How to Cope With the Loss of a Child

8219632453_e3f5089584We all know that it is burdensome when people have to prepare funeral services for their kin. This task becomes even more difficult when a parent has to bury a child. Such a tragic notion goes against the natural law of life. After all, younger children are always expected to outlive their much older parents. Anyone who has gone through this heartbreaking experience will tell you that when a child dies, a part of your adult spirit dies along with them.

Death in itself takes a toll on those who are left grieving, most especially if the life that is lost was born from your own flesh and blood. Nothing can ever prepare a parent for this tragic fate. Though it seems unlikely as the circle of life opposes this concept, sadly, losing a child can still happen. How then, are parents supposed to cope when the unthinkable happens? Here are some suggestions to help you and your kin move on from the death of your most beloved child.

Rely On a Strong Support System

A good and strong support system is part and parcel of healing. When the world feels as if it is conspiring against you, there’s no shame in asking for help. Besides, your loved ones are surely more than willing to help you out with your responsibilities. Even just their presence and listening ear is already a great source of comfort. This maybe your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, or even strangers in a support group. It is easier to cope with difficult times when there are people around to guide, comfort, and uplift you. Having people who listen and genuinely care for you will help you manage your loss.

Go On a Sabbatical

When your emotions are in turmoil, a sabbatical is a great way to find calm and peace. Take time off from work and your usual daily routine to grieve. You may go on a hike or go out of town for a weekend. Spending time away from home gives you a chance to rest your weary heart and mind. Grieving is a painful process that drains energy, especially when you see nothing but funeral flowers or other painful reminders of your loss. Sometimes, a change in the environment can help you cope with the pain. Being away from a sentimental place that you associate with your late child may make it easier for you to process your burdensome emotions.

Get Started On a New Hobby

Finding a new hobby is a great way to redirect your grief. Trying out new things will means channeling your feelings into a healthy coping mechanism. It is better to convert your grief into a positive outlet. The hobby doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective. It can be a simple task like baking, sewing, painting, or engaging in sports. Releasing your pent up feelings will do your body and mind a world of good. Keeping yourself engaged provides a sense of calm. Hopefully, you will be able to ruminate and reevaluate your life. A concrete output resulting from creative expression feels rewarding. It allows you to reclaim your life, instead of being consumed by grief and sorrow. Activities help you let go, so you don’t wallow in self-pity and bitterness.

Seek Professional Care 

Grief can be understandably overwhelming, especially when the loss of your child is sudden and tragic. If it becomes unbearable and difficult to handle even with the help of the aforementioned coping tools, it is better to seek professional counsel. Finding solace with a psychologist or therapist will help you understand your difficult emotions. You may be feeling confused, anxious, and depressed at the injustice of your situation. Talking with a counselor arms you with coping tools to process what is going on. Acknowledging your loss a therapist’s guidance will allow you to grasp your situation fully, so you can handle things with grace.

Spend Time in Prayer

Should you believe in religion, one effective way to help you manage your child’s loss is to spend time in prayer. When you lift your feelings to your deity, you are unburdening your heart, mind, and soul. As such, you take a huge load off your chest! Spending time in prayer will help you reflect on your situation, giving you hope, providing peace, and allowing you to come to terms with your emotions.

Final Word

Losing a child is never easy, but it would also be a huge disservice to your child’s memory if you do not let go and move on with life. Your child will not rest in peace if live the rest of your life in perpetual sadness. A child will never want to be the reason for his or her parent’s sorrow. The most beautiful thing you can do is to live a beautiful life in your child’s honor.

How Long Should a Eulogy Be?

rose-pink-colors-3202080_640One of the most difficult speeches you will ever have to make in your life is called a eulogy. This is your last tribute to a deceased love one. The term eulogy has roots from the Greek word “εὐλογία,” which is defined as praise. It is comprised of words to honor your loved ones who passed away. It is usually delivered during the funeral or memorial services.

A eulogy is typically assigned to immediate family members. However, if the death is tragic, sudden, or involves a young child, it may be passed on to a close family friend because it may be too painful for the bereaved family to put their thoughts into words. If you are wondering how to write a eulogy, there is nothing to be nervous about. There are no strict rules to adhere to, and it can be as unique as your relationship with the one who passed away.

