Dealing with the death of a child is one of the most challenging journeys a person may make. Whether it is a son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter, or even a sibling, the death of a child leaves a wound that is difficult to heal.
Each year, almost 60,000 children under the age of 19 passes away from a variety of causes from cancer to car accidents. The stress from these losses can cause depression, physical health issues, and marital issues. It is natural for those who are suffering to place blame, whether it be on the medical care, another person or even themselves. While everyone’s journey will be a bit different, there are some steps that can be taken to help you through the pain.
- Seek out a support group. There are plenty of support groups nationally, regionally, and even locally to offer comfort, compassion, and understanding. The Compassionate Friends – Cincinnati Chapter is the local chapter of a national self-help organization that offers friendship and understanding to bereaved parents, grandparents, and adult siblings. The group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm at St. Timothy Episcopal Church at 8101 Beechmont Avenue in Cincinnati, OH. For more information, you can call Carol Terbrueggen at (513) 271-6809. There are also message boards and online groups designed for those who have lost a child.
- Consider family therapy. The death of a child can have a significant impact on family dynamics. While each member will deal with the death differently, each is likely to benefit from family therapy. A trained family therapist can often help a family through this time of profound sadness.
- Keep track of your feelings in a journal. Many find it helpful to write down how they are feeling in a daily journal. Some find at least some comfort in taking the thoughts that are constantly popping up in their minds and putting them down on paper.
- Stay involved in familiar activities. It can be tempting to withdraw from family, friends, and activities upon losing a child, but you should try to stay involved with the things you previously engaged in. Staying involved in familiar activities can help relieve some of the pressure and help bring about a sense of stability in what may seem like an unstable situation.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about your child…if you want to. If you want to talk about your child, do so. There is no reason to not share your thoughts as long as you are comfortable in doing so. It can be particularly healing if you have a close friend to share your thoughts with.
The Important Role of a Funeral Director
Choosing the right funeral home is particularly important when the death of a child is involved. A caring, compassionate professional can help guide a family through this emotionally charged time and assist in arranging an appropriate service. In some cases, a child’s funeral can draw a large group of friends and classmates and arrangement for larger groups must be made. A funeral home can also be a valuable resource to disseminate information about services, taking that burden from family members.
At Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory, our family’s very first assisted funeral was with that of a child in 1878. To this day, we offer personal service and if you prefer, we will travel to your home to make arrangements. Planning the funeral of a child is an emotionally challenging time and we are honored when called upon to serve the families of Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky area.