Am I Grieving Normally?
Bereaved parents often ask three questions when working through grief:
"Am I normal?"
"Am I crazy?"
"Will I ever get over this?"
Maybe a better question is whether your grief is healthy.
The following checklist may help bereaved parents figure out how they are doing. As time goes on, parents will find that their answers change.
It should be noted that if:
1. You are not comfortable with how you are feeling,
2. If you feel that "maybe" you should seek help,
3. If you are suicidal,
4. Or if family and friends make the suggestion,
You need to consider seeking professional help! Remember, if your tooth hurt you would go to the dentist, so why shouldn't you go to a therapist or counselor when your emotions hurt. By doing so, you may find that many of your strangest emotions and thoughts actually are quite normal. Even parents who grieve in a healthy manner can be overwhelmed by their grief; there is nothing wrong with seeking help. It's a sense of great relief when the professional tell you "that's normal."
Call you Dr., Midwife, Infant Loss Organization, Clergy, etc. for a list of "Grief Counselors" in your area. Remember that there is no right way to grieve, but if you or others are concerned, seek help.
Check all of the statements below that apply to you.
-I am able to laugh without feeling guilty?
-I pay attention to my personal appearance? (Hair, clothing, makeup, etc.)
-I enjoy being out with friends for the evening?
-I am able to sit quietly, by myself, and think of things other than the death of my baby?
-I take an interest in current events and the news? (Television, radio, news, and/or newspaper)
-I am able to keep current with finances? (Paying bills, balancing the checkbook, etc.)
-I feel I can effectively parent my surviving children?
-I am able to do the daily tasks I'm used to performing without being reminded? (Yard work, house work, cooking, cleaning, etc.)
-I forward to outings, trips and special events?
-I am involved in activities that I participated in before the death? (Church work, volunteering, clubs, sports, etc.)
-I can talk about my baby without showing strong emotions? (Sadness, anger, jealousy)
-I can talk about my baby without crying?
-I feel like the fog has lifted?
-I pay attention to my surroundings? (Beautiful scenery, the taste of food, the smell of perfume)
-I am able to get a good night's sleep and awaken feeling rested without medication?
-I am bale to concentrate on work and conversations?
-I am less forgetful and better able to think clearly?
-I can recall past events?
-I feel stronger and more in control? (Less like an open wound, better able to cope with other's comments, better able to cope with everyday crises)
-I feel that there is meaning to my life?
-I can look back at what happened and feel that something good came out of the tragedy?
-I can look back and smile or have pleasant thoughts about my pregnancy and/or baby?