17 Nov Celebrating the Life of a child that Died
When a couple loses a child, it’s not unusual for each partner to grieve differently. The pain often makes it hard for them to stay together so I researched to find what some have done to help maintain the relationship. One couple came up with a system they instituted immediately after losing their daughter. They set up a candle with her photo on a table. If one or the other was having a more difficult day, he or she would light it. That was the signal to give the needier partner space. They reported that at first the candle was lit continually. In time, it became the cue to be extra supportive.
Some have found creative ways of coping. Counselors suggest that since holidays are painful, bereaved parents plan in advance to give themselves control of the day. I read about a couple who honor their daughter by organizing an annual stuffed animal drive on the anniversary of her death. They deliver the animals to the hospital that had cared for the child. Another has a religious ceremony and yet another asks friends and family to join them in doing acts of kindness.
Despite the tragic loss of a son, one mother has managed to see herself as blessed. “I have met people I never would have met if I hadn’t lost him,” she says. “You don’t know how wonderful people can be. People who didn’t even know him came out of the woodwork to comfort us after he died.” Shortly after the death, some co-workers asked the mother for a photo of her son.
“Later they gave me a necklace with his picture and the words ‘Forever Remembered’ engraved on it,” she recalls. “I wore that necklace every day for four years.”
Knowing how important photos are to the healing process, I developed a way of including them on urns, commissioned on my website, www.personalized-urns.com.