthday as long as I was at home. That was over 20 years for her, possibly decades more. Some losses are that deep. Years later, her only surviving son died in his 50s. Mom was in her early 80s. She was devastated, as was my father. There is something 'wrong' in the sense of 'out of the natural order of things' when a child preceeds a parent in death. It happens though and life does go on. I take comfort in the message in the scriptures that our days are known and our years shall not be numbered less. That allows me to accept that God knows all and that all fits His plan perfectly. My advice to your friend and others who grieve is to lose yourself in service to others. It will take your mind off your troubles. Allow yourself to find joy again. It is what your departed loved one would want you to do.

Dear Christina: Thank you for sharing your thoughts and please accept my condolences for the loss of your son. I agree with you in that time does NOT appear to heal everything/anything but you will in time begin to live again - differently but you will be able to function. The pain will diminish as the years go by but the loss will always be felt. The wife of a colleague sent me a letter when my 23 year old son died, telling me what it had been like for her. That letter kept me focused on keeping myself together and finding ways to comfort myself. It's been nearly 15 years since my son passed and I still experience that pain from time to time. It will take time and I liken the loss to someone who loses a limb and becomes disabled. You will do the same things again, just differently. Give yourself time and it will take a very long time so be patient. Be with those who love and care for you and be very good to yourself. A book I found comforting at the time was The Lessons of Love: Rediscovering your passion for life when it all seems too hard to take by Melody Beattie. My very best to you, Christina.

Dear Christina,
I lost a little girl when she was 8 months old. Our dear little Elizabeth Grace had a condition called Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards Syndrome.

I had the advantage of knowing that she wasn't going to live from the time she was born.

I had to get to the point of acceptance of the situation before I could let go and move on. That point is reached when you are ready. Be patient with yourself. You are human and everyone's situation is different.

I still cry every now and then when I pass the cemetery,come across her clothes, see her picture, her birth and death date etc. It has been 15 years since she passed and I have found that I cry less and less and am able to focus on not the loss, but the sweetness that she brought and how lucky we were to have her for the 8 months. That took awhile.

I'm very sorry for your loss and hope that what I have said will give you hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Grieving is important, allow yourself to do so. Don't try to hurry it along.
God bless you and your family,I will keep you in my prayers,
Susan

Tons of hugs and a shoulder for crying. I lost my daughter 21 years ago. It truly is one-foot-in-front-of-the-other in the beginning. Birthdays, Christmas, and the date of death are the roughest. It took me 10 years before I did not think about her everyday. As I type this the tears welled-up. Those tears will well-up at unexpected times. I found giving myself permission to tear-up and a mental hug help the most. Biggest take-away I can give Christina or anyone is give it time, grief is an ongoing process, do not bottle it up or your heart will not heal.

As far as your faith goes, there is nothing wrong with being angry with God about it and telling Him just how upset you are. Remember where Job told God just how angry he was with God? Ask God to heal anyone who loved your son and do not forget to ask for that same healing for yourself.

May God heal you and your son's loved ones as He fills you all with His Peace and Love.

My daughter beautiful daughter , Marya, committed suicide on 10/02/12..she was 44 years old and mother of 2 teenagers. She shot herself in her church parking lot and the coverage of her death was all over our state of Alaska. Our family was verbally hit in our hearts and we had to face the reality of her loss immediately.

As her mother; I had to be strong for my husband and our other 6 adult children. Grief, one word that can not possiblily even equate the journey of the loss of a child to a mother. Marya had trouble , while I was carrying her and she came into this world struggling to live. Marya was a productive member of society, she worked in the school system. She was a kind of loving soul and some where on her journey she got lost.

My advice is live each and every day being present to the moment; feel the pain of loss, let the tears come out and let go..The most important advice is to Trust in the Lord..God will listen through our ranting and yelling and crying.

Fleeting memories of Marya from her childhood through her life, come to me and there isn't a day that I don't think of her. I was blessed with her presense in my life and for that I am grateful.I believe in my heart and soul, that she is with God and happy now. In moments, I can sense her saying "Come on, get with it and be creative.

