Grief Years Later

by Kathy Sutton, RN

Hi -

I lost a 15 day old son in 1996 and our only daughter in 1997 at 13 hours to a RARE genetic disorder. I have been fighting despair through the Holidays since. I have 7 other healthy children and *try* my hardest to make the Holidays "normal", but this year is the worst.

I cannot stop crying and I am in so much pain. I miss my daughter the most -- thinking about all of "would haves". Why after 3 years would it be worse now?? It seems that the grief process would keep me moving forward, but I am now regressing!!!! HELP


Dear Regressing,

I am so sorry about the loss of your children! Dealing with the loss of children during the holidays can be quite painful. All of us are individuals and handle the grief process differently, and when things trigger our memories, such as the holidays, it can seem as if you are going backward through the grieving process at times. I think that its normal to go forward AND "backward" through the grief process.

During the holidays when we are overstressed, exhausted and busy, sometimes our emotional defenses are lower, and things that we thought we were "over"suddenly become painful all over again. I hope that each day you try to take five minutes -- literally for just you. Take a shower with the bathroom door locked, spend five minutes in your room alone with your thoughts, or take a short walk alone.

Be creative in finding ways to spend time just for you!Spending time alone can help you regain focus and perspective and help you feel more in control of your thoughts and feelings -- and its a great stress buster and decompression method!