Welcome to Hope for Grieving Mothers

If you are new to this club (that no one asked to join- the one where your child has died), it is best to start by going to the BOTTOM RIGHT and look at the "Pages" section. Under this section you will find resources for mothers who are grieving the loss of their child. Resources to help your children deal with grief are also grouped together.

Next, feel free to look at the "Blog Archives." There are many topics that you may have an interest in reading. As you girlies know, we now have Teflon brains and often cannot have the focus power that we have had in the past. Feel free to come here often and hopefully you will FEEL the loving support that me and other mamas are sending. Hopefully you will begin to see sparks of hope for your future...

Hugs... Pamela

Our living children and grief - Start Here if you are a Grieving Mama with living children

If you have living children, they will be forever changed by the death of their sibling.

There are so many factors that determine their response. I'll begin by stating this disclaimer-- after my son died I did not adequately meet my own living children's needs. I know now some of the things that I should have done. At the time I was clueless.

The first day after a funeral is over, I tell a mama that she has two tasks that must be completed.
First, she must get up, take a shower, and get dressed.
Second- She must get up and make her living children something to eat. Even if it is just a bowl of cereal. They need to see a sense of normalcy return and they need to see you take care of THEM. Other people have been in their house helping with the household. They have watched you fall apart and now ALL they know is that everything is going to be different from now on. It's frightening for them. They didn't just lose their sibling, they lost their security. Mom and dad are falling apart. Who is going to take care of them? Maybe they need to take care of their parent. These are some of the things that children commonly think. They may feel the need to take control of the household and make decisions because mama can't. Begin to use the words "redefine normal" with your children.

Know that as a parent to your LIVING children, it is my opinion that the MOST important thing you can do is teach your child HOW to grieve. Do not hide in the bedroom and grieve silently. TEACH them and TELL them that you are sad and tears are good. One day they will grieve over you when you die and they need to know that it's important to say "I'm sad!" And to be sad is fine. Their grief will look different so keep reading to the end.

Think of it this way. If any person that we loved died and we took a week or two off from work and then life goes back to normal.... THAT would be sad! I say, they DESERVE to be grieved. Don't short your child on grieving! Give them the full meal deal!!! BUT..... Do it in a healthy way and communicate this with your living children.

Children will possibly have a hard time focusing in school. This is normal. We ALSO have Teflon brains and can't focus because we are so distracted, so understand that this holds true for them as well.

They are now REALLY aware of their mortality. They WATCHED it happen. Death brings fear to many people when they reach this stage of their life. It is common for them to worry about their own health. Make an appointment with their pediatrician or family doctor to have a check up and reassure them. Do this for yourself as well.

These are just a few thoughts on children's grief. Read the following for a better overall explanation of how children grieve.

Brooke's Place, in Indianapolis, is an incredible support group and safe place for children who are grieving. Their website is filled with resources for you as a parent in understanding how your children will grieve differently than you. Www.brookesplace.org

"Children and adults grieve differently, but some adults are surprised to see just how different a child's grief looks. While adults are somber and may need to cry or talk, children often need to release physical energy by running or screaming or punching a pillow. While adults may have difficulty stopping the intense feelings of grief, children may be just the opposite. Children mourn in what has been called "grief bursts," where they express intense emotion--- sobbing, screaming, or hitting-- and 10 minutes later, they are laughing and playing with friends.

Adults often mistake children's laughter and play after a loss for not caring or feeling, or worse, for not having loved the person who died. This simply isn't true. Children "dose" their feelings of grief, letting in only what they can handle, a little at a time, until the complete reality seeps in. This process, in the best of circumstances, can take three or four years and persist through several developmental stages."
This is quoted from the "resources" section of the website at www.brookesplace.org

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