A significant loss can trigger a host of worries and fears. You may feel anxious, helpless, or insecure. You may even have panic attacks. The death of a loved one can trigger fears about your own mortality, of facing life without that person, or the responsibilities you now face alone. We often think of grief as a strictly emotional process, but grief often involves physical problems, including:. The pain of grief can often cause you to want to withdraw from others and retreat into your shell.
But having the face-to-face support of other people is vital to healing from loss. Comfort can also come from just being around others who care about you. The key is not to isolate yourself. Turn to friends and family members. Now is the time to lean on the people who care about you, even if you take pride in being strong and self-sufficient. They may feel unsure about how to comfort you and end up saying or doing the wrong things.
Draw comfort from your faith.
Dealing with grief after the death of your baby | March of Dimes
If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you—such as praying, meditating, or going to church—can offer solace. Join a support group. Grief can feel very lonely, even when you have loved ones around.
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Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. To find a bereavement support group in your area, contact local hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and counseling centers, or see the Resources section below. Talk to a therapist or grief counselor. If your grief feels like too much to bear, find a mental health professional with experience in grief counseling.
An experienced therapist can help you work through intense emotions and overcome obstacles to your grieving. As well as allowing you to impart practical information, such as funeral plans, these pages allow friends and loved ones to post their own tributes or condolences.
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Reading such messages can often provide comfort for those grieving the loss. Of course, posting sensitive content on social media has its risks. Memorial pages are often open to anyone with a Facebook account. This may encourage people who hardly knew the deceased to post well-meaning but inappropriate comments or advice. Worse, memorial pages can also attract Internet trolls.
There have been many well-publicized cases of strangers posting cruel or abusive messages on memorial pages. To gain some protection, you can opt to create a closed group on Facebook rather than a public page, which means people have to be approved by a group member before they can access the memorial.
The stress of a major loss can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time. Face your feelings. In order to heal, you have to acknowledge the pain. Trying to avoid feelings of sadness and loss only prolongs the grieving process. Unresolved grief can also lead to complications such as depression, anxiety , substance abuse, and health problems. Express your feelings in a tangible or creative way.
Write about your loss in a journal. Try to maintain your hobbies and interests. Look after your physical health. Regular talk therapy with a grief counselor or therapist can help people learn to accept a death and, in time, start a new life. There are also support groups where grieving people help each other. These groups can be specialized—parents who have lost children or people who have lost spouses , for example—or they can be for anyone learning to manage grief. Check with religious groups, local hospitals, nursing homes, funeral homes, or your doctor to find support groups in your area.
An essential part of hospice is providing grief counseling to the family of someone who was under their care. You can also ask hospice workers for bereavement support at this time, even if hospice was not used before the death. Remember to take good care of yourself. You might know that grief affects how you feel emotionally, but you may not realize that it can also have physical effects. The stress of the death and your grief could even make you sick. Eat well , exercise , get enough sleep , and get back to doing things you used to enjoy , like going to the movies, walking , or reading.
Accept offers of help or companionship from friends and family. Remember that your children are grieving, too. It will take time for the whole family to adjust to life without your spouse. You may find that your relationship with your children and their relationships with each other have changed. Open, honest communication is important.
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In the beginning, you may find that taking care of details and keeping busy helps. For a while, family and friends may be around to assist you. But, there comes a time when you will have to face the change in your life. Men and women share many of the same feelings when a spouse dies. Both may deal with the pain of loss, and both may worry about the future. But, there also can be differences. Many married couples divide up their household tasks. One person may pay bills and handle car repairs. The other person may cook meals and mow the lawn. Splitting up jobs often works well until there is only one person who has to do it all.
Learning to manage new tasks—from chores to household repairs to finances—takes time, but it can be done. Being alone can increase concerns about safety. If you need help, ask your family or friends. Keep in mind the following 10 things: Anxiety is normal. If it helps, think of the anxiety as a manifestation of your love for your baby.
Focus on the present moment. What you have right now, this living child inside of you, is a gift. Nothing can change that. You might find that your sense of gratitude is as strong as your fear, so pour your energy into being grateful for this reality, rather than pouring it into a future that will always be uncertain. Find people who you can talk to. Feel whatever you feel.
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With our most intense emotions, we wish we could turn them off, or change them. Ask people to pray. Ask your priest for a special blessing, or bless yourself with holy water, if you find that it brings you peace. Ask your miscarried child to pray for you , and to pray for the new baby. He or she is home. Everyone has a job in Heaven, and the baby that was lost is still a part of your family. Offer up all of your fear to Jesus. We can offer up more than our physical suffering, and the mental anguish that comes with knowing that another miscarriage is possible is a profound source of pain.
In the end, worrying about your children is just part of motherhood. Read more:. Since you are here…. Become an Aleteia Patron Today. Top 10 For Her.