Adult Grief After a Traumatic Death

Parents who have lost a child in a crash say that after a couple of years, the pain subsides and there can be intervals, usually brief intervals, of not thinking about their child. Within two to three years, life may begin to have meaning again. It will come slowly, but there is hope. Usually, after three or four years, there will still be bad days, but the pain will be easier to handle. There will be fewer occasions when everything feels overwhelming, and it will be possible to feel sad or cry without being lost in pain. What does it mean to heal from the pain, rage, guilt, and emptiness that the death of a child produces? If you have these feelings, you may not want to give them up. It may seem to you that these feelings connecting you to the memory of your child are all that remains of your child. It is possible you feel giving up these feelings would be letting go of the child, almost turning your back on your child. Healing does not imply that you will forget them, and you

will always feel some degree of sorrow for your loss. You are not disloyal to your child’s memory when you begin to heal.

Take it one day at a time.

You may heal slowly and not realize that you are healing. Don’t rush yourself or put unnecessary pressure on yourself. If you try to do too much, you may overwhelm yourself. Take it one day at a time. Coping can come in many forms. Below are things that many parents do to cope with their loss: • Visiting the grave or place where the crash occurred, sometimes daily. • Keeping all of their child’s possessions or being fiercely protective of their ashes. • Seeing their child in a dream, or seeing their face when walking out in public. • Expecting to see or hear their child again, even if it’s for a brief moment. Family and friends may sometimes feel uncomfortable with your grief. They want to help, but don’t know how. Tell them what you want them to do. Only you know what is best for you.

Made with FlippingBook HTML5