From one of the ladies in my support group at Sids and Kids QLD:
New Year's Resolutions for Bereaved Parents.
• That I will grieve as much and for as long as I feel like grieving,
and that I will not let others put a time table on my grief. • That I
will grieve in whatever way I feel like grieving, and I will ignore
those who try to tell me what I should or should not be feeling and how I
should or should not be behaving.
• That I will cry whenever and wherever I feel like crying, and that
I will not hold back my tears just because someone else feels I should
be "brave" or "getting better" or "healing by now." • That I will
talk about my child as often as I want to, and that I will not let
others turn me off just because they can't deal with their own feelings.
• That I will not expect family and friends to know how I feel,
understanding that one who has not lost a child cannot possibly know how
I feel. • That I will not blame myself for my child's death, and I
will constantly remind myself that I did the best job of parenting I
could possibly have done. But when feelings of guilt are overwhelming, I
will remind myself that this is a normal part of the grief process and
it will pass. • That I will not be afraid or ashamed to seek professional help if I feel it is necessary.
• That I will commune with my child at least once a day in whatever way
feels comfortable and natural to me, and that I won't feel compelled to
explain this communion to others or to justify or even discuss it with
them. • I will keep the truth in my heart--the truth that my child is always with me in spirit.
• That I will try to eat, sleep, and exercise every day in order to
give my body strength it will need to help me cope with my grief. •
To know that I am not losing my mind and I will remind myself that loss
of memory, feelings of disorientation, lack of energy, and a sense of
vulnerability are all a normal part of the grief process. • To know that I will heal, even though it will take a long time. • To let myself heal and not feel guilty about not feeling better sooner.
• To remind myself that the grief process is circuitous--that is, I
will not make steady upward progress. And when I find myself slipping
back into the old moods of despair and depression, I will tell myself
that "slipping backward" is also a normal part of the mourning process,
and that these moods, too, will pass. • To try to be happy about
something for some part of every day, knowing that at first, I may have
to force myself to think cheerful thoughts so eventually they can become
a habit. • That I will reach out at times and try to help someone
else, knowing that helping others will help me to get over my
depression. • That even though my child is dead, I will opt for life, knowing that is what my child would want me to do.
Ausmerican Housewife - Creating with Kara Davies