Writing the Eulogy

Although a eulogy covers a very sad and delicate topic, it can still contain happy memories. Some bits of humor are actually good for the soul as they remind everyone listening that the deceased lived a full life. After all, there is truth to the adage that laughter is the best medicine. Besides, apart from giving praise, the other purpose of this speech is to comfort the family members in their time of grief.

As such, you can use the highlights of the deceased’s life and mention his or her contributions to the community. Do note that eulogies tend to focus more on the positive memories and great impact a person had throughout his or her lifetime. It is a very daunting task because you have the responsibility of encapsulating and summarizing a vibrant life in just a couple of paragraphs.

If you are stumped, it may be a good idea to look through your pictures with the deceased. You can also check his or her social media profiles. Going through those may jolt your memory and remind you of past events that you may have forgotten. You may also consider working together with the person tasked to write the newspaper obituary.

The Length of the Speech

Usually, funeral directors suggest that the speech be five to ten minutes long. When you think about it, that is such a short time frame to summarize an entire person’s many years of existence in this ephemeral world. There will be lots of memories and so many things to say! But you have to be mindful of the time.

If it is too short, it may seem insincere, like you didn’t know the one being laid to rest at all. Remember, this is your final farewell, so make it count. It also cannot be too long, either. Ten minutes tops are ideal because funeral services often follow a time table. You don’t want the guests to lose interest in your long draw out speech, and you also want to be considerate of the ones traveling far away.

In some services, it is common to have more than one eulogist, as well, so you have to keep the time in mind when you are drafting your speech. You may need to revise your speech and edit out some parts to ensure that you’re happy with all the details you included. If you want to be sure, ask the funeral director or the clergy how much time you have.

Delivering the Eulogy 

Once you’ve taken the time to collect your memories and jot down your thoughts to make the best speech possible, you also have to think about delivery. Make sure you have some time to practice to ensure you won’t get lost. It can be a very intense moment filled with emotion during the actual delivery, so it is best to be prepared.

Be mindful not to rush when making your speech. You want people to understand the words you’ve painstakingly prepared. Take a deep breath, speak clearly, and pronounce your words properly. Because of your practice sessions, you will be familiar with the speech, giving you confidence. Don’t forget to make eye contact with your audience as it shows your sincerity.

And most of all, don’t forget to cut yourself some slack. No one expects perfection! It is okay to make mistakes. You can even cry. The most important element is your heartfelt words that honor your deceased love one. Delivering a eulogy is cathartic, and listening to it is one of the most beautiful things that highlight any memorial service. With this humble speech, others will learn a few special things about the deceased that they may not have known. And this is how a legacy lives on!

How Can Death Affect a Family

We have all lost someone near and dear to us to a thief called death. Sadly, dying is an inevitable part of life that no one can escape. Apart from the pain directly caused by the loss, planning a funeral can take its toll on the immediate family. It is hard to write the death announcement, along with figuring out the details of the ceremony.

Whether it is a long term illness or a sudden demise, death is difficult to accept, and healing will take time. Losing a loved one has the potential to affect the lives of the bereaved greatly. It manifests in the physical and emotional aspects, sometimes with a lasting impact. Read on to understand how death can affect a family and why it is important to be kind, patient, supportive, and understanding to those who are grieving.

1. Children grow up without knowing their loved one

When a person experiences losing a loved one as a child, this can have many long term psychological effects. A child who has lost a mother or father will grow up with a missing piece because of the absence of one parental figure. This can lead to personal issues like self-identity crisis and difficulty establishing healthy relationships with people.

Studies show that children who were not able to process the death of a parent properly grow up with abandonment issues. They search for love and comfort elsewhere. They look for substitutes and may end up in the wrong relationship. Guidance is paramount for those who lose a parental figure to ensure that kids grow up in the right direction.

2. Can cause strain on relationships

Grief-stricken people often need time to process pain and emotion correctly. If the grief is not managed and handled properly, this can lead a person to feel heavy issues and volatile feelings that become an emotional baggage. One who cannot move on from the death of a family member may have difficulty maintaining other relationships because of emotional instability.

When one is moody or depressed, it can lead to withdrawal. This can, in turn, cause miscommunication and misunderstandings. Unfortunately, these things have the power to create rifts in family ties and can even sever relationships. The death of a loved one has the potential to divide a family without proper grief management. This can be avoided if a family consults a specialist or copes through healthy methods like holding open discussions or dialogues to provide an avenue for emotional expression.

