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Grieving Your Child: Living Through a Disrupted Life Cycle May 7, 2024

parents grieving

It is a grief that is almost unimaginable. No parent is prepared for the loss of a child, whether that child is young, an adolescent, or even an adult.

When parents outlive a child, grief can be complex and dark. It can challenge you to the depths of your soul. The death of a child seems to disrupt the life cycle and the anticipated order of things.

If you or someone you care about has lost a child, here are some things to be aware of.

Circumstances Matter

Emotions associated with the death of a child can vary widely depending on circumstances. If the death is sudden and due to an accident, it can have different emotions than a death from an ongoing illness. Both can be difficult to manage but can cause different reactions. A person’s emotions can be scattered, unpredictable, and lengthy. Circumstances can lead to unfamiliar emotions that can be a struggle to deal with.

Knowing that reactions to a child’s death can differ from others may be a helpful first step.

Reactions Can Be Unscheduled

The grief from losing a child can come in waves on its own schedule. It can be triggered by any number of factors. Periods of grief may be severe and longer-lasting. Waves of grief can be triggered by a song, a TV show, a favorite toy, or a photograph.

Parents May React Differently

It is not uncommon for the parents of a deceased child to have different reactions to the death. It can be impacted by the child’s and parent’s gender and relationship. Cultural factors in the families can also contribute to reactions. Parents can help each other by being mutually supportive.

Dealing With Your Own Grief

If you have lost a child, there are ways you can help facilitate your grief. You first should not be afraid to ask for help if you are struggling. Talking about your child can be helpful.

Don’t feel compelled to get rid of their belongings. Take your time and move at your own pace. Acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to grieve.

It can also be beneficial to be ready for difficult or uncomfortable questions. Plan to keep your child’s memory alive through celebratory days. Many parents find peace and comfort by living life in their honor.

Don’t Dismiss Getting Involved in a Support Group

Involvement in a support group is not a weakness. Recognize that losing a child is one of the most difficult challenges a person can face. Working through your emotions with those who may have had similar experiences can be rewarding. You may find yourself helping as much as you are helped.

At Fares J. Radel Homes and Crematory, we have made it our life mission to help families in Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati through the most challenging times of their lives. If you are in current need, pre-planning, or simply have questions, we invite you to reach out to us. We are here to help.

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