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When Nothing Feels Right
Written by Clara Hinton   |  Aug 28, 2001
We live in a fast-paced society that puts endless demands on us to change and adapt to new things everyday of our lives. Unfortunately, fast changes are expected in the area of grief, too.

When a child dies, nothing feels right for a long time. In fact, nothing will ever feel totally right again. Home life changes forever. School memories are different. Even sitting in church has a lonely, knot-in-the-stomach feeling. Every emotion is bitterly tainted by the anguished feelings of missing the child who has died.

For months following the death of a child, the most routine activities feel all wrong. Eating meals, grocery shopping, and even watching television feel all wrong with your little one missing. The feelings of grief run deep and last for a long, long time. Smells, sights, and sounds can trigger feelings of deep emotion and cause endless tears to flow as our hearts ache for the one who has left this earth far too soon.

Because we are expected to easily adapt to change, often feelings of guilt overwhelm parents when they canít get feeling "right". For others, life has moved on. People around us continue to complain about the high cost of living. Parents fuss about how many demands their children put on their time. We see parents become short tempered with their children. And we are left feeling deep grief over the loss of our child. We want to shout to the world, "Youíre all wrong! You should be happy to have your child. Iíd give anything to have my child back with me!".

Probably the greatest burden placed on parents following a childís death is the expectation for them to move right back into the mainstream of living. Grief doesnít allow us to function that way! It canít! Grief is hard work and taxes every bit of your mental, physical, and spiritual energy. When a child dies, the world is turned upside down and will never look the same again.

We need to give ourselves the precious gift of time to grieve the loss of a child. The time needed to grieve will be uniquely different for every parent. Some will need six months before being able to even walk into the childís bedroom. Others will need a year just to be able to get through a meal without crying. Grief is extremely individual and cannot be rushed.

There are two very important things to remember in this journey of grief. Always remind yourself that no matter how fast life moves, a broken heart takes time to work through the emotions such as guilt, anger, depression, jealousy, and brokenness of spirit. Be gentle with yourself. Donít place extra demands on yourself as you walk the difficult path of grief.

Secondly, remind yourself often that, even though nothing feels right today, there will be a day when you will feel joy again. You will not always be consumed with the fact that your child died. There will be a day when your heart will feel softened as your remember with fondness that your precious child lived!
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