Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How to Survive Burying Your Child

I am always so grateful when we receive articles from other moms, grandmothers and parents who have journeyed this road before us ... A dad, David Piedmont, sent me this saying that it truly helped him and his wife - they received it sometime ago when their 22 year old son died and he thought it might help other parents as it did them... He siad there was no indication as to the author, so I apologize that I'm not able to give credit to whomever wrote it, but we do thank you - and we want thank David for sharing it... Cherie Houston

Burying our child cuts to the soul - We as parents know that someday our children will have to have a funeral service or memorial service for us. That's how we somehow assumed life should be. That isn't how it always is. Children (whether Babies or Adult children) often times die before us, leaving us shell-shocked and empty.

There is no one way to survive a child's death. Everyone of us was given a unique personality, and trying to live up to an image of what you think others think you should be feeling will not work. There are so many stages to grief. The shock of the news that your child has died, is God's way of insolating us for the months or years to come

I personally lingered in the valley of the shadow of death much longer than my husband did. He had to get up 3 days after her funeral and go back to work; he wasn't given time to grieve like I was, because He felt he had to be strong for me. How I survived was like the AA's moto, live one day at a time, although I must admit sometimes it was all I could do to live one moment. Survival is a personal soul and gut wrenching process

Do not expect too much of yourself for the first year or two or maybe even longer. People around you will be uncomfortable and not know how to react or act. Should they bring up your childs name? Should they ask how you are? Should they act as if nothing happened? It was so devastating that there were many times I can't believe I've lived through it all and sometimes I wonder why I did.. The excruciating pain stayed with me for many months. My duaghter was 8 months old when she died, yet her death -her very short life here on earth, has profoundly affected me more in my lifetime than any other event to happen since..

Talk to your child..I spent hours at her gravesite talking to a tombstone. I felt solace there. I understand now, that my survival mode is different than yours may be. All I know, is that 30 years later, I am still here, with the same husband who shares the same tie to the same little girl, who we both wonder about and on occasion have our moments of grief

Keep some things for yourself for the years to come. Maybe their baby book which you can look at from time to time to acknowledge their existence. I keep a copy of her obituary tucked away in my Bible, not to look at and be sad, but as a reminder of how far we have come, and how thankful we are that she was born

Talk to others who have experienced a similar grief – no their circumstances won’t be the same as yours – nor yours theirs, but often times this will help you to know you can and will survive – it will help you to know that what you are feeling is totally normal – no matter the circumstances there is no one way to grieve – there is no set time limit on what is “normal” but having someone else hold your hand who has journeyed this same road can be powerful in allowing you to grieve in your own way…

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