Group support

When we experience life changing events it is very easy to believe that nobody else has ever felt as we do, because they don’t understand how much we are hurting.
However, once we begin to tell others how we are trying to get over it but to no avail we can start to move forward. We will come to realise that there are indeed folk who do know what it is like. When we share thoughts and feelings that allows them to share their experiences of loss with you.
This is the real benefit of joining a support group. Their child may have died from a different cause and at a different age from your child, but the way they are dealing with their bereavement may give us ideas which we can try.
If, you click on the link http://www.tcf.org.uk on this site, you can find a group meeting where you live. Your contact details, only with your permission, to the group leader who will contact you and probably arrange a one to one meeting with you and explain what happens at a group so that you can decide if and when you are ready to attend. Some meet weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Ways to help yourself

While for me writing became my way of dealing with my many pain-filled thoughts. Other parents have found creative methods useful. Some have taken up quilting, singing, knitting and many different crafts which give them a focus pre-occupying their minds to some extent while mulling over or discussing with others their emotions; perhaps calling to mind treasured memories. If you go The Compassionate Friends (TCF) see link on this page, you will be able to find out more coping strategies and join a forum with like-minded people. They will be able to help you find how you can discover hidden talents that you can use to help you.
Occupying yourself in these ways does not mean you are forgetting your child this will never happen what they do is give our minds some much needed respite from the endless turmoil churning inside our heads.

Atè logo

Atè logo means – see you soon – in Portuguese and it appears on my daughter’s gravestone. For me this felt more appropriate and gentlier than a final ‘goodbye’.
Of course, many people sent cards of condolences but I wasn’t able to read more than one or two at a time. However, one that was handed to me to read helped keep me more than most of them. It had come from my mother’s neighbour. It had a short statement on it about the saint known as ‘The Little Flower’, Saint Theresa, who died very young having dedicated her whole life to prayer and love of God. These words on that card are also on my daughter’s gravestone;they read ‘A little flower/lent not given/to bud on Earth/but bloom in heaven, a suitable epitaph for my little girl’s short life.

Books worth reading

When I was first bereaved I found reading books to be difficult. My mind could not think beyond my grief and even magazines were impossible their content seemed to be so trivial. Eventually, I began to seek books that had been written on how to deal with children’s deaths and how the parents coped. I felt let down to some extent as most books generalised on how to deal with bereavement few focused on the loss of a child.
One book that I did succeed in finding one called, ‘Why Bad Things Happen to Good People?’ This way written by a father, a rabbi, whose son died from a syndrome which caused a progressive fatal aging process. Reading this book was not easy, but it did help me to understand other people had to endure life after losing their child and in many different ways.
Another book I found to be helpful is, ‘ ‘Life After Death, A Mother’s Story’ by Jeany Pavett.
/blockquote> ‘When parents lose a child, it seems like the pain will never end. But through God, all things are possible.

I found that writing down my thoughts it gave my mind respite from them churning constantly, going over and over again, the events of the last day of my daughter’s life. I didn’t want to forget about her, but my brain was needing a rest, especially since sleep wasn’t easy – except when exhaustion took over. And then waking to be filled with guilt that I had actually stop thinking about Lisa long enough to have fallen asleep.
However, after writing about what was on my mind I stopped feeling guilt and was able to relax, but only falling asleep once I knew what to write the next evening.
Initially, this writing was only for me and helped me to move forward in my grief. Later on came the idea of approaching a publisher with the view of producing a book. Eventually, ‘One Step at a Time / Mourning a Child’ was published. This book is now available on print on demand and as an eBook for all eReaders and PCs.

Talking helps

The main problem I found when my daughter passed away was that no one wanted to talk about her. Whenever spoke about her, they would ignore what I said and change the conversations. It made me think that perhaps they had not heard me. However, after mentioning this to other bereaved parents, they told me that the same thing happened to them.
Even family members who had loved our child weren’t interested in sharing memories of family gatherings. We know it was difficult for them to deal with, but they seemed to overlook the fact that for us it was 100% harder for us. After all they could go home and find distractions to preoccupy their minds, we couldn’t do this we had no choice but to endure every single second of our situation.
I believe that most people including family try to do their best to help us. Yet we might need to explain to them that all they need to do is allow us to talk, cry with us and not avoid or tears but cry too, if they want to. It is difficult however it will gradually get easier and one day you’ll find yourselves laughing despite the inner pain you have.