The loss of your child is possibly the most devastating and life-changing event you’ll face, but you don’t have to deal with this alone or unsupported
At the You Raise Me Up charity (YRMU) we offer emotional support to families who have sadly lost a child between the ages of 16 and 25. We have experienced counsellors who offer one to one or family counselling, working with you at your pace. We also offer group support at our Polegate Centre and you are welcome to join us.
Coping with life after the loss of a child can be incredibly difficult and whilst this is an intensely personal experience sadly you are not alone, we know how it feels, we understand and are here to help. Grief affects people in different ways and it’s important to know you have somewhere and someone to turn to, you and your family.
You may feel that the support of your family and friends is all you need at this time, but if or when you feel ready, you may want to talk to someone removed from your situation and at YRMU we offer confidential, non-judgmental and specialized support.
You may also feel you would benefit by talking to other parents who have been through similar experiences and by sharing your experiences or chatting to other parents, this shared insight and support can be helpful.
Grieving is a profoundly personal process and there is no ‘rightway’ to do it, but with help and support you can take those first steps – we’re here for you.
There are 5 stages of grief
The key to understanding these stages is not to feel like you must go through every stage or each stage in precise order, but instead, they offer guidance in the grieving process.
The first reaction to loss or bereavement of a cherished loved one is to deny the reality of the situation. It is a normal reaction to rationalise overwhelming emotions and a defence mechanism that buffers the immediate shock. This is a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain.
As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to wear, reality and its pain re-emerge. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or family or even our deceased loved one. Rationally, we know the person is not to be blamed. Emotionally, however, we may resent the person for causing us pain or for leaving us. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us more angry.
The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control
• If only we had sought medical attention sooner
• If only we got a second opinion from another doctor
• If only I was there, then this would not have happened
Depression is often associated with bereavement. A reaction to loss can be that we worry we have spent less time with others that depend on us, and this can bring anxiety, which can lead to depression.
Reaching this stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. Death may be sudden and unexpected or we may never see beyond our anger or denial. It is not necessarily a mark of bravery to resist the inevitable and to deny ourselves the opportunity to make peace with our feelings and our grief.