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Coping With The Death Of A Child

Psychiatrists say the grief for a dead child is more intense than that for the death of adult family members because most people believe parents should outlive their kids. The age of the child and circumstances surrounding the death affect how parents react. If the child has been sick for some time, it gives the parents time to come to terms with the situation.

But in the case of an unexpected death, it may represent a loss of dreams and aspirations that the parents have for the child. The coping mechanism differs among individuals. Some people want to share their experiences with others but some just want to listen to others talk Talking about the death of her son Max, Jenny says: "I retreated into myself. I couldn't face the world."

She says the only reason she held on was because she was pregnant with her second child. She now has three healthy boys aged between one and four years old. Psychiatrists say that healthy grieving takes between six weeks and six months, depending on the individuals arid support from family and friends.

The process requires acceptance of the situation, and moving on. In the case of a child death from parental negligent Psychiatrists urges for counselling to address the guilt. Men and women show the grief differently. Mothers tend to talk a lot about the child. They want to remember a lot and that helps the to feel better.

Fathers might not find talking about the child very helpful, instead, they may want to make plans for the future. The bond between mother and child tends to be more intense. Fathers can experience extreme grief as well but men are expected to appear stronger, they might not, want to express their grief as openly.

Parenting styles may change after the death of a child. Sometimes, parents become over-protective. Parents who had children die in accidents like drowning may prevent their other children from going near water. Though many learn to move on, feelings of grief may resurface during the child's death anniversary or birthdays.

Tips For Dealing With Loss

Coping with the loss of life and loves are not easy processes. Healing and recovery take time - and help from others.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

Yearning, disbelief, denial, stress, anger, confusion, ambivalence, shock sadness, remorse, and despair are normal and common reactions to loss.

Give Yourself Time To Grieve

You can't expect to return to your normal self immediately. Understand that it's ok to cry, vent and feel sad for a while. Remember, you have a life to get back to, so allow yourself a few weeks to deal with your emotions internally.

Don't Refuse Help

If a close friend or family member extends his or her help to see you through this painful time, accept it, and knowing you have the support and love of someone you trust, makes all the difference.

Join A Support Group

Talk to others who are experiencing the same loss. Share your feelings with them.

Take Care Of Yourself

Don't allow yourself to completely go to pot. Not eating/overeating and a lack of exercise will not do you any favors in the long run.

Don't Shut Out The World

It's normal to want to escape from everyone you know, but this will only make you feel more isolated and alone. Spend time with friends and family, and allow yourself to engage in meaningful social activities.

Keep A Journal

Write down or draw what you're feeling. Don't censor your thoughts

Seek Counselling

If the pain gets too much to handle, get professional help. Counsellors are trained to help you through the stages of grief arising from your loss.

Keep Busy

Keep to a routine. If you work, continue working.

Change Focus

Devote your time and refocus your energy on other people who need your attention.


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