Before you can learn to get back to some sort of normal, you do need to grieve well. I’m still learning about the grieving process because, well, I’m still grieving. But from what I understand about grief, it’s like an overbearing mother-in-law: you won’t be happier by ignoring it. The same with grief. You must grieve. Here are a few things that I did to cope:
1. Write down what happened. This one may come with lots of tears, but try to remember something good about your child first. What was his favorite thing to do? Smile through the tears because tears are healing. I smiled when I wrote about how Hadassah curled her fingers around mine.
2. Scrapbook. Even if all you do is slap glue on a picture and attach it to a pretty page, you will enjoy the memories when you really need to see your baby’s face again.
3. Lean on others. You may be a loner by nature, but don’t alone it through this time. Others may want to help; so don’t push them away. Let them cook, clean, and babysit for you. Cry on someone’s shoulder. Talk through how you’re doing. Then, set time frames for others to give yourself the alone time you need. We had family stay at friends’ houses for Hadassah’s funeral so that we could have some space at night.
4. Take time off. If you can, take off enough time off from work to grieve well. How do you know when to go back? If you’re still crying every day or tearing up at every sympathetic nod, you may want to stay at home for now.
5. Pray. You can only do this step if you know Christ as your Savior, but trust me, you need God during this time. Don’t leave Him out of the mix. If you don’t know Him, seek Him. Put your whole trust in Him.
Remember that grief is your friend. It’s how we remember our loved ones. Give yourself the time, and you may one day be able to help someone else through their grief.
P.S. In case you were wondering, I love my mother-in-law. She is not overbearing.
by Sarah George