When parents lose a child, sometimes the siblings feel left out or alone. Being a parent who has lost a child, I have to pay attention to this. There is so much preparations and calls that have to be made and adding grief, depression and anxiety to mix, well…it is easy to not realize that the other child or children have needs and are grieving also. Their grief is different than the parents and equally as important. They may even have their own guilt also. On personal experience, I have to remind myself I have other people who need me. I have to remind myself that I have another child, Jake and a step-son Dakota. I have to conscientiously think about taking time out for them. In my mission to continue Justin’s legacy, I get lost in it and forget everything else. I’m not the only one this has happened to. You yearn for what you don’t have and can’t physically touch anymore. Especially for younger children, it is important to set time out just for them. It is okay to talk about the child that is no longer here during this allotted time but making sure your focus is on the sibling(s) right in front of you. So in other words, set time for your grieving and set time for your other children. Trust me, it takes time to get there. You will hear me talking about counseling… A LOT, it really helps. There is also counseling specifically for children: Fernside Center www.fernside.org/.
What has helped you, as a parent, to support your living children in their grief?