This last week in September marks the completion of the first full month of Transitions Kids, specialized hospice services supporting terminally ill children and teens and their families. For many parents, the death of a child feels almost impossible to even think about, let alone experience.
Because losing a child is a unique experience, we decided to ask others who are living through that experience to share their thoughts through this blog. We invited several parents to share with our community what they would like others to understand about grief after losing a child. Over the next few days, we will post daily their responses to the following questions:
- Based on your experience of grief, what would you like the general public to understand about the loss of a child?
- What would you say to a parent just beginning this grief journey? What would you want them to know?
- What has helped you to cope with this loss? What is something that somebody did for you or said to you that has been helpful?
In addition to responses to those questions, we will also share one parent’s suggestions on “dos and don’ts” when supporting grieving parents (Thursday’s post). The week will close with a guest post by one of our own hospice volunteers, who will share her own story of grief following the death of her daughter (Friday’s post).
Each of these parents will share their own thoughts, in their own words, with the hope that they can help someone else. Although there is no “one size fits all” way to grieve, or way to support others who grieve, the insights that these parents offer may also help you along your own journey.
Perhaps you are a parent caring for an ill child. Perhaps you are grieving the loss of a child. Perhaps you are trying to support parents you know who are grieving. Whatever brings you here, please remember that there is support available (through Transitions GriefCare and other sources), and that you are not alone. In the words of Amy, one of our contributors, “Strengthening my connections… has helped me achieve places of calm in chaos. You showed me I am not alone. And so the calm grows.”