Coping with Loss/Coping with pain

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Question
My daughter, Kennedy, died about 18 weeks ago. She was 10 years old. Our family is slowly recovering and returning to normal. We're all still going to therapy and its helped a little, but I can't take the pain. I'm not suicidal at all. I have many reasons to continue living including my husband and two other children. But I am in agony. I don't expect to ever be the same, but I do want to start to feel better. I can't focus at work, I cry all the time, I can't eat much, and I just don't want to talk to anyone hardly. I just want the pain to start going away. I can't take it anymore. Do you have any ideas?

Answer
Dear Emily:

As I read about your sadness and what you're going through I can barely see the screen for the tears.   It is, indeed, good news to hear that your family is recovering and that you're in therapy.

I'm wondering if you have tried a support group.  They say, "no one knows the pain a mother suffers when she loses a child except another mother who has suffered the same."  I believe that with all my heart.  I gave birth to a still born son many years ago and everyone acted as though I should have not felt any pain but, believe me, my heart was broken.  And it was not a passing thing that disappeared when I left the hospital as people thought.  Forty two years later he is still in my mind and heart and I never forget his birthday.    I don't cry but I think I will always grieve in my own way; a child is a part of a mother and it's not that easy to just say goodbye and leave it at that as some people think.  I don't think that God wants us to ever forget them; after all, we live on through the people who  love us.  

In no way am  I trying to compare my pain to yours for I never saw my little one laugh, cry or felt the love of him climbing up on my lap and putting his little arms around my neck as you experienced with your little girl.  You're having a harder time recovering than others because she is such a big part of you; part of your flesh.  It is understandable that such love does not just cease or fade so easily.   You're a true mother with true compassion and I admire your strength to endure this.  Loving your daughter made a seal on your heart before she was even born and such an imprint does not fade out.    Attending a support for grieving mothers would possibly benefit you and I've heard nothing but positive things about them.

I had to endure the sudden and violent death of a son in law, who was like a son to me and seven years later I still burn a white candle on the anniversary of his death and his birthday and Christmas and I always shed tears at the thought of him.  I always put a memorial on my social profiles and I always end it with 'we're not through missing you yet'.  These things do nothing for him, I'm sure, but they're comforting to me because I loved him and miss him so much and I think he deserves to be remembered.  Emily, anything you can do that you find comforting to yourself, please do it.  Your daughter is resting in the arms of God and is feeling no pain today and she knows you love her; I don't think she would want you to suffer the way you are doing.

Please try a support group and I'd love to hear from you if this is of any help to you.  I've heard people say that a support group was the greatest help and relief  that could have happened to them.  I wish you the best and I feel confident that your quality of life will improve because you have the strength to make it do so.  God bless you and your little girl.

Coping with Loss

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Joanne Flint

Expertise

Dealing with the death of close family members and loss of a friend. Dealing with betrayal; how to accept it, deal with it and move on.

Experience

I lost my parents, who died less than eight months apart and a newborn son three months following the death of my mother. A year following this, my brother died suddenly and a 19 year old cousin was crushed to death in a car accident on his birthday. Now I am facing the impending death of a very good friend. I have also dealt with the death of a husband. I have found that talking with people with similiar experiences has helped me and I have been told that it has also helped them greatly.

Education/Credentials
A licensed nurse for twenty four years with several years working on a Psych ward as well as being the Executive Director and Director of Nursing Services for a Group Home for mentally ill and mentally retarded.

Awards and Honors
Awarded top clinical and top academic grade at my nursing graduation. Also was a member of the English Honors' Class while attending a local college.

Past/Present Clients
I don't share information about people with whom I talk, unless given permission. I am not a doctor, but I have given insight and hope to people just like myself.

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