So keep God in your life; appreciate all the blessings you have and share your goodness with those that enter your life. Celebrate your life and be a witness of strength for others to see your courage. Mary

I lossed twin girls at birth many years ago before society understood that it was a loss that needed to be grieved properly. Back then, you went home and no one spoke of it and you went on as normal. Thirty five years later I was shocked when I touched a similar chair from that time that the loss all came back after being locked away for so long in the back of my mind. It took counseling to realize that I had to work through it. I chose to create a book about the lives they did not have with us and to write a letter to each to say how much we still think of them as part of our family. I chose photos and poems and even chose paintings of little girls that in my mind would have been them. The book took months but allowed me to grieve them in a personal way.
The person who has lost a son may want to gather photos, mementoes of their son's life and though painful, it will allow the overwhelming grief felt to be expressed and released in a good way. The mind is an amazing thing that will release memories at a time that you least expect it. Hope this helps

I lost my 20 year old daughter 2 years ago. She was was my only child.

2 years later I am doing better, but what you wrote is so true--you don't get over it, you learn to live with it.

I didn't get through the heavy shock of her death for 6 months or so--and I didn't understand real shock until then.

One day, after many months of crying every night, at the drop of a pin, and while going over and over her blogs and poems and photos and videos, I realized I was going to die of pain of I didn't stop for a day--just stop for a day. The physical pain is real; the damage to the body when so much grief consumes us is real.

My physician recommended a very good grief therapist, and I still see her weekly. I have never liked therapy or therapists, but this one is helping me survive.
Helping me to reinvent a future I didn't think was possible anymore.

Though I grew up in a science environment with logic and skepticism about unprovable things, I have experienced many moments where I feel my daughter--the wild animals that showed up on my porch right after she died, night after night; they had never come before and they don't come now.

Little things too, that sound so stupid to say, but little things happen that are odd, and give me a feeling of my daughter's essence.

I've spent the past 2 years coming to embrace everything about my child--the good and the bad, the rough and the smooth. Love is still full, even in this loss.
Oh, and I think I've worn myself out doing my inventory list of all the things I did wrong as a parent or could have done differently. I like to inventory the good moments now when I am overcome by thoughts of my daughter.

The therapy has helped me learn to be kinder to myself--to value my life even though it seems sometimes so useless now. Many friends and family have "moved on" and feel uncomfortable with my grief, as manageable as it seems sometimes. I've learned to talk with the people who still feel it as I do, and not the ones that are tired of, or afraid, of the topic. I choose people carefully now, though at first I told everyone I met or saw--desperate for someone to change this terrible truth.

It helps me to realize that my daughter, and probably all children, want their parents to be happy and healthy. I try to honor that for her, and when I can't, which is so unpredictable in timing, sometimes I talk to my daughter, or write to her or about her.

Just about the only book on grieving that helped at all:

A Time to Grieve: Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One – July 8, 1994
by Carol Staudacher
(just flip through it to any page)

Because my child suffered from depression, I've found that funny books by other young women that also have suffered help me quite a lot. I find my daughter in them. I do not know what your situation is, but if you know anyone similar these books helped me:

Let's Pretend This Never Happened Mar 5, 2013
by Jenny Lawson

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened Oct 29, 2013
by Allie Brosh
by Jenny Lawson

For me laughter and blunt truth have been a medicine for this terrible ailment of loss.

But moods come and moods go. Out of my control so often.

Let yourself feel what you feel when you feel it--no one else is going to understand your loss so strongly or so clearly.

I wish you strength, and respite from your sadness,

Len

I second the Allie Brosh recommendation! Wonderful book, for pretty much anything that ails you, and a wonderful website, too:

http://www.hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/ <--website

http://hyperboleandahalfbook.blogspot.com/ <--book, with links to order it from all sorts of places.

Thanks Elena for the links, and for knowing that wonderful book.

Christina,
I'm so sorry. You are right time doesn't heal. My son Knox was born back in 1987. When he was first born the doctors knew something was wrong and through testing we found out he had a chromosome translocation. The doctors told my wife and I he would die any minute. After a month they said he had 10% chance to live to one. Well that was the last time I listened to those so called experts. Our son Knox lived 24 years. Even though I knew he probably would die early it hurts so much to think about him being gone. I wish I had spent more time with him and not so much time away with my work. I'll never be the same without him but I must go on because of the love for the rest of my family. Life is tough and everyone has to suffer during their lives in one way or another. As painful as it is sometimes I'm so glad Knox was my son and always will be.
My thoughts are with you Christina. Please take care.
Billy

A piece I found on Facebook that has helped me:

Grief never ends, but it changes.
It's a passage, not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith . . .
It is the price of love.

