Grief Calligraphy by © www.nathaliehimmelrich.com

The experience of every bereaved mother (or father) is unique and so is their grieving experience. You can never fully understand another bereaved mother’s experience, even if you sit with her through the dark of the night, talk to her for hours, cry endless tears in compassion. I’ve tried. And I might have one advantage: I myself am a bereaved mother.

Let go

As much I have been hoping that I could, I can’t fully understand what another bereaved parent is going through. I still do my best at understanding the bereaved families I’m working with and according to them, I’m doing a great job but I have let go of the unattainable: to totally and utterly understand their despair.

In that letting go, there is something else that opens up, something with far greater potential. Rather than trying to enter their experience and in that wondering how that would feel within me, I stay with them. It takes courage and compassion to totally be with someone else, without an ounce of the self who is ‘wanting to make it better for them’ or ‘helping’ them. After all that’s my job, supporting them in finding healing. But here is the thing: the pain of missing someone who is no longer physically present is not something that needs healing or fixing.

Grieving parents have something in common. They must continue their life without seeing their babies grow up to be children or their children to grow up to become adults. Grief is like unrequited love but one where the relationship hasn’t ended even though the person has left and is not contactable. That’s the paradox of child loss.

What if I’m not a bereaved mother?

As someone who hasn’t experienced the loss of a child, you can still be there for bereaved parents. You can walk side by side with them and support them with your love. You don’t need to understand their experience to accept how they express or live with it.

So, be there. Don’t try to fix them but stay with them through the darkness. The presence you show by your willingness to fully be there, is enough. You are enough, even if you don’t fully understand the grief experience.

 

MAY WE ALL HEAL – Please join Grieving Parents Support Network’s upcoming community event in May:

You know what ‘May We All Heal 2017 – Creative Healing After Loss’ is?
It’s a way of conscious & mindful meaning creation after loss
a way of bringing light into the dark corners of grief yet unmet
a way of loving yourself despite the brokenness and ugliness of the not so pretty feelings of grief
a way of letting light in to be able to shine your light into the world again
a way of reclaiming YOUR life
a way of loving your heart, no matter what.
Join here. Find out more here.

Please also read:

Do More Than Survive The First Year After Loss

5 Things I Found Out Since Being A Bereaved Mother

 


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    Nathalie Himmelrich

    Nathalie Himmelrich the author of the new book GRIEVING PARENTS - Surviving Loss As A Couple. As a relationship coach and grief recovery expert and bereaved mother herself she believes that relationships (intimate and to other support people) are the foundation for a healthy grieving experience. The book is about surviving loss as a couple and the re-emerging from grief into a life of joy and melancholy, laughter and tears, happiness and sadness. Not either or but AND. She loves helping people find their way back to a life of joy, laughter and happiness through her role as a Transformational Coach & Counsellor in her business Reach for the Sky Counselling & Coaching. Her passion is writing and re-thinking human behaving and emoting. She’s processing her own experiences using her blog and you can also read her daughter Ananda Mae's blog, where she writes letters to her identical twin sister, who left her body at a young age of 3 days. If not at her desk, you can find Nathalie on the playground running after her daughter or feeding the ducks at the Lake of Zurich, Switzerland, if Ananda Mae hasn't managed to steal all of the dry bread. Find Nathalie here: Nathalie Himmelrich or here: Grieving Parents

    March 21, 2017
    April 7, 2017

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    3 Comments

    1. Reply

      Loretta Tweed aka Grace

      April 5, 2017

      Thank-you so very much! I lost my daughter Brittany April 22, 2016. She was twenty-nine. Her one year Angel Anniversary is coming up.

      • Reply

        Nathalie Himmelrich

        April 6, 2017

        You’re most welcome, Loretta. I’m so sorry about Brittany’s death. I hope you consider taking part in ‘May We All Heal’ – the month long community (from the Grieving Parents Support Network) event we run every year in May. The link is above in the article, towards the end.
        Much Love, Nathalie

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