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  • Writer's picturePinky Alger

How my Heart Feels...

After you lose your child, there is an emptiness you feel inside. You may feel as if there is a hole in your heart that will remain forever. The death of a child can leave your heart aching as you grieve for your child. There is a void left not only in your heart but in your life also. When you lose a child it is hard to figure out how to continue on with everyday life when so much of your life involved that child. We are left with a grieving heart. In the beginning your grief is new and raw, and tremendously painful and scary.

You may think: "This is just too much to bear! I can't do this!" As hard as it may be, however, you must experience the full impact of the loss. Follow it, cry when you want, scream into your pillow. Don't suppress new grief, or avoid it, or try to change it. It's your grief! Claim it, Experience it... Don't let anyone take away your right to it.

The grieving process is a very personal and individual thing. Your unique relationship with your child and the manner in which they died will dictate the length and depth of your "roller coaster ride". There are no short cuts to grief. You must let it run its course. There is also no "normal" amount of time for mourning.. The best length of time for you? However long you need. Even when you think things are “better", you will experience grief feelings from time to time, especially during special dates and anniversaries, or during holidays. Expect it. Grief is not about "returning to normal". You will never be the same as you were. Grief is about finding a “new normal” for you. As hard as you may find this to believe right now, the pain will eventually soften.

Nothing can take the place of your child. You can never replace that life. However, there are things you can do and people you can spend time with that will help your heart recover. What things could you do that would help fill the hole in your heart?

  • Be gentle with yourself-- and patient. It takes a long time to heal. Some days will be better than others.

  • Take care of your body-. Eat healthy, even though you might find it hard to even eat right now. Exercise, maybe a short walk to start.

  • Be selfish-- demand the right to grieve in your own way. It is not their bereavement, it's yours. You have nothing to offer other people right now anyway. Focus on yourself and your needs. Surround yourself with supportive loved ones.

  • Cling to hope-- Things will get better, honest. Don't tell yourself "It's going to be alright". Instead, tell yourself "I will survive".

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