There is nothing more sad and devastating to a parent than losing a child. Whether it be to illness or kidnapping the feeling is the same. What could be greater than the loss of someone you love? Especially someone who has been a part of you. Parents whose children are kidnapped live in constant hope of finding them again but suffer from the same torment in many ways as if the child was dead.
When a child dies, it feels like a part of our own being has died. Children represent our future as well as being a person that we love. Different people handle grief in different ways but most of us agree that the worst form of grief is at the loss of a child. It somehow seems to defy the natural order of things as none of us expects our children to die. Couples may find it hard to support each other as they are grieving themselves and this adds to their grief, often leading to a loss of faith.
At first parents, may feel much emptiness at home, especially if the child was younger. Often the parents find comfort in friends of the child if the child was a teenager but if the child was an adult then they may have the added matter of an estate to sort out. Parents of married children may find it hard when they have to realise they are not next of kin and that their relationship with the spouse or grandchildren may change.
A lot of the time grief can begin as either a numbness or confusion of emotions as we try to make sense of events. Parents may also start to feel guilt and anger, These are normal emotions and in the case of death of children the grief can last many years, although it is a cyclical process and gets less over time.
The issue of death is a difficult one as it seems so final. However, for those of us who believe in an afterlife as such, or even have insights into this, it is a little easier. Ultimately though, the cold hard fact is that one cannot hug a spirit and we will always miss the hugs of the loved one we have lost, be it 5 years ago, or 50. Life may get easier after some time after we lose those we love but part of us never stops wanting just that one more hug.
There are many people who will help us through but ultimately until we come to terms with what this means to us on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level we cannot really move forward. People telling us to move on or the fact that it’s been a long time and we need to go forward in some ways only make us angry as we are not ready to do that.
If you have lost someone you love you must remember though that there is help at hand. It will take time but shutting it away is not the way to go. Often you may not want to talk about it for a while and that is natural but at some point you need to talk about it, cry about it. Be gentle on yourself and remember the good times. You will find eventually they will make you smile. This is the time, after a period of releasing your grief, you need your friends and relatives or even professional help to help you get some kind of routine back in your life. It is normal to be depressed so dosing yourself up with medication is not always the answer. Let yourself feel as hard as it may be. Your loved one would not want to see you suffering and hurting. Remember that and heal slowly and steadily in your own way. Be gentle on yourself and look around you. It is filled with life. The sky, the trees, new buds in your garden. Life regenerates and as painful as it may be your child is on a journey. Their journey. Wasn’t it great you could be a part of it? Sad, painful but great.