The grieving process creates change in your life and in yourself that allows you to gradually relinquish your need for the lost one. Grief helps you come to terms with this, and to refocus your energies toward the future. Grief is not about "returning to normal". You will never be the same as you were. Grief is about finding a new life order for yourself.
As hard as you may find this to believe right now, the pain will eventually ease up and allow you to reinvent your life and your identity. You will reinvest in life and find yourself planning for the future with some degree of joy in being alive. You will begin to sense some new beginnings; experience a new dawning of life that slowly replaces the previous despair and desolation and darkness.
"Whatever we do – going or not going to our children’s graves, sleeping with a toy, or closing the door to their rooms – has only to be what we each need, what we require to make it through each day without them. There is no other yardstick."
We all know it’s there.
We’re thinking about the elephant as we talk together.
It’s constantly on our minds. For, you see, it is a very large elephant.
It has hurt us all.
But we don’t talk about the elephant in the room.
Oh, please say his (her) name.
Oh, please, say his (her) name again.
Oh please, talk about the elephant in the room.
For if we talk about his (her) death,
Perhaps we can talk about his (her) life.
Can I say his (her) name to you and not have you look away?
For if I cannot, then you are leaving me………
in a room…..
With an elephant…..
It is large and squatting
so it is hard to get around it.
Yet we squeeze by with,
“How are you?” and “I’m fine.”
and a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.
We talk about everything else –
except the elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant
as we talk together.
It is constantly on our minds.
For, you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all, but we do not talk about
the elephant in the room.
So if everyone sees it, why does no one talk about the elephant?
Why do people avoid talking about death and grief?
up thoughts and feelings about our own mortality
aware of this fact, our lives become richer.
We worry that people will get offended or upset or that somehow talking about the loved one who has died will make things worse.
What helps? That's the big question every parent of child loss asks a million times and more. To date, there are no earth-shattering, solid answers. A number of things can ease the pain -- our faith, seeing a grief counselor, talking about your child, creating memory albums, doing acts of kindness in memory of your child, etc. Remember that this walk through grief is a "journey" and a "process", and eventully through trial and error you will find what is best for you. Most of all, be kind to yourself and do what feels right for you. No two people will grieve child loss in the same way.
Grief and depression are not the same, as often believed. A person can grieve but not be depressed although many of the feelings involved in both can be shared. People who have suffered with bereavement may still become depressed eventually and some of the symptoms that may indicate a person is depressed are:
Constant guilt or regret about the bereavement
Withdrawal from friends, family and usual activities
Feelings of sadness, hopelessness and anger
Hallucinations related to the bereavement
Thoughts of suicide or an intense obsession with dying
Most experts seem to agree that there is a difference between normal grief and depression, although where the distinction is made is still under debate. Many of the symptoms of depression also occur after bereavement. The distinction probably lies in the severity of the symptoms and the length of time they are experienced and your doctor will decide if you are depressed based on your specific symptoms and experiences.
Risk Factors For Depression Following Bereavement
There is no 'test' or way to predict who will become depressed after suffering from bereavement. Those who are more likely to become depressed are:
People with a prior history of depression
Individuals with a family history of depressive illness
Socially isolated individuals
Persons who are unable to handle grief during initial phases of coping
If depression due to bereavement is diagnosed, then psychotherapy will likely be recommended, possibly in conjunction with antidepressant therapy. Antidepressants can be highly effective but they do not address the underlying grief issues so talking therapy is an important part of this multifaceted approach. You may wonder why medication would be needed if grief has been pinpointed as the likely cause of the depression; this is because chemical changes can occur in the brain of a depressed person and medications aim to correct these dysfunctions. Also, any untreated physical triggers of depression can make it more difficult for a person to grieve properly.
There are many different ways in which a person can respond to the loss of a loved one and unfortunately, medical professionals are sometimes hesitant to diagnose depression in these instances, for fear of labeling a person or compounding their emotional distress. This is one of the barriers that may be present to obtaining effective treatment for those who are depressed due to bereavement.
Grief Counselling and Depression:
Grief counselling can be beneficial for treating depression due to bereavement. It allows a person to work through the various stages of grief and helps a person to accept the loss and share feelings around that loss. It also encourages the grieving person to cope and function independently without the deceased and helps that person to form new relationships with others.
Imagining a life without your loved one can leave you struggling with grief. If your grief has been persistent and does not seem to be lessening or you find it is affecting your ability to function each day, you should see your doctor. Also reach out to family and friends during this emotional time to obtain additional support. By using your support network and treating depression through psychotherapy and medications, you can move forward while still embracing the memory of your loved one.
"And with a broken wing she still sings. she keeps an eye on the sky. With a broken wing she carries her dreams. You ought to see her fly."
I need to talk about my loss.
I may often need to tell you what happened -
or to ask you why it happened.
Each time I discuss my loss, I am helping myself
face the reality of the death of my loved one.
I need to know that you care about me.
I need to feel your touch, your hugs.
I need you just to be "with" me.
(And I need to be with you.)
I need to know you believe in me and in my
ability to get through my grief in my own way.
(And in my own time.)
Please don't judge me now -
or think that I'm behaving strangely.
Remember I'm grieving.
I may even be in shock.
I may feel afraid. I may feel deep rage.
I may even feel guilty. But above all, I hurt.
I'm experiencing a pain unlike any I've ever felt before.
Don't worry if you think I'm getting better
and then suddenly I seem to slip backward.
Grief makes me behave this way at times.
And please don't tell me you "know how I feel,"
or that it's time for me to get on with my life.
(I am probably already saying this to myself.)
What I need now is time to grieve and to recover.
Most of all, thank you for being my friend.
Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for caring.
Thank you for helping, for understanding.
Thank you for praying for me.
And remember, in the days or years ahead,
when you may have a loss - when you need me
as I have needed you - I will understand.
And then I will come and be with you.
~Author: Barbara Hills LesStrang via Grieving Mothers
my little one makes no sound.
Your little baby lays warm in bed;
my little one lays in the ground.
Your little baby woke up today;
my little on never will.
Your little baby can laugh and play;
my little one stays still every day.
Your little baby makes you proud;
my little one makes me cry.
my little one could already fly.
On the wings of an angel on the wings of a prayer,
I send my love to you dear son, my wish that I was there!
With you now in Heaven, beside you forevermore!
Just to see my precious child is all I am living for!
I don’t know what you are doing now, what Heaven’s all about!
But I do know that you are safe, and at peace, of this, I have no doubt!
God is in Heaven, Jesus is there too, and all those righteous souls we loved,
have hugged and wrapped their loving arms around you!
I don’t think you are an angel, at least you were not while here on earth,
but I have loved you anyway, from the moment of your birth!
As for wings, do you have them? And fly around each day?
It makes me kind of laugh and smile to think they may get in your way!
Not all angels live in Heaven, I know some right here on earth!
They give such love and kindness, so very priceless is their worth!
We are all Angels in disguise when we truly care about each other!
God knew what HE was doing to create a precious mother!
So I send my love to you dear son and wish the day would come,
when I can finally join you in Heaven, and fly instead of run!
Things on earth are different now, not like when you were here!
I close my eyes from time to time pretending that (you're) near!
All my joy went with you, it left on that sad day,
If like a bird I just had wings, I would simply fly away!
I would fly right up to Heaven, and knock on Heaven’s door!
I would hug you all, so very tight, and be lonely never more!
Wings! by Shari Soklow (by Jack's Daughter Shari) ~via Grieving Mothers
Pictures, Quotes, and Poems thanks to Grieving Mothers