Clara Hinton
Grief Speaker, Author, and Workshop Leader

"When Your Child Dies Your World is Changed Forever"

6/17/2013 (Grief Relief)

It is a privilege for me to share "Part I" of an article from a bereaved mom with you today.  Nicki Whitworth is the author of this article.  She writes from first-hand experience as she is the mom of her beautiful Naomi who died 8 years ago at the young age of seven.  Nicki has co-founded "SLOW" -- Surviving the Loss Of your World -- a bereaved parents group in London.  This group is an ongoing comfort to many bereaved parents who are struggling in a sea of grief.


Please read Nicki's article, and be encouraged! Part II of this article will be posted next week. 


“When your child dies your world is changed forever.....


….and your heart is broken in a way you could never imagine possible.  You cannot return to the person that you were before your child died, and the process of coming to terms the death of your child involves irreversible life changes for you, for your family and for all those around you.


This can cause others to feel mystified and shut-out.  They seem to grieve the person you were “before.” But the most important thing is that you are able to get as much support that you can find, along with the necessary time and space for you to grieve in your own way.


There is no map, and no right way, and there is no short cut.  There are no recognizable neat patterns and there is nothing clean about it.  There will never be a day that it will feel “acceptable” to you that your child's life was cut short and that you outlived them.  Life has been thrown into unrecognizable turmoil, and you find yourself in a bleak and lonely world that feels completely alien.


Becoming accustomed to the reality of your life without your child physically in it, growing alongside you is a slow and painful process.  In our high-speed world people want solutions fast.  Often others close to you who love you may want you to “recover” quickly or come to terms with your loss.  They may feel frustrated with how long it is all taking and they may offer advice or well-meaning comments that feel hurtful and inappropriate. They may also have their own opinions as to how you are coping, or not, and may express these without invitation.  Sometimes you sens a palpable relief from those around you when, in their eyes, you make one tiny step, apparently forward.  This is a Good Thing – even in you then slither back further down the snakes and ladders the next day.  For you, it may be that you just got through the last day relatively unscathed by the demons of grief, and it can feel like a hollow victory – no medals.  (So what – my child is Sill Not Here).  You may battle with guilt and try to appease, after all, you know that it is all well-intentioned and loving.  All this can make a bereaved parent's heart hurt even more.  You may feel pressured to hide your true feelings, and you can often feel extremely isolated.


The grief that follows the death of your child unfolds in a way that others find hard to imagine.  In the early weeks and months, you may feel raw with grief, in deep shock and after-shock, inconsolable and unable to imagine a life without your child.  It is extremely common to feel that you want to join your dead child, or to feel that you cannot focus on your other children, if there are any.  You may experience confusion, memory loss and inability to concentrate on anything going on around you. You may also feel so physically exhausted that you are unable to move, as if you are weighted down, flattened to the ground.  You may be desperate to sleep, but unable to.  Answering the telephone, and dealing with the mail can seem like mountainous tasks, all requiring you to speak words to people that you are barely able to say to yourself – that your child is gone forever.  You have to answer the question, “How are you?” many times a day when you seem to have no words to find an answer, no language to match the depths of your feeling.  Most social events fill you with dread as they inevitable revolve around conversation about children.  It is very important for those around you to be gentle, and to allow you time and space to spend thinking about your child and being with them, wherever you feel and sense that they are.”   

Part II will be posted next week



    8/1/2010/   5/6/13 supporting bereaved parents

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