Sunday, March 23, 2014

Taking a Vacation

When your child dies, it is hard to make plans to go away for a relaxing vacation, even after the initial grieving period. Everything you do will remind you of your loss, particularly if you have been to that location before with him/her. Here are some pointers to think about.

  1. Go someplace new that no one in your family has been to. Those reminders won’t be there and your mind will be free from thinking about your child and how much he/she loved those fun-filled days. You can wonder how much your child would have liked this new place, but at least there won’t be any memories to bring tears to your eyes.
  2. Try not to let your grief disable you. Don’t do too much and tire yourself out. Guaranteed your grief is right there with you all the time. Plan for it and try to deal with it in an appropriate manner.
  3. Besides taking games, if other children are going with you, take along light reading materials. This will keep your mind occupied and may bring a smile or chuckle to your face.
  4. Don’t be negative about where you are going. Don’t think you won’t have a good time on your vacation. Try hard, particularly if you have other children who are with you and are sensitive to your feelings.
  5. Talk about your child with all the family members. Don’t try to pretend your child didn’t exist. Have your other children remember happy memories of their sibling and think about how he/she would have reacted on this vacation.
  6. Know that your child would have wanted you to have a good time and allow yourself to feel good about your decision to go.
  7. When you are ready to go back to your child’s favorite place in the future, plan the trip with the entire family and ask their opinion about the destination, so they feel they have a say in the planning.
  8. Don’t feel guilty that you are having a good time. Also, don’t feel bad if you get emotional. Both are natural emotions that will always be part of you, just like your child will always be part of you.
Most importantly, remember that all bereaved parents need to take some time off. A vacation can be just the thing. And having a good attitude will do wonders for your trip. Allow yourself to enjoy your vacation.