Parent Grief

The SUDC Foundation Offers Comprehensive Services

Are you looking for support in coping with the death of your child? The SUDC Foundation offers a multitude of no cost comprehensive services for you. Whether you are newly bereaved, have a clear understanding of why your child died or not, contact us today and let us help. Our community of over 800 families worldwide is ready to support you in anyway we can. For more information, view our detailed services here.

Parental Grief

Grief is a natural process of emotions that occurs when someone dies. Grief integrates into normal routines at variable timeframes for each person. It can be an intense, lonely, and personal experience. No two people will experience the death of a child the same way. A sudden, unexpected death of a child is different from any other death because children are "not supposed to die." The death is incomprehensible.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. When your child dies, not only does the death destroy the dreams and hope you had as parents, but it also forces your family to face an event for which you are not prepared. Many parents wonder if they will be able to tolerate the pain, to survive it and be able to feel that life has meaning again. Grief can have its ups and downs. Intense reactions  may  return on specific dates (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc.), or in connection with milestone events  (moving from the home where the child died, the growth of a  subsequent sibling beyond the age of the child that died, etc). As time moves on, the pain from grief becomes less sharp and more integrated into your life. Happiness does return, very, very slowly at first. At some point you begin to laugh and to appreciate life again. You are a changed person and will never be the same. Family, friends, and your community at large can help you to slowly start your journey to healing.

 

Ten Suggestions for Coping With Grief

  1. Whatever you are feeling, it is normal.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve.  
  2. Your body requires food and fluid even if you do not want it.  It is important to eat small nutritious snacks and meals at regular times and drink plenty of fluids.
  3. Sleeping is often difficult.  If you cannot sleep, it is important to rest throughout the day. However, try to maintain normal sleep patterns by sleeping longest at night.
  4. Your energy level will probably be low.  Give yourself permission to rest when you need it.
  5. Seek out supportive family and friends who will listen to you talk about your child.
  6. Be patient with yourself.  It is o.k. to say no to things that are overwhelming.  When you are stronger, then you can say yes.
  7. You will not forget your child.  Your child will always be part of your life.  Choose personal ways to memorialize your child.
  8. Keep a journal-write how you feel and what you are doing.  Write as often as needed.
  9. If you feel that you cannot cope on your own, consider a professional counselor who can give you support and insight.
  10. Find the support of other bereaved parents through local support groups, the SUDC online support group or the SUDC peer contact program.