Losing a loved one is difficult no matter the circumstances. The person is gone, while others are left to grieve their loss. These feelings may be even stronger for parents who lose children.
“The loss of a child is unlike any other,” says Regine Anderson, Therapist at Centerstone. “Losing a child is devastating. Along with their loss is the loss of good expectations – graduation, marriage and grandkids to name a few.”
Bereaved parents may experience deep sadness for longer than others who have lost loved ones. Each birthday and anniversary is a reminder. Thoughts like, “This is the year she would have learned how to drive,” are common. There may also be more anger about a child’s death. It may be cliché, but it is still true that no one imagines losing their child before they themselves are gone.
An added challenge some families face is when they lose a child but still have other children to take care of. The siblings of a lost child are grieving themselves, and they may understand what happened even less. Parents of children like these have to learn to balance their own grieving with supporting their grieving children.
There is no easy way out of the grieving process for bereaved parents, but we can still help the ones in our lives. While the grief will not magically go away, bereaved parents can receive comfort through support.
Ways to support bereaved parents
If you or anyone you know are struggling with mental health challenges due to a loss, Centerstone is here to help. Call us at 1-877-HOPE123 (877-467-3123) or visit centerstone.org/connect-with-us/ to get connected with care.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.
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