– Parents grieve differently. Following a child’s death, a father’s emotions are aroused as strongly as the mother’s, but the experience and expression of these emotions vary greatly. It’s important that parents recognize these complexities of grief and refrain from becoming critical and judgmental of each other. Each has lost a child. Each must be gentle…compassionate…patient.
– It’s important to be sensitive to the needs of the remaining children in the household. It’s common to think that children are unable to realize the significance of death. That’s not true. Children are profoundly touched by the loss of a sibling and need help in understanding their inner conflict and confusion. Life has changed for them, too, and it’s imperative that they are helped to sort through and understand their own grief.
– Common among parents is the overwhelming sense that the pain from their child’s death will last forever. However, inherent in the human spirit is the capacity for hope. Life will surely never be the same, but the healing and growth that can take place in those left behind – in the survivors – offer a new perspective in a world that is very different. They offer hope, and living a life filled with hope will surely honor the life of the child who died.