The Death of a Child - Grief Resource Center ... Mourning is an essential part of the healing...

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Transcript of The Death of a Child - Grief Resource Center ... Mourning is an essential part of the healing...

  • The Death of a Child

    About the Grief Resource Center The Grief Resource Center has been created to reach out to those in the community who are grieving and to promote an awareness of the many

    ways grief can be experienced. At the Grief Resource Center, service

    providers can come together and work in partnership to help

    individuals define their own unique pathways to healing.

    Contact Information Linda H. Phelps, Ph.D., LMFT

    Executive Director Grief Resource Center

    1113 University Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87102

    505.842.7166 lindap@griefnm.org

    www.griefnm.org

    Board Members Duffy Swan, Chairman

    LaDonna Hopkins John Moore Jim Myers Peter Mwei

    Diane Harrison Ogawa James Saya

    The Grief Resource Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

    by Linda Phelps, Ph.D.

  • The Death of a Child

    It doesn’t matter whether it’s the death of a child recently or many years ago, a child’s death is one of the most painful losses suffered in life. Losing a child defies the natural order of life and brings consuming pain to parents. Consider the following:

    - Children are an enormous part of their parent’s legacy…their future. When a child dies, the devastation from this loss makes grieving a lifelong endeavor for parents even after acknowledging that they will never be able to share their lives openly with their child. For this reason, parents should allow themselves time to mourn their loss - to openly express thoughts and feelings to others. This process must not be circumvented. Mourning is an essential part of the healing process.

    - Parents grieve differently. Following a child’s death, a father’s emotions are aroused as strongly as the mother’s, but the experience and expression of these emotions vary greatly. It’s important that parents recognize these complexities of grief and refrain from becoming critical and judgmental of each other. Each has lost a child. Each must be gentle…compassionate…patient.

    - It’s important to be sensitive to the needs of the remaining children in the household. It’s common to think that children are unable to realize the significance of death. That’s not true. Children are profoundly touched by the death of a sibling and need help in understanding their inner conflict and confusion. Life has changed for them, too, and it’s imperative that they are helped to sort through and understand their own grief.

    - Common among parents is the overwhelming sense that the deep and unrelenting pain from their child’s death will last forever. However, inherent in the human spirit is the capacity for hope. There will surely be pain and life will certainly never be the same, but the healing and growth that can take place in those left behind can offer a new perspective in a world that is very different. They offer hope, and living a life filled with hope will surely honor the life of the child who died.