Hi Dr. Kim,
My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly a year ago and just like your friend says, there are times I am up and doing okay and then suddenly, without warning, I am so sad and cry. I miss him so much. I know he is far better off in Heaven, but over and over again, I think of all the things left undone and unsaid and wish I could have had more quality time with him, and told him the things I should have said and didn't. I thought I had more time. I had never envisioned being without him so it has been difficult to live life without him. My daughters and grandsons keep me busy, but I miss him. We had 45 years together. Whether it's your husband or your child, the ups and downs continue for some time and will vary with each person and circumstance. My prayers for your friend, Dr. Kim.

I, too, can empathize with you in losing your child. Grieving for the loss of a child is indeed different from the grieving for the loss of a spouse (which I experienced after 35 years of wonderful marriage) AND it is indeed different grief from losing a parent. My experience has been that losing a child is a much deeper pain than the other two combined!
My son was 42 and lived in CA while I lived in FL. He never married so it was my duty to travel to CA to care for his remains and obligations. It was a shock. Nine months later, I fell into a deep depression which lasted almost 10 months. I then took natural supplements for my memory and brain recovery, found a natural sleep aid and am focusing on meal planning and exercise again. But I did find comfort and support attending two GriefShare groups. This taught me a lot about the grieving process and the intense journey grief can be. I learned so much in those two 13-week courses. I am taking it again and still learning additional supportive advice and lots of new friends who have loved and lost as well. Grieving is a spiritual, an emotional and physical journey. You need others to walk beside you who have experienced loss and understand your needs. I now find peace in taking these others to walks on the beach, to brunch, to movies and to help with their home chores. Just being there for them has helped me on my journey of pain. Go to that website and you can get daily uplifting emails for a year as well as find a GriefShare group located near you. Believe me, the pain does get lighter but I don't think it ever fully goes away. But you do learn to cope with it easier.

Dear Christina. Find a practitioner of Dianetics in your area at www.dianetics.org (put in a request)
They are experts at helping people work through the loss of a loved one so you are left with all the wonderful memories and moments with your loved one, and the debilitating grief and hopelessness is gone. I, personally, have helped many people this way, my mom in particular.

REALLY??

I have not experienced this in my life and I thank God for this. But I can only empathise and feel for you
My heartfelt blessings to you.
Greg Laurie is a wonderful preacher on Internet and he has churches in California, Orange County, riverside I think. He lost his son around seven years ago in a motor car accident. He has resources on his website about this very subject. He and his wife are very balanced in their teachings.
Again God bless you and give you peace in the knowledge that He loves us and is there for us in our time of need.

Dear One and All,
Thank you so much for all your thoughts and support. It's very heart warming to receive all this compassion from complete strangers. I know I am not alone to grieve the loss of a child. It has happened to many and continue to happen to parents daily.Most of the time I'm coping quite well, doing the things that I do, and when the grief comes I let it come, I don't resist.
In gratitude,
Christina

Hi, I forgot to mention one thing. Get Amazon Prime and/or Netflix, binge watch online shows that take you away for an hour or more. Find escape when you have to.
No amount of 'being strong' helped me. Escape helped when I was too weak to deal with it all. You'll come out of the tunnel one day, strong and ready for life. In the meantime, feel free to hide wherever you need to. It's okay, for me it was a cave that nature carved out. A safe place.
My best wishes for you, and me, and all of us,
Len

Christina

Thank you for your humble confession of pain, which has already drawn heartfelt and useful responses. I agree with the others that this pain is with you for life. I cannot suggest a way that you can feel it less. But perhaps I can offer a new way of understanding it. You deeply love your son, and deeply cherish your the experience of his human company. Therefore, of course, you deeply regret his passing. Now please consider this: Have you deeply and thoroughly accepted his death and disappearance from your life? Not yet, probably. Many people never do accept that such an event has occurred, but remain in profound regret, wishing somehow that it had not occurred, unable to completely acknowledge that there is no going back. This way of feeling is just human. If this is your feeling, I sympathize entirely. But I also point you to the possibility of arriving at total acceptance. This does not mean that your son's passing finally is okay with you. It will never be. It only means that you accept emotionally, not just mentally, that what is done is done. Please try to feel how much of your present sorrow is tied to the sense that this death should not have occurred, and cannot be accepted. Of course it will never seem "justified". But its finality can be fully accepted. And this opens up an entirely new possibility.

