Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Last Post...for now

It has been almost 10 years and 500  blogs since I first started writing this blog for all of you who needed to hear words of comfort and a variety of information of how to move on with your life. Each Sunday I would try to pick a topic that was both timely and of interest to many. All 10 years are here on these pages. I have also written two books on surviving grief: “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye” and “Creating a New Normal…After the Death of a Child,” both of which I hope were helpful. It is time now to put my writings aside and do other things, but I want to leave you with the following hints to help you move forward with your life, in addition to the ones I’ve mentioned throughout the years, no matter where you are in your lifelong grief journey:

  1. Seek a grief counselor if you feel you need one. Many are good, but make sure you are not getting advice from the uninitiated. In other words, the grief counselor should also be a bereaved parent, if at all possible. Otherwise, they will give you their advice but probably never understand what you are truly feeling because they have not been through it.
  2. Don’t expect a miracle cure. There isn’t one. A broken heart can not be replaced. It can only be repaired.
  3. Learn from other survivors. Listen to their stories and what they’ve done to move on with their lives.
  4. Reaching out to others who are newly bereaved may be your best therapy because you realize you are not alone. I’ve met extraordinary people who have enriched my life as I hope I have for them.
  5. Talk about your child and let others know you want them to do so too. This is the No. 1 thing bereaved parents ask for others to do the most. They don’t want their child to be forgotten. Others may be afraid at first, but you need to make them comfortable by telling them you’d love to hear a story about them.
  6. Time is your friend. Don’t expect too much of yourself too soon. A good day doesn’t mean you’re moving on. It’s a roller-coaster ride and you may fall back into the hole at any time. Grieving for your child is a life-long process
  7. Do not say “good-bye” to your deceased child or children. Alive or dead, there are no true separations from our children.
  8. Understand that people will react differently towards you and be accepting of that.
  9. Don’t rush into any decisions you might regret later, like moving. Take your time.
  10. Do whatever you want to honor your child and whatever makes you happy, no matter what others may say. It can be a scholarship, having a memorial service or starting a foundation.
  11. Be around people who care about you and your needs.
  12. Take care of yourself physically. Eat right. Exercise.
  13. Whatever you do, remember your reactions are normal.
  14. Expect to be a different person, with new goals, new friends and different priorities.
  15. Find a support group and go to meetings with other bereaved parents. You will feel comfortable talking about your child and everyone will get to know your child and understand how you are feeling.
  16. Don’t be afraid to laugh. You are not being disloyal to your child’s memory by doing so, and laughter is good for the soul.
  17. Always know our kids are watching and routing for our survival. We owe it to them to live our lives in tribute to their memory, to make them proud of us. For as long as we live, they too shall live. Remember too, you are not alone.
I believe that the passage of time, an open heart that embraces life, hard work and a choice to embrace hope, will allow you to survive the most difficult losses and move on with your life. 

I will return, hopefully, from time to time, to continue giving you advice and help wherever and whenever I can. All 500 blogs will remain on this site. Remember, you can always email me to ask anything you feel you need help or advice on. Thank you for following me all these years.