Unexpected Death of a Child

Dear Barbara, Please talk about unexpected youth death.

In our minds we understand, that as sad as it is when an older adult dies,
they have lived their life and death comes to us all. Even when a young or
middle aged adult dies, we are shocked, saddened but they had their
chance at living. When a peer dies, someone our own age, we experience
shock in our grieving as death brushes past us too close for comfort. BUT
when a young person, a child or a teen, dies our world is shaken to its core.
It seems that a law has been broken.

The young are not suppose to die. They are our future. They have not had
a chance to live, to experience, to grow old. For parent’s their legacy is
taken away. The opportunity to see themselves in their child is stolen. For
parents, no matter the age of the child, but even more so with the young, a
piece to themselves dies also.

I cannot think of deeper grief than the grief for a child lost. For some they
never find a way to go on living. Grief for all of us is not about getting over,
recovering or even healing. All of us who lose someone have to learn how
to live with our grief. Time mostly lessens the external pain but inwardly we
must find life and living, a reason to continue. It is harder for us to find our
way forward when we experience the death of our child.

For many finding a cause, a purpose in memory of our child gives direction
to an emptier life, something to keep their name, their memory alive.
Foundations, alerts, ribbons, can be a channel for our grief. Channeling
the pain into a positive direction. Giving help and assistance to others in the
name of our precious child doesn’t lessen our feelings of loss but it can
bring something positive into our lives when all we feel is the negative.
Something as simple as planting a tree and watching it grow can bring a bit
of comfort in what feels like a comfortless world.

I know the question asked here was about the unexpected death of a child
and my response applies to all deaths of children, gradual or fast. I think
even if a child is ill (for that matter even adults) we are never prepared for
the death. They are all basically unexpected. Many of us just can’t come to
the realization that death is coming no matter how much we fight, cry, close
our eyes to it and even deny. Dying has no age limit. Dying is very much a
part of living.

Something more about Unexpected Death of a Child...

When looking for the right thing to say to the grieving, hand them/send them My Friend, I Care,The Grief Experience. It is less than a greeting card and offers so much help for the loved ones.

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