15 Nov Losing a Child
“My daughter was born dead last week,” a young woman told me after finding my website, www.personalized-urns.com, where I am commissioned to create an artistic urn with photos. I worked around the clock to make sure she would receive the urn before Mother’s Day, knowing it would give her a chance to have a way of saying “goodbye” and “I love you” (I’d suggested she put her feelings on paper and insert them into the urn with her daughter’s cremains).
Around 53,000 children die each year in the United States, according to the National Center for Child Death Review Policy and Practice. Author and grief counselor Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D makes the point that it’s common for bereaved parents to experience a state of numbness when their child dies, which he sees as giving them time to catch up emotionally with the reality of the tragedy.
The weeks and months after the funeral may be most difficult for bereaved parents. Finding a counselor and connecting with others who’ve gone through the same thing can be helpful. It’s not unusual for a mother and father to deal differently with their grief. Women tend to get more support while men have been socialized not to cry.
Dr. Wolfert’s advice is: “Nurture yourself. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals. Lighten your schedule as much as possible. Being surrounded by loved ones — close friends and family – is likely to be useful in the early days after a child’s death. Professionals recommend talking about the child, going through photo albums and reminiscing. After losing my loved ones, I’d discovered that I felt better when I looked at photos, remembering the happy moments they’d had. That’s what inspired me to include photos in the pique assiette mosaic so an urn would have therapeutic value.