Acceptance does not mean the end of sorrow. It means that your sorrow is your feeling, and not your being, not who you are. Your sorrow becomes a source of intelligence. You begin to value the profound human vulnerability and sensitivity to life that has been awakened. You realize that loss and death, of everything and everyone you know, is part of life, and that your inherent happiness is not changed by that fact. Even if your life becomes utterly joyous, you may continue to weep for your son for years. There is no contradiction. I hope you know that I offer these thoughts with complete respect for your present feelings and viewpoint.

I would like you direct you to the writings of the great spiritual teacher, Adi Da Samraj, most especially his book, "Easy Death", which offers a consideration of the grieving process, most compaasionate, but also directing us to a quality of human maturity most of us have not imagined. The "easy death" he describes is indeed an ordeal, both for the dying one and for those who remain, but it is lived by all based on a wisdom that guides us past the confusion and suffering that we may otherwise superimpose on the process. I recommend this book to everyone, because we all participate in the transition that is death. You will find more information at www.easydeathbook.com.

Christina, I wish you a life of great happiness.
Brad

My son died at age 29 from the results of a brain injury he suffered at age 18. At first, we were so happy he didn't die then. My wife and I had experience caring for the handicapped, so we had no difficulty accepting the responsibility to care for him those 11 years. He never recovered the use of his body or his ability to interact with others. His total dependency was not a perceived problem, we knew we could handle the situation. We didn't go over 3 miles or so away from our home at any time those years, but it wasn't until after his death that we realized that was the case. I never felt sorry for him or us, I was thankful to have the time to be with him even though he maybe would have preferred to have moved on. I was probably quite selfish, wanting him to live those long years in a bed, never having a chance to act as an adult. His death resulted in my using his personal data as my secret code for all of my personal accounts. I still think of him every day when I open my computer or check my bank balance. It took me 10 years to get over the emotional pain of his loss, but I think it would have taken less time if he had not survived so long.

I always felt lucky to know him after he got past his "awful adolescent" stage. During that time, I think he was dealing marijuana and other things that I don't really want to know about. About 6 months before his injury, he showed care and concern for his sisters and his mother, and enjoyed being with family and friends. He had grown up. He was a fine young man, and I always will remember him that way. I had plenty of time to show him I loved him and cared for him, so I never had to feel guilty about not doing that. It really wasn't important, he knew we would help him when he needed help before the injury, and I don't know that he ever did know the extent of our help. I was lucky, but it did cost me 11 years of my life, thousands of dollars, and learning to live my life in a different way. Those costs were nothing. I still think of him, but always as a fond memory, never as a burden or as a reason to feel guilty. Enjoy your memories, and be thankful for having your son in your life as long as you did.

My son died at age 29 from the results of a brain injury he suffered at age 18. At first, we were so happy he didn't die then. My wife and I had experience caring for the handicapped, so we had no difficulty accepting the responsibility to care for him those 11 years. He never recovered the use of his body or his ability to interact with others. His total dependency was not a perceived problem, we knew we could handle the situation. We didn't go over 3 miles or so away from our home at any time those years, but it wasn't until after his death that we realized that was the case. I never felt sorry for him or us, I was thankful to have the time to be with him even though he maybe would have preferred to have moved on. I was probably quite selfish, wanting him to live those long years in a bed, never having a chance to act as an adult. His death resulted in my using his personal data as my secret code for all of my personal accounts. I still think of him every day when I open my computer or check my bank balance. It took me 10 years to get over the emotional pain of his loss, but I think it would have taken less time if he had not survived so long.

