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Where Are My Friends?
Written by Clara Hinton   |  Oct 17, 2001
Grief of any kind is difficult and most assuredly attacks the mood of the person involved. When a person is attempting to cope with the grief of child loss, very apparent changes take place almost immediately. The grief from losing a child will affect a person spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially. No area of life will be left untouched. Child loss invades the normal routine of living and abruptly turns everything upside down.

One of the very first feelings that surfaces from child loss is that of being alone. There are feelings of isolation, loneliness, and discouragement. Because a new arena of living has been entered, there is often the feeling that nobody else has ever felt like you, and nobody can ever understand what you are going through. These feelings of being so alone lead the grieving parent to ask over and over again the question, “Where are my friends?”

Prior to child loss, life was busy with all the things that occupy any life – working, running errands, and spending fun times with friends. When a child dies, there is a temporary loss of feeling for everything, and often there is not even enough energy to get out of bed in the morning, get dressed, and get something to eat. It doesn’t take too long for friends to understand that grief has affected the friendship once enjoyed, and there is a pulling away, creating a greater sense of abandonment to the parent who has lost his child.

As friends see differences in behavior following the loss of a child, they often feel like there is no longer a shared common ground, and the friendship grows distant and weak. Often, friends will stop asking you to visit their home for casual get-togethers. There is a lack of conversation, and the friendship that was once so lively and warm grows cold.

The best gift that can be given during child loss is a friend who sticks by the side of the grieving one! A friend can provide encouragement by simply letting the parents and family of the child who has died know that someone is still there who cares.

Because there might be mood swings, outbursts of tears or anger, depression, or what seems to be to others unusual behavior, friends often pull away, not knowing how to respond to all of these changes brought about by child loss. Friends will often do what’s easiest – stay away. Parents are left asking the most painful question of all, “Where are my friends? I thought I had so many, and now I can’t even find one.” (Silent Grief, page 55)

All parents in grief need is one friend to help see them through the difficult moments of child loss. When that one friend cannot be found, there are ways to receive the comfort and encouragement that is needed. Fill your mind constantly with healing thoughts. Read encouraging stories of parents who survived child loss. Read from the Psalms, as well as other hopeful Scriptures. Use prayer as a means of talking, reminding you that you are not alone.

As difficult as it might be, tell yourself often that your friends are still there. They just don’t know how to respond to your pain, and they are feeling very real grief from the loss of your child, too. As you continue to fill your mind with hopeful thoughts, you will find that you have friends entering your life again helping you to walk on in your difficult journey of grief.
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