My journey of Sadness to Sunshine and how you can get there too!
Maybe you don’t recognise your life or any of the relationships in it, you may feel utterly alone confused and lost at sea. Just after the funeral, your home may have been full of people but maybe no-one comes to visit anymore, so life can seem foreign and lonely. After twelve months, it may still feel as if everything happened yesterday, or it may feel like it all happened a lifetime ago. These are some of the feelings you might have when you are coping with grief longer-term.
In the early stages, you may be caught up in a whirlwind of things that you need to do and sort out, or you may feel shocked and numb. After several months, the initial support you had from friends and family may start to fade. At the same time, as people start to provide less support, you may find you start to feel less numb. Only as these things happen can you start to experience how different your life is without your child and start to fully grieve for that loss.
As time passes, the balance between good days and bad shifts and gradually you will find you have more good days and fewer bad ones. These changes are usually gradual, and each person is different, so the balance for you may not be the same as someone else after the same length of time, but using the techniques I share with my clients I can help you deal with what thoughts and emotions come up for you around your loss and help you move forward so you have more good days than bad, and build stronger connections with those still physically in your life.
After about two years you are likely to know the places, events and occasions that trigger your emotions. As you start to know these, you will also learn what helps you to cope with them. Having a tool like EAM can be invaluable as you can release any negative thoughts and emotions that come up for you around these, release any resistances and manifest positive thoughts and feelings in relation to these places and events.
After a while people around you, family, friends and colleagues at work, may forget what you have been through or may encourage you to ‘move on’. You yourself may even feel that you ought to have moved on, but the goal is not to move on, your grief is not something that can or should be ‘fixed’. The goal is to find a way to live with your thoughts and feelings, and this is what I can assist you to do, by using EAM, and the 4 C’s of Sadness to Sunshine. You should eventually come to a point where your thoughts, feelings and memories about your child are only ever positive ones and provide you with a source of comfort.
You might find that you aren’t able to grieve at first, because you have other caring responsibilities, such as if you have other children or perhaps an elderly relative that you need to look after, so your initial focus may be on supporting them. Your own feelings of grief might be delayed, or you may just try and ‘be strong’ for others, or to protect yourself from the unbearable pain. So it may be some time later when it feels real that your child is gone forever and you are able to make space for your own sense of grief and feel okay to deal with the thoughts and feelings that are coming up around your loss. By dealing with these you can then look to create a new future, so it is important to release all resistant thoughts, feelings or painful memories and replace them with more positive thoughts, emotions and happy memories.
An overview of my 4 C’s Solution to help you heal from your Loss
There is a way forward and I want to help empower people, to transform the way they feel about their loss, and how they deal with the thoughts and emotions that arise as they move through the grieving process. The first step I believe, is to take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
If the death of your child was fairly recent, you may feel tired much of the time with less energy than usual and have trouble functioning to do even basic tasks. Your diet may be poor or inadequate because you can't face going out to the shops or maybe just eating food in general or you may be eating too much of the wrong things. You are also likely to be getting less sleep, either waking in the night or having difficulty getting to sleep in the first place.
You may not get out of the house as frequently as you used to. Your friends might not visit as regularly as maybe they don`t know what to say or do. All of this may mean that you feel isolated. You might also feel anxious, depressed or emotionally distressed at the loss of your child, but feelings of hopelessness and helplessness must not persist long term for your own health.
Also, you may not be able to get certain thoughts out of your head, both conscious and unconscious thoughts may be affecting your mental state.
Your health should be your number one priority! If you do not start looking after yourself this can lead to more serious issues in the future. The technique I work with can help you deal with your thoughts, feelings and connection to others.
You might have felt like you lost connection with yourself and your life when you lost connection with your child. You will never lose the connection in your heart with your child, but, I believe you do need to disconnect from painful memories related to the loss of your child. I now have a technique where these painful memories can be released and transformed, to align you with beautiful memories of your child and the positive times you had with them.
You may be experiencing a loss of connection with your religious or spiritual beliefs after the death of your child or you may have found a connection that you didn't have before.
Some parents may feel, that they will never be able to move forward with their lives or feel connected with anything or anyone again, but it is possible! I’m sure, you still have someone in your life that you would like to be connected to; another child, partner, mother/father or other close relative or friend. Also, you may feel that ‘moving on’ and building other connections, in some way is disloyal to the connection with your child, but if they were still on this earth, you would split your connection time between your child and others, so why would you not do this, just because they are physically not here?
Communication is vital, particularly between you and your partner as you have both lost a child. But, you may be experiencing very different thoughts, feelings and emotions - and for a variety of reasons. You may be reacting to your child’s death very differently to each other. Stereotyping slightly, men often feel they must be the strong one and maybe return to work shortly after, as they feel they need to support the family, but issues can arise from this, such as the mother feeling like the father doesn't care, as they appear to be carrying on like ‘normal’.
It is important that you communicate with your partner, other children you have, siblings, parents and other close friends and family members, sharing your thoughts, feelings and emotions with them can really empower your relationships.
Who have you got in your life that it's worth moving forward for? Not least of all YOU!
It’s so important that you create a new vision and find a new path. You need to recognise that life is different now and be able to see a way forward so you can create a new ‘normal’. I was young and a tragedy had occurred, but if I did not move forward another tragedy would have occurred. My parents would have lost their child, as well as their grandchild. I know there is a way forward, so I invite you to ask yourself:
Who have you got in your life that it's worth moving forward for?
What have you got to be thankful for?
What have you got to work towards?
You can create a new future for you and those around you and whilst you might not think this is possible, I believe it is - so I will hold this vision for you, for now.