It is every parent’s worst fear to have to cope with the unimaginable. Losing a child is an unfathomable burden for parents and loved ones. Parents manage because they will have no other option but to continue living. Sometimes you cope well, and other times not so well. Permit yourself to know you will take a few missteps along the way. Use your support team to keep you going and ask them to remind you to take a break. Again, self-care will keep you strong and better able to cope.
Try various methods of coping and determine what works for you. You are faced with so many difficulties: fear and uncertainty, work and finances, isolation (sometimes only emotional but other times both emotional and physical as treatment takes you far from home), change in relationships and trying to emotionally and physically support your spouse and rest of family. The list of obstacles you face in coping with the loss of your child is daunting but you can do this.
You are in an unimaginable situation. Accept that others won’t understand. If it is inconceivable to you and you are living it, you will need to remember that those around you have less understanding than you do as they are not living it! Learning to share may be something you can do to help.
After such a devastating loss, it’s important to know that you are not alone in this journey. There are many resources for people going through very similar experiences. Some of those resources include:
Losing a child can be hard on all members of a family, and support one another throughout this loss can be very impactful. Many times the needs and emotions of siblings can get overlooked as so much attention is being placed on the loss of the child. Parents can help their other children grieve by giving them attention and a safe space to release their emotions and cope with their loss.
Utilizing mental health professionals can also be beneficial in ensuring all children are supported. There are professionals that specialize in children’s mental health needs and can address the unique situations of losing a sibling. Additionally, having an outside support system can allow for you to share the responsibility of your child’s healing with another capable source.
MIB Agents Healing Hearts program was designed by grieving parents who themselves needed a haven of love and comfort along with the hope of healing. While we acknowledge that our hearts will never heal after the loss of a child, we want our scars to remind us that we can experience joy alongside sadness. Together, we support each other in creating a life worth living, for and with our children.
To learn more about the Healing Hearts Bereavement Program and other resources for families who have lost children from Osteosarcoma, view our bereavement resources.