3. May affect the lifestyle

There is no doubt that a family member’s death can drastically alter the household’s routine, priorities, and overall lifestyle. To many, losing a family member will cause a significant change in family dynamics, particularly if the deceased is the household’s breadwinner. How do you pay for your mortgage and basic needs when no one is earning? This poses a difficulty to grieving family members since it would mean making adjustments in spending habits and lifestyle choices.

In addition, this also means rearranging schedules and changing routines, which many bereaved family members find challenging to do. If the missing family member is used to picking up the children to and from school, who will be tasked to do it now that the person is gone? The life of the ones left behind is forever altered when their loved one passes on. As such, it is crucial to have a good support system. If you know someone in a similar situation, now is the time to offer a helping hand.

4. Posses a huge financial burden

Burials and cremation services cost a large sum of money. For many families around the world, this expenditure is too big a cost to bear. Often, people are caught off guard when someone dies, so they are ill-prepared. Families are shattered financially by a loved one’s death, especially if they find cannot afford it. Those who do not have insurance plans find themself using up their savings. This leaves the bereaved with a heavy financial burden that can strain their lifestyle and relationships with one another.

With this in mind, the heads of families need to perform proper planning, which involves getting the right insurance coverage, conducting estate management, and procuring funeral investments ahead. When you plan for the future, you secure your family in case of an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances. The last thing any person should be worrying about when someone dies is the financial aspect so that they can grieve in peace!

Final Word

It is normal for family members to react differently when they experience a closed loved one’s death. As individuals try to cope with changing roles, it can result in complicated emotions and untoward behavior. While each person is going through their journey, it can be difficult to connect with one another. The important thing to remember is always a beacon of hope that will readily offer support during these trying times.

Fill Your Heart performed by David Bowie or Tiny Tim

Heart drawing with crayonsFill your heart with love today
Don’t play the game of time
Things that happened in the past
Only happened in your mind, only in your mind
Oh, forget your mind, and you’ll be free, yeah Read more

How Does Grief Affect a Child

Just like adults, children react to death in various ways. This could be influenced by a myriad of factors such as their age, gender, relationship with the one who died, family circumstances, personality, development stage, amount of support given to them, earlier experiences, and how the others around them are grieving. 

Always remember that grief is a natural response to a loss, and losing the person you love is complicated. It is even harder for kids who don’t have the emotional maturity, depth of experience, and ingrained wisdom to handle such trying times. Grief has no time table, so you must always be ready to reassure your children and give them comfort.  Read more

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There is no need to dig deep into your pockets for a casket when you are planning a funeral. Yes, a casket is indeed one of the most pricey ticket items you will purchase for your dearly departed loved one. It is also the most challenging item to shop for because you get this sense of finality that your loved one is truly gone. Read more

How Do I Prepare For a Funeral?

This question is a tough subject that most of us do not want to think about at all. No one wants to take the initiative to discuss his or her own death, and it is also painful to think about planning the funeral of a loved one. Most who do make advance arrangements are usually people who are grappling with long-term illness.

Ask anyone who has faced an untimely death of a loved one, and this person will tell you that preparing for a funeral is stressful, especially since you will have to make some very tough decisions amidst your grief. Funeral planning is a huge responsibility that you want to carry out properly because it is your last send-off and final goodbye for your dearly departed loved one. Read more

Up Where We Belong

Who knows what tomorrow brings
In a world few hearts survive
All I know is the way I feel
When it’s real, I keep it alive

The road is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day Read more

Why are Caskets so Expensive?

When your loved one passes away, whether it is because of a long-term disease or a sudden unexpected illness, the last thing on your mind will be what casket to choose as the final vessel for your dearly departed’s remains. You will naturally be consumed with grief with your mind going blank and your emotions going on overdrive. Read more

What Do You Need to Make a Funeral Program? A Comprehensive Guide

When you’re busy with funeral planning, you may get confused about what to do. That is perfectly okay because everyone understands that you are in a great deal of emotional turmoil. Cut yourself some slack because you’re already doing well in spite of being under a great deal of pressure. No one expects a perfect funeral service. Read more