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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    What are some strategies for coping with the loss of a child in a marriage?

    Yours is a tale unparalleled, so heartbreaking it seems no one else could possibly fathom the depths of your despair. Your life has been forever changed by the sudden, inexplicable death of your beloved child. Now the light of your world has gone and you struggle to put the pieces of your life back together, unsure of where or how to begin.

    Having gone through such an unimaginable loss, your marriage may suffer a heavy blow as well. It can be difficult for a marriage to survive such a tragedy and if not nurtured, couples may find themselves drifting further and further apart from one another. In order to try and heal your marriage while also dealing with your personal grief, there are certain steps you can take. While your journey may still be filled with much sorrow, hopefully the following strategies will help aid you through the healing process.

    First, communicate openly with your spouse. This can be one of the most difficult things to do as emotions tend to be so raw and vulnerable at this time. However, it is vital that your spouse understands how you are feeling and vice versa. Even when it feels like the words will never come, try your best to make sure you are both expressing your emotions and thoughts honestly and openly in order to ensure you are both on the same page when it comes to moving forward.

    Second, acknowledge your differences. It is likely that you and your partner's views on grief and mourning may differ. You both may experience different types of pain which will require different tactics for healing and each of your approaches should be respected. This can be especially challenging as neither of you have ever been in this situation before. Just remember that even though opinions may be divided, it is ultimately important to support one another in whatever manner necessary.

    Third, recognize that your relationship is forever altered. There is no going back to who you once were before the tragedy. Although it may still possible to enjoy moments of joy and even love, your union will never be the same. Acceptance of this fact is paramount in finding peace within yourselves and bond once again.

    Fourth, make time for yourself. This can be especially difficult when your spouse may need more attention. However it is also vital that you take care of your mental and physical well being. Take time out for yourself, even if it is just a few minutes each day. Maintain your hobbies and do not deprive yourself of the things you enjoy. Making sure your emotional needs are being met will benefit you both in the long run.

    Finally, remember that the death of your child does not mean the end of your marriage. It is totally possible to get through the loss both together and separately. Allow yourselves the time and space to heal yourselves gradually, understanding that it may take longer for some than for others. If a third-party such as a therapist or counselor is required, then do not shy away from seeking professional help. The bottom line is that it is possible to heal both your minds and hearts, helping to sustain a semblance of your marriage despite the irreparable heartache and grief that you must now bear.

    Managing grief and coping with the loss of a child in a marriage is a daunting task. However, with patience and support it is possible to find a way forward. Taking the necessary steps to communicate, maintain respect and care for ourselves will help both of you navigate through this turbulent sea of sadness. Although your love may never quite be the same as it once was, finding solace in the knowledge that your bonds remain intact can bring strength and light in times of darkness.

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