Talking with some grieving moms, I realized that many of them are afraid to heal, there is so much pain. I have identified 3 types of fear which impacts our ability to heal
The first fear is that they will lose memories of their child. If they experience joy and happiness, they fear that their child will be forgotten not only by others but by themselves. They swear on their child’s grave they will always be remembered.
I totally understand that feeling. However, there are ways to keep your child’s memory alive and have joy. One simple way is to create a memorial. You may create a memorial in your home with pictures and some favorite items of your loved one. A traditional memorial is having a headstone placed in a cemetery or at one of their favorite places to visit.
You can also share with friends and family that it is important to talk about your child. Let them know you appreciate them sharing stories of them. It can be healing to learn how much they were loved and respected by others than ourselves.
Another type of fear is that the healing will be so very painful that they don’t want to go through it. Sometimes they deny their child is gone, possibly just away to college, on vacation or at school. They aren’t able to recognize their child is gone. They are afraid if they do, they will never recover from a broken heart.
If I may put this type of pain into perspective. If you or someone you love has undergone surgery, it most probably was to fix some sort of pain in their body. The days, weeks and months leading up to surgery were full of agony and despair because of the expected pain and the recovery instead of focusing on the outcome, which was to not have any more pain. The same in your grief. Do the work to help yourself heal. You may not be totally pain free, but you will be able to live a full life.
The third fear with grief is outcome pain. This is where you put in the work to heal and tell yourself that you will never get over your loss. You anticipate the time and effort will make things worse.
The loss of a child is a pain no parent expects to endure. It is the deepest loss. It is the worst. So, if you put in the effort, the only place you can go is up. Things will get better.
I agree the pain and suffering is real. You have a choice in how you handle that pain. Conquer it and do it for your child. They know they are not forgotten. They know you will make it through this season. They know things will get better.