Going Beyond Surviving
-Know you can survive. You may not think so, but you can.
-Struggle with "why" it happened until you no longer need to know "why," or until you are satisfied with the answers you receive.
-Know you may feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your feelings.
-Anger, guilt, confusion, forgetfulness are common responses to grief. You are not crazy-you are in mourning!
-Be aware you may fell appropriate anger at a person, at the world, at God, and at yourself.
-You may feel guilty for what you think you did or did not do.
-Having a feeling of wanting to be someplace else, but not sure where that someplace else is, is normal. (This is not a suicidal thought! Suicidal thoughts should be addresses with your doctor immediately.)
-Remember to take one moment at a time. Sometimes taking one day at a time is too much.
-Find a good listener that you feel comfortable sharing your feelings (both rational & irrational).
-Don't be afraid to cry. Tears are healing.
-Give yourself permission and the time "you" need to heal. This is not going to go away in a week or a year.
-Expect setbacks. Don't panic if emotions return like a tidal wave. It is not an uphill battle; there are sharp drop-offs along the way. Be aware that those canyons are there.
-Try to put off major decisions.
-Give yourself permission to seek professional help. It's a sign of courage not failure. If you broke your leg and didn't seek professional attention would that make sense?
-Be aware of the pain of your family and friends.
-Be patient with yourself and with others who may not understand.
-Set your own limits and learn to say no.
-Steer clear of people who want to tell you what or how to feel.
-Attend a support group so you are with others who understand the feelings.
-Call your personal faith to help you through.
-Be aware of the physical reactions of grief.
-Allow yourself to have moments of happiness, to smile and to laugh.
-Know that you will never be the same, if your child was alive your life would be different, why should it be any different when that same child dies.
-You can survive and go beyond just existing.