I always felt lucky to know him after he got past his "awful adolescent" stage. During that time, I think he was dealing marijuana and other things that I don't really want to know about. About 6 months before his injury, he showed care and concern for his sisters and his mother, and enjoyed being with family and friends. He had grown up. He was a fine young man, and I always will remember him that way. I had plenty of time to show him I loved him and cared for him, so I never had to feel guilty about not doing that. It really wasn't important, he knew we would help him when he needed help before the injury, and I don't know that he ever did know the extent of our help. I was lucky, but it did cost me 11 years of my life, thousands of dollars, and learning to live my life in a different way. Those costs were nothing. I still think of him, but always as a fond memory, never as a burden or as a reason to feel guilty. Enjoy your memories, and be thankful for having your son in your life as long as you did.

So, so sorry for your loss. I too have buried a child, my baby Sarah Ann who was born premature. It has been 36 years ago. As others have said, you don't get past losing a child, you just learn how to live with the loss.
Something that helped me was a sense of my child telling me from beyond the grave to enjoy this life. yes, I would be with her someday, but in the meantime enjoy what's here to enjoy. Go on and live because of her - not in spite of her passing. I am far more of a person because of her.
Here is a poem that gave me strength along the way. I wish I knew the author, to give she/he credit. I can only hope that they would be so pleased to know that their words are touching so many. For those of you newly in grief, these words will probably have no meaning. I pray, in time, they will. God bless you all.

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning,
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts, And presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes ahead,
With the grace of a woman -
Not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrows ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. After a while you learn that sunshine burns
If you ask too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure,
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.

And you learn,
And you learn.
With every goodbye,
You learn...

Anonymous

May I suggest you go to my blog called,"What Death Takes and Leaves Behind" Go to http://4elainekissel.wordpress.com
It isn't written in the belief it will bring comfort, though of course I would love to have that power; what you may find in it is compassion and as much understanding as is possible from outside of your own grieving mind and heart.

When death separates it is never easy. Part of this is just plain hard to get used to because our relationship is interrupted, and we long for that. I really feel that there is no real remedy for that except to gradually adjust -- grieving is a part of that process. However it is also easier to handle when you know and understand that the deceased has much to do, that his or her life continues, and that the spirit definitely lives on and on. When my late wife whispered her goodbyes she told me she was going, that my mother had come for her, and that I still had much to do here and to remember that. When I watched my little brother suffer and finally die at the age of fourteen, it was hard to take and hard to understand, but in a bedside blessing he was told that his most important mission was not in this life, but later. I wondered about that but later learned that upon leaving us he went to my father, then on to his next assignment. In the meantime we tried to let Dad know about his death via shortwave as he was in the Marshall Islands on an assignment; 6 hours later the radio patch was made, only to find that Dad was already at the airfield and made arrangement to board a special military flight to bring him home: his son had already told him.
May we be humble and ready to learn and not too puffed up to think that all things must be understood here and now and in this life. Enjoy this life for the blessing and opportunity it is, for it is a mere blink of immortal time.

Christina,
i'm not qualified to share any wisdom as i haven't lost a child. As a mom, my heart grieves for you and your unfathomable loss. I pray for God's comfort to grow stronger as time passes.

Dear Christina, 10 years ago, I lost my daughter of 24yrs. in a car crash. It still hurts, and I find myself sometimes thinking of all that happened. My daughter was at a dinner with friends to celebrate an up coming marriage for one of them. She had driven to it with a young friend, and both of them had a few drinks. I had told her to be home early, and I think she was trying to honor that request. After the dinner, everyone wanted to go to a bar for a few more drinks, but my child decided she should come home. I think the young person she had driven with want to join the others, and was speeding to get her home so he could go back out. The only thing is, they never made it home. At 11:20 that night, they slid into a tree, the driver was killed on impact, my daughter tried to hang on to life. I think she was waiting for me to come to her, but the police didn't come to me to tell me until 4 hours later. She died at 3:25. I couldn't believe it at first, and for months I would fall apart one min. and be ok the next. I yelled at God, asking "WHY......why did you take her?" but I never lost my faith. I know for a fact that God is always there to help pick up the pieces and put back together. But I still felt the pain. My daughter left me with a writing that helped me get thru some of the hard times, one special part was looking at the stars, every night I walk out side, choose a star, and talk to it as though she were there watching and listening to me. Sounds a bit crazy, but it works. In time the pain WILL lessen, but you will never lose it completely, you'll learn to live and enjoy life in spite of it. That pain will become a heart beat for your child, and one you'll learn to accept and love. Because it will remind you of him, and how much love you both shared for each other. I hope this will help a little, and if ever you need to talk, I am here, just use my e-mail. 3844

