Grief & Bereavement presentation at Akron Children's Hospital, October 2011. Very good slides of a parent speaker, who shared unhelpful comments and some helpful interventions dealing with the grief of losing a child.
Not Helpful/Hurtful Comments He’s in a better place & happy God needed an angel Was he your only child? -- This offended me at first but now I know what they meant, I am thankful that I have other children to focus on, BUT it does not ease the burden of my loss At least you had him for 15 years….REALLY??? Looks like you are doing ok and back to normal….REALLY???
Difficult Situations His friend’s birthdays Looking where he should be sitting at in church Taking my other kids to trips he would have been on Having dinner at our table with a missing plate All holidays… Not wanting to “offend” or make people feel uneasy by mentioning his name, but also not wanting people to forget As this year approaches and all his friends are getting their senior pictures done; Knowing I won’t get to do that and will have to endure parties that he won’t be at
Helpful Interventions Music…Mitchell loved music, and I find myself comforted by uplifting, spiritual music that lets me know all is o.k. Butterflies: Mitchell’s last year at middle school we went on a field trip and he said if he was reincarnated (and we did not know he was sick) he would come back as a butterfly…. Just speaking to him whether it be in my car, at home, church I don’t feel I have to be at the grave sight to speak to him- in fact that makes it more difficult
Helpful Interventions Mitchell’s friends remembering and not being afraid to talk to me The parent support group Spiritual belief: At first I blamed God, then myself, now I understand that God does what is best for that person, not what YOU think he should do for YOU- It was MITCH we ask God to do what was best for, not us…