To say I was fearful after my daughter died would be an understatement. I was suddenly acutely aware that anyone I loved could be taken at any moment. The fear and anxiety were relentless. It was less of “Life is precious,” and more of “This could be the last time we ever speak, hug, see each other, etc.” Follow that with two subsequent pregnancies and the fear continued into both pregnancies and toddlerhood. I feared death and harm to all those around me, but mostly for my boys.
During my oldest son’s pregnancy, I was in a constant state of fear. I worried that he would die at any time and that I would relive the grief of losing his sister. That thought terrified me and as a result, I broke out in hives.
After my youngest son was born safely, my fears manifested in other ways; he might stop breathing in his sleep, the furniture might fall on him. But when I returned to work and he was immediately hospitalized for RSV, my fear turned into anxiety so severely that eczema erupted on every joint of my body.
I was well aware that this was not a healthy state to be in, but I could not seem to control these thoughts.
There had to be a better way. Feeling this anxious was not only overtaking my brain but also my body. I delved into learning about mindfulness, self-care, and calming techniques.
Here are some tools that I learned and use still to manage fear and anxiety:
- Listen to a guided meditation
- Be creative
- Color an adult coloring book
- Utilize essential oils
- Go outside
- Breathe fresh air
- Take a walk
- Sit in the sunshine
- Read a book
- Talk to a friend
- Talk to a professional
There are many ways to find your way back to the present moment. These are only a snippet, but they are a good starting point for tackling these very overwhelming emotions.
I can’t promise that these will be your solution, but they are tools to have in your belt when your emotions begin to rise.
Did you experience fear or anxiety as a result of your loss? What has helped you to calm those feelings? Leave a comment for another reader to try for them self!
Amie discovered a new appreciation of life after spending only 33 days with her daughter. She now raises 2 sons and takes advantage of every free moment to write, educate, and offer hope to bereaved families. Learn more about the books she has authored, her daughter’s non-profit foundation, and Amie’s life on her blog.