Tami writes in: I just lost my 18-year-old son in a motorcycle accident….I am so devastated!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can someone help me??????? He is my life!

Dr. Gloria Horsley, founder of www.opentohope.com, responds: Dear Tami: Our hearts go out to you. My own son was killed in a fiery crash  when he was 17 and I know the shock and pain you are feeling right now. Somehow you get through doing all the things you have to do after such an accident – there are many decisions to make that you don’t feel you can handle but you can and will. If you have a support system of friends and family, let them help you with this as much as you can.

When all the arrangements have been made and the funeral or memorial is over, you will need to take care of you by getting enough rest, eating right whether you feel like it or not, and allowing yourself to grieve. No two people grieve in the same way and some need more time than others. Take all the time you need. It’s OK to ask for the help you need because many people just don’t know what to do or say even if they sincerely want to help you.

Sometimes it helps to write about your feelings or to find a friend or family member who will let you talk about your son as much as you want.  Later there are things you can do to preserve his memory and celebrate his life. Know that there is a time that, even though the pain continues, the suffering ends. There are many, many who have made it and you can too.

You may, when you are ready, want to seek out people who understand what you feel and the best group we know is The Compassionate Friends. This group is made up of those who have lost a child and understand what you are going through. We encourage you to become a part of this group so you can be with those who can give you the support and comfort you need.

We have a radio show called Healing the Grieving Heart and some of our archived shows may help when you are able to listen. If you want to browse through and choose your own you can go to http://thegriefblog.com/grief-grieving-death-of-a-child/. The shows we recommend are:

March 12, 2009
Healing from Within
1st Guest: Tracy Swanson
2nd Guest: Susan Toro
http://www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley031209.mp3

July 3, 2008
Stories of Loss, Healing and Hope
Guests: Nancee Sabonya and Reg Green
http://www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley070308.mp3

October 18, 2007
Arriving at the Scene: A Son Dies in an Auto Crash
Guest: Khris Ford
http://www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley101807.mp3

We also have some videos that might be helpful. We encourage you to browse at http://youtube.com/opentohope when you are able to do so.

We are glad you found our site, and we hope you find comfort and help here. We will post your letter and our response on The Grief Blog because there are others who may want to respond and share with you how they got through it. You might want to check back now and then comments from our readers. It will be posted under Today’s Mail.

We wish you comfort and healing as you walk this grief path.

Dr. Gloria Horsley

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