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Coping with Child Loss: 5 Tips from a Bereaved Mom

Bereaved mother grieving loss of a child
Grief and loss following the death of a child
Dear Grieving Mom,

I see you there wishing you could die too. I see the tears trickling down your face in silence as you suffer the pain of child loss. I can feel the hole that is in your heart. I know that feeling well because I am a grieving mother too.

There are some things I want you to know. As impossible as it may seem, I promise you that you will survive this tragedy that has destroyed the person you were before your child died. I also want you to know that you are not alone, as lonely as this road feels. I am here with you, and so are countless others. Often we walk in silence.

Our broken hearts connect us.

When I look back on the five plus years I have spent on this road, there are a lot of things I wish I had known in the beginning. Now I want to share these tips with you

1. Choose to focus on your child's life, not their death. I wish I had known this simple thing, because once I started focusing the the 17 years I had with my daughter, the more grateful I was for what I had. When you focus on your child's life, you see the blessings and the happiness and joy and all the experiences that you and your child shared. My daughter was more than the moment she died. I want the world to know that Katie had a big laugh that could be heard 3 aisles over in the grocery store and that she had a serious make-up addiction and loved whipped topping on her Starbuck's coffee. I want people to remember her life, not her death.

2. Find your tribe and soon. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is the connection to other mothers who have lost a child. You might meet in person in a formal group setting, you might meet for coffee, or you might connect online in a Facebook group. No one else will know your pain or your journey like another grieving mother. You will find that another grieving mom just "gets it" - no matter what you say or don't say. There are many grief support groups online. If you are on Facebook you can search terms like 'child loss' or 'grief' or 'grieving mother' to help you find child loss groups. Join many, try them out, then stick with the ones that feel right for you. (The Hope & Healing Together Community is my tribe and the space that I created for moms who want to find a way to LIVE with this immense loss)

3. Let go of the guilt. You didn't cause your child's death and there's nothing you could have done to prevent it either. You did the very best you could at the time with the information you had. If you could have protected them you would have. If any of us could have saved our children we would have. You did not fail your child. Instead of asking 'what if?', we need to focus on 'what now?'. When we change the question we change the focus from being powerless (what if) to a position of having some control (what now). The only thing we can control is how we react. Maybe we can take our pain and pour it into creating positive change or maybe we reach out and help others.

4. It's ok to be ok. The first time you laugh or smile you will feel strange and maybe a little guilty, but I want you to know that your child lives on through you. When you smile, they smile. When you experience joy, they experience joy through you. As you walk this path you will learn that you will always carry grief in one hand, but you can carry joy in the other hand at the same time. The grief never goes away, but it changes. Grief can co-exist with happiness. As a psychic once said to me "Give your daughter something wonderful to watch. Live an amazing life as a way to honour her."

5. Stay strong. I know you hate this sentiment, Mama, but it needs to be said. You are going through the hardest thing any human being can ever go through. You are a warrior and you must keep your strength up. That means eating good food, replacing all those tears with plenty of water, moving your body in a way that feels good, and getting quality sleep. As moms we are the WORST at taking care of ourselves, but we absolutely need to. It's not negotiable.

Grief is really, really hard and self-care is the first step in coping after the loss of your child.

Walking beside you,

Lisa K. Boehm

PS: I recently created a video that will help you make sense of grief and loss after losing a child, from my heart to yours. You can check it out here.

free resource for grieving mothers

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May 03

Очень рад, что есть такая важная тематика для разговора, ведь сейчас очень важно читать и узнавать все новости, ведь на сегодняшний день они состовляют большую часть нашей жизни. Именно поэтому, как по мне нужно иметь у себя качественный новостной портал, который будет предоставлять актуальные и проверенные новости. Мне в этом плане повезло, ведь благодаря ему, я всегда в курсе локальных событий, а именно новостей Львова и всего региона, что предоставляет мне более объёмную картину происходяще. Таким образом, благодаря тому, что я всегда нахожусь в информационном ресурсе, я чётко знаю и понимаю все изменения которые происходят. Плюс к этому, меня радует тот факт, что я могу узнавать и глобальные новости, которые демонстрируют общую картину происходящего, что даёт мне более объективно смотреть…


May 08, 2023

I agree with most everything but number 1. I am 18 years out and it took me quite a long time to start appreciating that my son lived and be grateful for the memories. I believe that we focus on the death because the trauma needs to be replayed in our heart, and mind because the brain cannot process this tragedy all at once. It took me 5+ years to start remembering my sons’ antics, his sense of humor, the way he would make these funny faces when disciplining and so much more.

I realize the grief journey is exclusive to everyone but please let parents do it on their timeline. My condolences to all the parents out there whose…

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