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In addition to the emotional toll of losing a child, parents often experience mental, physical, and spiritual effects from grieving. Grief can make it hard to do even simple things. You may find it difficult to take care of yourself during grief. But self-care can help you get through trying days.
Grief can affect your ability to think, remember, and process information. Symptoms of grief often happen right after the death of a child. Parents say that they are in a “mental fog” in the early days and weeks of grief.
Common symptoms include:
You may want to avoid making major life decisions like selling property or changing careers during this time. Take care when driving a car, operating heavy machinery, or doing other dangerous tasks that require concentration.
While grieving, it is common to have a variety of physical symptoms such as:
These tips can help with physical symptoms of grief:
During grief, it is common to have spiritual challenges including:
Parents can address spiritual concerns in many ways:
Finding ways to take care of yourself provides hope and healing. Here are some ideas for self-care that parents have found helpful:
No one should go through grief alone. Time helps many of the symptoms of grief, but the support of another person provides extra strength.
It can help to talk with a trusted family member or friend about the symptoms of grief and ways to manage them. Mental health professionals are also available to listen and provide resources.
Reviewed: October 2023