I have had a lot of parents, new on this grief journey, ask me if the feelings of intense anger they feel over their child’s death is normal. My answer is yes, a resounding yes.

It is perfectly normal and expected for one to have intense feelings of anger, bitterness, and a feeling that life is just not fair.  It is also normal and natural, to feel singled out, like you are being picked on or punished because you lost your child or grandchild. After our shock wears off, we go through a denial and isolation stage. This really isn’t real. This is just a bad dream. I am going to wake up and my dear child will be here still.

Then comes the anger, along with the sadness. The seven stages of grief are listed in this order. Shock, denial, anger, bargaining, testing, and then acceptance. Although I personally feel we can never fully accept child-loss, most parents learn to live with it. You now live with a new normal.

It is important to acknowledge the whole range of feelings, and even your attempt to run away. Trying to hide from feelings, or run away, only causes more depression in the long run.

When it comes to anger, it is OK to be very angry. Life is not fair and we don’t really know why. Feeling such injustice, you may feel as if you have to avoid certain social situations. Do not beat yourself up over this. You can decide not to go to the baby shower or party. The worst thing you can do is push yourself into going somewhere that you are not ready for.

Have compassion for yourself and your feelings. You just lost your child, your heart, the love of your life, and the feelings that come along with such a great and sad loss is natural, normal and expected. I know this is hard to believe in the beginning stages of your loss, but time is on your side. Be patient with yourself and remember there is no time table on grief and the stages of grief do not necessarily run in order.

I tend to go back and forth through each of the stages, although in time the anger and pain does get softer.  One day, you will wake up and be glad to be alive.  After awhile, you will come to realize that you want to live on for your loved ones who are still in your life that still love and need you. And you will want to carry on always your beautiful child’s memory and grace for the rest of your lifetime. Our exquisite children, through us do and will still live on. We are survivors.

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Louise Lagerman

Louise Lagerman

Louise is a mother to three: two sons, Eric and James, and her daughter Keren, who died in 2006 at the age of 23. Louise has worked in health care for many years in the geriatric field. She lives with her husband Steven outside of Houston, Texas. A year ago, she created and opened up Grief Support website and message board with friend and fellow bereaved mother Gladis Alcorta. Grief support now has over 500 members who share and depend on each other for support. Her favorite quote is by Jason Reeves, In my own way I take you everywhere I go and it feels like Home.

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