Friday, January 4, 2013

A Question on Grief

I received a message from a blog reader on how to deal with grief in the beginning. I sent her some ideas on what really worked for us and thought I would share them with you guys. If you are here because of grief, I am so sorry. Please let me know if there is any I can do to help.

 Question: "Jennifer,
I am really struggling and do not think I can ever return to my life before my baby. I just don't know what to do other than cry. That is all I do is cry when I am at home. If I try to get ready for work I usually start throwing up. In so many ways I want to be able to move on past the grieving and in so many other ways I feel like I cant and that I will be abandoning his memory. There is just so much pain and void in our life now that we are lost. 
 If you have any advice for us please let me know.
Grieving Mom"

Dear Grieving Mom,

I am so glad you reached out.  I know that is not an easy thing to do! You have heard it so many times now, but I am so sorry for what you are going through. I truly believe there is no greater pain. Please no that I am not an expert, but I can tell you what our experience looked like and what helped us the most.

First of all, you have to allow yourself time to just grieve. These first few months will be ugly. Breathing in and out and getting out of bed are major accomplishments. I can't believe we didn't lose our jobs after Lilly. I could not keep my head clear to do anything. Don't put too many expectations on yourself and cling to your husband. This first really tough phase will pass.

We saw our pastor very early on and he said two things that really stuck with me. First, he said that losing a child is one of the main causes of divorce. and that Richard and I had to grieve together before we leaned on anyone else. I think those words saved us. He also told us to find something we love doing together and immerse ourselves fully in it. For us, that was a home renovation. I became consumed in the details enough, that I forgot about the grief for brief moments. 

We also attended a grief support group. While we found that was not going to be for us, it did help us see that we were doing better than we thought. I would recommend some counseling for sure.

Next, we got out of town. Friends gifted us a trip to San Antonio and we stayed gone for several days. It was not the most fun I have had, but it was theraputic. It forced us out, but it did not force us into facing our "routine". I can't recommend this enough!

Once you are ready, the two books I recommend are The One Year Book of Hope and Holding onto Hope by Nancy Guthrie. These really helped me deal with my grief and begin to look forward to life again. 

My biggest healing milestone was the birth of Mia. My pregnancy with her was not a happy time. I had so much fear and just stayed in bed for a large part of it. But, once I got her home and my arms were no longer empty...a little piece of me healed. 

I don't think life will ever be the way it was before your baby. But I do believe that God will begin to heal this hurt. You will sing again and laugh again, but it takes so much time. Here I am 5 years later and it is still something on my mind daily. 

Thank you for reaching out to me and I hope I have helped in some small way. It is opportunities like this that make me feel it is all worth it. Praying for you...

Jennifer

2 comments:

  1. Love you Jenn. This post made me cry, yet I'm so very thankful for how God is glorified by your grieving process. To see you love others well as a result of your own pain is really incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is beautifully written from the heart and needed by so many. Thank you for sharing such raw emotion in an effort to help others through the most difficult time(s) of their lives.

    ReplyDelete