Updated: Jun 9
The grief that accompanies the loss of a child lasts a lifetime.
At times your grief might be so painful that you feel overwhelmed. You may find it hard to see the point of living and want to find a way to make it stop.
Learning to live with your child's passing is as unique as you are, so we will all find ourselves on different timelines when it comes to coping.
Grief changes over time.
As time passes, the balance between good days and bad days shifts and gradually you will find you have more good days and fewer bad days. But these changes are gradual, and each person is different, so the balance for you may not be the same as someone else after the same length of time.
Some of the physical symptoms of grief, such as having trouble sleeping and losing your appetite, also change and decrease over time for most grieving mothers.
Unfortunately there will always be those times when you feel overwhelmed by grief, even if you had previously been feeling better. It might be a special day or a song on the radio that can trigger overpowering emotions.
It can be very frustrating when others think enough time has passed and you should move on maybe because our grief makes them uncomfortable or because it hurts them to see us feeling so broken.
However there is no timetable for grief that outlines how you should feel after a particular length of time. It is completely normal to feel profoundly sad for more than a year, and sometimes many years, after your child has died.
Does grief ever go away?
The answer is no. There is no 'closure' or end to the grief after the loss of a child. You loved them deeply so you will grieve them deeply. You will always miss your child and you will always grieve their absence.
When will it get better?
You might be asking when will this pain end? Or when will I be back to old self? You will never be the same person as you were before. You’ve been through the worst that life can throw at a person and that will forever change you.
Although it does persist, grief does soften and change over time. This will be influenced by your personality and coping style, your support system, and your culture.
Grief becomes part of who you are.
If grief is something you will carry forever, the question becomes 'now what?'. Here are a few things you can do to cope with your immense loss:
Allow yourself to feel all the feels Know that it will be ugly at times, but also know that you will survive.
Give yourself grace and time. The grief from losing a child is a very long and very hard journey. Know that you will stumble along the way and that's ok. Feeling is healing.
Reach out and talk. Child loss is extremely lonely and isolating. It's important to talk about your child and what you are feeling. Find a support group - in-person or online - for grieving mothers.
Take care of yourself and your family. Fuel your body with nutritious food, rest, hydrate, and get fresh air. Believe it or not, this will help you cope.
Reflect. In time, you may find that you are able to focus on your love for your child and the time you were blessed with, rather than your pain.
Be gentle with yourself Mama,
PS: If you are struggling with grief and child loss, you might be interested in my free 5-part video course that I created for moms. It addresses the most common questions and struggles that we have after losing a child. You can find it here.