Bereaved parents and special occasions

It doesn’t matter what time of year we loss our child sooner or later we have to deal with family events, our daughter or son’s birthday and the totally unavoidable heartache of Christmas without them. So, how do we do this?
I’m not going to say that it will be easy or just grit your teeth and get on with it. What I would say is don’t make it harder for yourself than it will be. By this I mean don’t plan to have a big celebration, even if you have always been the organiser, hand over the reins to someone else and if on the day you don’t want to go then you can choose not to. Yes, people might not understand why you don’t wish to be all happy and jolly – it’s amazing how soon even our closest friends and family forget the aching void in our hearts – however, they will have to be grown up about your decision and respect it.
Over time we will learn how we wish to confront these times you would rather not. What I might suggest could help you but each of us needs to go at our own pace and what helped me could be completely wrong for you.
During that first excruciating year many of us have little recall of what we did or understand how we managed to survive it. Yet we come to realise, ‘yes, I did manage so perhaps I can find a way to help myself’.
In her book, ‘One Step at a Time / Mourning a Child’ author and bereaved parent, Betty Madill writes about how she was able to deal with the loss of her daughter. Her sources were her Christian faith, The Compassionate Friends, meeting ot8her bereaved parents and writing.

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