Understanding your grief

Grief is a powerful emotion

Grief is an extremely powerful emotion. It can be painful beyond belief and may feel completely overwhelming. At first, simple things like going to the supermarket may seem impossible. Everyday events may trigger painful memories, feelings of anxiety and surges of emotion. Just going about your everyday life may seem pointless and trivial. You may feel as if you will never smile again, let alone be happy.

It is important to be reassured that this is normal because you love your child and because your life has changed forever.

Everyone is different

Everybody grieves differently; grief is your personal response to death. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Trust your instincts about what feels right for you to express your grief.

If you have a partner, it can be hard to understand their feelings and how they are coping. Easing their distress may seem impossible and it may be difficult to reach out to them. At the same time, you may be feeling that no one understands what you are going through, not even your partner.

Try to give your partner the space and time that they need and to understand what will help them to cope. If you can, help them to understand what you need. This may enable you both to move forward at a time when it is difficult for you to cope with your own grief as well as supporting your partner.

Your relationships

It is also important to accept that you may both want to turn to others, to family and friends for support during this time. The death of a child may bring very difficult times for a relationship, but it can be a time when couples grow together through their shared loss.

Taking each day as it comes may be easier than thinking about the years stretching ahead. Do what you need to help you get through each day and night; sleep, walk, cry, scream, go out, stay in, keep busy or do nothing. Do what is right for you and at your own pace.

As the days go by, some will feel better than others. At other times your grief may overwhelm you. In time, you are likely to find yourself having days when you feel stronger and more peaceful. This will take time, and it may take many months and many changes as you adjust to a life without your child.

I think it’s brought Graeme and I closer together as we had to learn to communicate with each other at lot more than we ever had before.

Nicola

Grief

Reviewed July 2014, next planned review 2017

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