As parents, our biggest fear is our children passing on before we do. We work so hard to bring our children into the world. We spend nine plus months creating and preparing for them. We are there for the countless hours spent feeding, burping, and changing diapers.
We hear their first words and witness their first steps. Before long you are purchasing school supplies and little league gear. You begin to imagine them as adults, and the grandkids they will eventually bless you with. But to have them exit before their time is an experience no one is equipped to deal with. The death of a child not only takes its personal toll; it can often be a driving factor in the separation of the grieving parents.
As grieving parents, we must do what we can so we aren’t easily broken. Losing a child is heart breaking, but losing your family to hardship is simply terrifying. We must be able to communicate our feelings and help each other through the grieving process; for, our families are all we have, and the innocence of our children is what teaches us that.
As a parent, it is a myth that we must be strong and not show emotion in the face of our loss. Our children are the most important people in our lives, but we are somehow expected to “be strong” when they are suddenly taken, especially for parents that have other children that are still alive. This is a point that resonates with both women and men, but is especially relevant for men, as society has primed them to display rigid masculinity at all times.
This type of mantra will never work for either parent, and feelings of sadness are going to be a lifelong factor after you lose a child. While most extreme emotions will heal with time, some will never subside. You have an obligation to yourself and your family to concentrate on feeling better and healthy every single day. Every parent that has endured the loss of a child does so differently, so what works for one may not work for the other.
Consider working with your spouse, family members, or close friends on healthy activities that will help you through your grief. Whether it is family occasions, seeing a psychiatrist, or just simply mourning together, discover the best path for you to deal with an unrelenting pain that will undeniably leave a scar for life.