I just lost my son

by Deb Sims, MS,RNCS,LCSW

Dear Deb,

I've just lost my 14-year-old boy in a car accident. I need help in the grieving process. I don't feel I'm crying enough. I miss him, but I guess I just don't believe it.


Dear Sandra,

You have just experienced one of the most difficult losses there is--the death of one's child, and you have my deepest sympathy. The unexpectedness of his death can also be a complicating factor in your grieving experience and is one of the reasons you need to take extra steps in caring for yourself.

The fact that you "just don't believe it" is your body's way of protecting you from such a devastating experience, especially in this time right after it has occurred. As you are more and more able to believe that it has really happened, you will experience other aspects of the grief process. And concerning the crying, no one's grief should ever be measured by the amount of tears that are shed. Regarding tears, a professor of mine once said, "No one has to cry, anyone may cry, some should cry."

I cannot express too strongly how important it is for you to get involved with other parents who have experienced the death of their child. There may be a Compassionate Friends group (for parents who have experienced the death of a child) in your community that could provide you with some necessary help. Check out their website also.

Most importantly, take care of yourself. This is going to be a long process that will have its ups and downs. Find people who you know will be supportive of you and try to spend time with them. I wish you the very best as you begin this very important journey.