In the beginning, I felt lost. Life felt surreal and I moved from one thing to the next, without direction, without purpose. Never in my worst nightmare had I ever dreamt I would be planning a funeral for my child. It is not something we put into the day’s task list – “Go shopping. Get gas. Plan to bury my son.” Yet here we are – having to do the unthinkable. I was in a haze of disbelief. How could this be happening to me? I do not believe this is real. I pray I wake from this nightmare soon…. But I never awaken. This is my life now. How in the world am I going to survive this? It feels so huge and so overwhelming and so unnatural, you really do not believe you will survive. Let me be the first to tell you, you will survive. It might feel like you will not, but you will. I know it sounds like one of those stupid clichés. You say, “Of course I’ll survive. What else can I do?” There may be times, though, when you question not only your sanity, but your ability to endure the pain. You may feel it would just be easier to join your child, and if this feeling begins to consume you, get help! For me that meant calling a friend, getting online to chat with my grief support group or talking with others who have experienced loss. For you it might mean something else. Most bereaved parents do think about joining their child at least once during this journey, sometimes more. Again, if this becomes a consuming thought or you start to plan this out, please get help.
At some point, someone will recommend antidepressants for you. Be very careful with this. Antidepressants numb the pain so you do not feel it as much. The whole point of this journey is to feel the grief, not to get rid of it. There is no “getting rid” of it. That is not how this works. Medications, as well meaning as they are, can delay the pain, but at some point, you will need to deal with it. Many feel after taking medications, the pain is much worse. There are other ways to learn to deal with this “new normal.” Please look at all options. If you need assistance with this, contact me and we can look at all angles.