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One of the hardest losses of all is the death of one's child. We often think that it's unnatural, it's out of order,  the parent is supposed to die first. No matter what the age of our child, when a child dies parents experience all of the usual feelings of grief such as anger, guilt, loneliness and sorrow. In addition, especially with younger children, many parents find themselves isolated from others. Their child may have been their social link to the community. Without their child they feel out of place and isolated. 

Particular difficulties can arise for parents that may jeopardize their marriage. Communication breakdown over feelings about their deceased child is possible. This usually develops because each individual parent grieves in his or her own way. It can become difficult to show feelings without angering or distressing the other partner. 

Extra effort needs to be taken at such a time. Working through each individual's grief and their feelings about one another or even about other surviving children are important. Patience with the grieving and with oneself is important, everyone works through their emotions at their own pace and in their own way. Seeking help from grieving parents' groups or from qualified professionals can be most helpful.




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    As part of my doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, when information on grief, bereavement, death and dying was scarce, some colleagues and I began group work with the bereaved. Out of that work grew interviews with widowers, training with funeral workers, clergy, social workers, hospice and medical personnel. 

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    Copyright 2013, Dr. Donald Steele, Ph.D.
    NOTICE: All content within this blog is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. The author is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of this site. The author is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed. Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your health.