For parents and caregivers experiencing the loss of a child due to family court injustice, divorce, and other types of separation.

 

 

Know When to Ask for Help: Notice the signs of stress and seek help or support.

 

Common signs of stress may include- fear/anxiety, racing/repetitive thoughts, over eating, sleeping too little or too much, crying, and lack of energy (not wanting to do things you once enjoyed). It’s understandable that you would feel that way, especially if you have survived trauma, abuse, lengthy court proceedings and loss of a child/forcible separation. Be gentle with yourself. Make a plan to deal with stress, especially for times you may be triggered most like during holidays.

 

Get support for you: Visit/Call friends, Visit/Call Family, Go to a special place that is comforting to you (church, park, museum, coffee shop, etc), Go for a drive, Call a local crisis line, Exercise, Watch a movie, Read a book/journal

Don’t feel obligated to spend time with people who don’t support you. Avoid stressful situations or relationships with a polite refusal. Setting boundaries is important to maintaining your strength, and being able to focus on what is most important.

 

 

 

Make a Call: Call a support or crisis line if needed.

 

Here are some links to crisis numbers in the USA, most are toll free

Support4Hope Crisis Numbers- http://www.support4hope.com/crisisnumbers.htm

 

Suicide Hotlines: http://suicidehotlines.com/

 

4Therapy Hotline and Crisis Lines: http://www.4therapy.com/consumer/resources/item.php?categoryid=32&uniqueid=7006

 

Prayer Page Prayer Lines: http://www.prayerpage.org/1800/

 

The Encourage Prayer Line: http://www.encourager.us/prayer_request.htm

 

  Turn Up the Music: Music is a good way to boost your mood, and give yourself comforting or positive messages. Especially if you are dealing with trauma or painful memories, music may soothe or redirect your thoughts.

 

Take Things Slow: Don’t try to plan too much or take on too much. Give yourself time–sleep in, take a long bath, cry, make a phone call.  Adding too many activities or “should do’s” will provoke unneccesary stress, and may cause further harm. So be gentle with yourself ❤

 

 It’s Okay to Plan a Holiday without Your Child: It’s okay to visit friends, family or go places even if your child is not with you. Those activities may be painful, and you may feel a loss—even though your child is not with you, they will be close in your love and care for them.

 You may want to commemorate your child by saying a prayer, looking at pictures, spending time with things that remind you of them, lighting a candle, or speaking with others who are close to your family. You are going through a grieving process, and its is understandable to want to remain close to your child, in any way you can.

 If your thoughts provoke anxiety, nightmares, inability to cope with every day life or you feel“stuck” or overhelmed, you may want to seek help from a counselor or support group.

 

 Send your child a card or letter: Be positive, and let your child know you care. You may want to include a “treat” such as stickers, coloring sheets/mazes/word finds (etc), cartoons/comics or photos.

 

 Call Your Child on the Phone/Send an E-mail: If you are not sure what to say, stay positive! You may want to read a short book, sing a favorite song or have some jokes on hand.

Keep the conversation light, and centered on the moment—ie: don’t get into the past or difficult things your family is experiencing.

 

 Some ideas for topics to talk about: Cartoons/Movies, School, Friends, Holiday Plans, Music, Funny Stories, Favorite Memories, Riddles/Jokes, Animals, Sports

 Let your child know you care, be sure to reinforce positive messages

 

My thoughts & prayers are with you — Evanlee, 2009

See Also:

Common Responses After Losing a Child

https://parentingabusedkids.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/common-responses-after-losing-a-child/

 

Writing a Fun, Meaningful Letter to Your Child

https://parentingabusedkids.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/letter2child/

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