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Grief & Child Loss: The Myths and Misconceptions

Updated: Jan 26

Grieving mother coping with the loss of a child

When I hit the six month mark after my daughter Katie died I remember thinking 'I can't do this anymore, much less for the rest of my life'. The pain was too intense and the long road ahead too daunting.

I will love my daughter forever, so I know that I will miss and grieve her forever as well.

There is a belief that the bereaved go through stages of grief, finishing up with 'acceptance', and then are ready to move on from their loss after a year or so. There couldn't be anything further from the truth.

However, grief does soften and change over time. This process is different for every grieving mother and will be influenced by personality and coping style, the kind of support they may have, religious/spiritual beliefs, and culture.

In the early days and weeks, I found myself in daze. Then came the whirlwind of funeral planning, writing an obituary, and receiving friends and family. And then... came the quiet. People went home and went back to their own lives while mine had ground to a halt. That's when reality hit me like a punch in the gut.

After the shock and disbelief wears off, the deep sadness, depression, and agonizing loss begin to set in. It is common for anger, guilt, blame, and shame to set in as well.

Bit by bit, on your own time you will discover coping mechanisms that work for you.

You eventually have 'ok' days and then a wave of grief can pull you under and make you feel like you are back to day one. You might stay in this feeling of devastation for days or weeks at a time in the early months, but eventually you will find that the amount of time that you stay in this intense sadness will decrease and the time between these waves increases.