Fairfax Virginia Chapter of the compassionate freinds.  Supporting family after a child dies
Fairfax Chapter Home About TCF Support Meetings Events FAQs Resources Contact Us The Compassionate Friends National Site

Grieving - Tips to Help You Cope and Heal

There is no right way or wrong way to grieve.  Each person must follow their own grief path. Grieving is difficult work, there is no easy way around it except to go through it.  And by doing so, you will find wisdom, strength and a way to cope and heal. Here are some things that have helped other parents and families who have lost a child:

Give yourself time – although grief can be very intense after the loss of a child, try to understand that it will not be this intense forever.  Take as much time as you need to go through the grieving process.  Let it happen naturally.  Maintain hope that this too will change.

Listen to yourself – do what makes you feel best.  For some it may be crying as often as you experience the emotion.  For others it may be quietly reflecting on your pain.  Some feel better keeping busy while others are more withdrawn.  Listen to your own mind, body and spirit and do what is right for you.

Take care of yourself – try to eat, get plenty of sleep and exercise if you can. Grieving is hard both mentally and physically but try to take the best care of yourself that you can.

Seek help if you need it – remember you are not alone.  Talk to your family and friends.  Seek professional help from doctors, therapists or go to grief counseling if you feel the need.  Find a support group that offers understanding and hope and try to attend regularly.

Rely on your belief systems – some find their own philosophy or their religious faith to be a source of strength while others may feel better through just being in touch with nature.  Revisit what has helped you get through difficult situations in the past and lean on that.

Recognize that others may grieve differently – upon losing a child, the father, mother, siblings and grandparents will all grieve in different ways.  Men often hold their pain inside, try to be strong for the family and immerse themselves in work.  Women are often more emotional, want to talk about their feelings and feel the need to take care of others.  You may not be on the same schedule with your grief.  Often one parent will have a bad day but for the other parent their day may be better. Siblings don’t always want to show their emotions for fear of upsetting their parents even more.  Grandparents hurt not only for the grandchild they lost but for their own child who is intensely grieving.  Be aware that this too is normal.

Resume your normal activities slowly – healing takes time.  Don’t ask too much of yourself right away. Postponing grief often just delays it and you will have to come back and deal with it at a later time.  It takes courage to resume your life and although you may not be the same person you were before this happened you will be able to resume many of your normal day to day activities.

Honor your child – by remembering the good times, the incredible life of your child and the time you spent together.  Share stories and memories of your child.  Some parents have made videos, photo montages, set up memorial websites and through the process felt healing in knowing that their child will not be forgotten.

tree against rose colored sunset

Site Terms of Use | PrivacyPolicy
© 2013 The Fairfax Chapter of the Compassionate Friends. All rights reserved.

Site designed by: RMH Web Design