Christina my heart goes out to you, please free to contact me at any time. I lost my husband in an accident,when I was 21years of age, with two children ages 11months and 28 months.the grief was unimaginable.my mother gave me lots of rice pudding to eat,it is made of rice cooked in milk with sugar added for taste.I had no appetite, lost 25pounds of weight in one month without any dieting. But my mother said that our Prophet MUHAMMAD PBUH HAD SAID THAT WHEN IN GRIEF EAT THIS PUDDING. This really helped in getting back my appetite.though I never gained those pounds again. But still it did reduce the crying spells.luv you naila

Dear Christina,
Loss of a child is an irrecoverable loss.But for the people left behind, I reproduce certain Hindu Religion philosophy which offers a healing touch:-
1.Birth,Death,Aging & Disease are undeniable facts of life & in the hands of almighty.
2.Whatever destiny decided,written & offered by almighty,it is not wise to question or challenge.It is not fair for humans to grieve about the will of almighty.
3.We, as human,always feel WHY ME under such circumstances.However, Hindu religion says whatever happens today, is the result of the deeds of a spirit in past many births/life.
4.Any living creature, upon death, takes a rebirth within 13 days.We can wish the best of everything for his/her future life.
5.Any of our Near & Dear ones always long for the ultimate happiness for us all the time & for ever.
6.Under the above circumstances,our grieving on death makes the peace of their soul disturbed.It is not wise to make their soul also aggrieved. 7."The Soul" is IMMORTAL.It cannot be cut/burnt/destroyed/hurried/spoiled.It is a universal omnipresent possession of almighty.
8.It is very very wise to cherish sweet & subtle fond memories of our Dear one who passed away.Bid a due with lots of love,respect,tenderness & heartfelt gratitude for the time he/she spent with us.
9.By doing this, you will feel & find their soul to be enriched with eternal joy with almighty for ever without undue worldly passion/attachments. 10.Coincidentally, I lost my mother(Age-81) on 26th April 2015.Above thought process has assisted me in healing.
11.Christina,Dear, we are with you in your grief.

GOD BLESS YOU & YOUR BELOVED CHILD.
With warm & humble regards,
BIMAL BHATT
INDIA (Mobile-+91-0-98984 60398)

Dear Christina,
I have not lost any of my children so I can not really tell you that I understand what you are going through but there is something I know and I would like to share with you. We miss our beloved ones because they are part of us, because we can not bear the idea that we are not able to see them, talk to them, share with them.
I do believe that our beloved ones are not really that far away once they have passed away. When they leave their bodies it does not mean that they are dead. Their real being is exactly the same but we, humans, can not understand it because we can not see them.
I really hope that during those days that you feel that life doesn't have any sense you have the faith to ask your son to come back to you in his real esence so you can share with him.
I wish you all the very best. Love and health.

Dear Christina
I am sorry for your loss. I did not lose a child but I lost my partner, 20 days later a very dear friend and then my best friend the following year, my great nephew (took his own life) then my sister. So in 3 years I lost 5 very dear people. I have discovered there is no right or wrong way to grieve. You can only do what feels right for you. I experience the same feelings you do where all seems right for a while then suddenly you feel the loss in deep incredible ways. I have been blessed with some of the best understanding friends in the world. So with the help of friends and family plus reading a few books I am slowly reaching a feeling of normal. But it will be different for each individual so what I read might not do a thing for you. Just remember to try different things and if it doesn't help move on to something else. Do not be afraid to reach out to other people, even if they have not experienced the same loss as you they can and do have the means to help you through your grief.
May your future still be bright.

Christina ... I have found that the most important part of grieving is to allow yourself to submit to your own physical, emotional and spiritual reactions. Your body / soul know what to do. If you feel sad, then cry. If you feel joy, then laugh. If you feel angry, then scream. It's natural and it's okay.

Scientifically, I've read that the actions that occur as a result of what we feel, if reasonably allowed and embraced, actually release chemicals in our brain that produce emotions of peace, well-being, acceptance. Any sequestering or forced ceasing of those emotions has the opposite effect and can actually throw us deeper into that emotion rather than help to release us out of it.

