Sunday, February 7, 2016
After Ten Years...
After 10 years and many phases of grief, a few parents explained how they now feel, how they are coping and whether it really ever gets better.
For one father, helping others was his reason to move on. “Rest assured, the pain never goes away. It gets softer and more bearable, but that hole in your heart is always there. Time helps soften the grief but never heals it.”
One mother said, “It feels like it just happened yesterday. And the time factor of when she died becomes important: everything is measured by before or after the child’s death.”
“I am a different person and a better person 10 years later. I found joy again both in my private and professional life. Little things don’t bother me because the worst thing has already happened and I have been able to slowly move on.”
“I found that over the years I lost some friends who couldn’t deal with my grief, but I think that showed me they were never really friends to begin with. And I have made new friends yearly, particularly by being able to share my feelings with other bereaved parents. We try to help each other.”
“In the 10 years since my son’s death, I have gone through various phases of grief. In the beginning, it was very raw, and I found it difficult to go on living. Over time, I have come to spend less time grieving, and the grief is less intense than it was. The process was very gradual.”
“Over the last decade I have worked to move my life forward in a meaningful way, said another mother. I want to honor my daughter in all areas so that she will never be forgotten by others. I have done this through scholarships, a foundation, planting trees and having plaques all over in her memory. This helps me move on with my life and allows me to do things I never even considered before her death.”
There are those who have more trouble than others, and I would advise seeking help through professional means: a grief counselor, a clergy or a psychologist. Don’t forget grief groups like Compassionate Friends with over 600 chapters across the U.S. where you can meet others who have lost children can be very helpful.