Sunday, April 5, 2015
Part 2-The DON'T's of Staying Connected After a Child's Death
Last week I gave readers ideas on how to stay connected after a child’s death. This week I’ll tell you what you 'shouldn’t' do in reference to your relationships.
Don’t “not” talk about your child. Certainly there were good things your family did together that are good to remember. Don't pretend your child never existed.
Don’t judge how your spouse reacts to the death. Let him or her do whatever needed. Everyone grieves differently. We don’t want to see our partner upset, but grief is a natural and healthy response to death.
Wait at least a year to make important decisions together, such as moving or getting rid of your child’s belongings. Short term decisions such as planning the funeral or memorial service should definitely be discussed immediately. Try to agree on how you want to do this without upsetting each other.
Don’t worry if you are forgetful or lack concentration and focus. It’s normal. Be patient with yourself as well as your partner.
Don’t shut out your partner. They already feel lonely and depressed. Try to listen carefully to what your spouse says or does and give feedback. Ask them to try to explain those awful feelings that are so hard to get rid of.
Don’t turn to drinking alcohol or doing any kind of drugs. All that will do is hide what is really going on inside you and cause problems between you and your spouse.
Don’t blame yourself or your partner for what has happened. Neither one of you are probably the cause, but in your anger and disbelief about the death, you may say something that is taken negatively or defensively.