Spiritually, if you are Christian, believe in God's peace that goes beyond what we can understand. If you follow another faith, embrace the idea that your loved one is only physically gone from you. I don't belittle that at all. But, have faith that he sees you, is with you, is waiting for you and in the right time, also not to be forced, you will reunite. Don't push this away ... embrace it and relax. Thank goodness you are feeling. Thank goodness you are not numb.

Our perspective seems to be to make grieving more difficult than it has to be. A new perspective is needed to embrace what grieving can do for us. When you are through the initial throws of it ... you may feel closer to your child than you have ever felt.

You are in my prayers.
Kathy

My son died 18 years ago, of AIDS. Not only was it a lonely progression, because there was such a stigma about it, but I prayed he would be healed completely. I have coped, not overcome, with his death by remembering the good times and the joy he gave to so many. His heart was as big as the world itself. His smile lives on in my heart and mind. He would do anything he could for you. And while I didn't understand him at times when he was a teen and we had battles, it prepared me to minister to others about their children during difficult times. So now, I cry when I need to, talk about him with others who knew him, and I visit his grave every few years because I still break down when I go there. I'll never know why my son died and others lived through it. But I do know that I had him for a time and I thank God for that time. I am a Christian, so was he, and I believe we will see each other again and I take comfort in that. I don't tell people that time will heal them, because it won't. It will ease the pain of loss, but that void will not be filled by anyone or anything. I just trust God to help me through each and every day that he comes to mind by seeing his smile and the sparkle in his eyes.

Dear Christina,
I lost my son 5 years ago. He was 26 years old and passed from the effects of brain cancer. Each person's grieving is an individual journey, but I would like to share some thoughts about how I moved toward healing.

First, I allowed myself to feel deep sorrow. Sorrow for the life he was not able to continue, sorrow for my loss of his smiling face, his wonderful hugs, and the hope that any parent has for the possibilities that might have been. I also felt, at some level, an angry refusal to accept the loss of those possibilities; the loss of the life I imagined he would live. But healing could not begin for me until I was willing to accept that the path that my son ultimately followed fit into a bigger picture that is beyond my comprehension. As I accepted this idea, I began to celebrate my son. Each day I began to bring him into my life with a new sense of who he is. I know he is celebrating with me. I can feel his love even now.

Christina, I wish I could ease your sorrow. I would ask you to google the author and poet, John O'Donohue and look for his writing on Grief. Until you do I have placed here a small portion of his writing on grief:

And when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.
-- John O'Donohue

Dear Christina, I lost 2 small children in a road accident in 1969. I empathise very deeply with you. Like a serious physical wound, it feels at first as though it will never get better. Later, the odd "good" day shines through the bleak awfulness. Gradually, you will find you can bear to be alive. The scar will always be there, & even now, I have moments of "Oh my God, did this really happen!?" But you will be able to think about your son without the searing agony you now feel. With love, Judy

I lost my grown son April 06 of this year. I understand how you feel - the up & downs. I talk to my son several times a day, every day and his ashes follow me from room to room throughout the day. I read something the other day and it really helped me, I would like to share it with you:

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

Cristina, my heart goes out to you, I am sorry for your loss of your son. You are in pain because it is a deep wound. I lost my son when he was only 14 days old. I only got to know him briefly so I have very few memories of him. The pain still burns in my heart and there are still times I miss him terribly and I cry, I am almost in tears as I write this. I am no counselor, I do not have a degree in psychology, but I believe the pain of loss is a wonderful thing, if we keep it in the right perspective. If we didn't love the one we lost, there would be no pain. You have a lifetime of memories with your dear son. Those memories of his voice and his eyes filled with joy that you would see in his presence, bring fresh pain and tears when you remember them. When that happens go to a private place and cry your eyes out. You deserve it, your loss is great. Get the tears to help you release the pain and wash it away for a time. Then wash your face and tell him you still love him and pick your life back up and keep living. He would want you to do that. I am 57 now, the pain doesn't go away, we learn to accept it and live with it. I still do it and I believe you can too. I wouldn't give the tears away for millions. It lets me know I have not forgotten him and how much I sill do love him. Love and best wishes to you.

 

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