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Just because you grieve differently doesn't mean you don't hurt

No Massachusetts parents want to outlive their child. The sudden loss of a child to a tragedy, such as a car accident, will likely devastate you. You and the other parent may not grieve the same, but that doesn't mean you don't feel the loss.

Grief comes in all shapes and sizes. You may need to take time alone to process what you feel, but the other parent may need to talk about it -- or vice versa. Under these circumstances, it often feels as though the two of you are miles apart, but in your hearts, you feel the same.

Common reactions to the loss of a child

You and your child's other parent may experience one or more of these common reactions to your loss:

  • Shock
  • Sadness
  • Guilt
  • Resentment
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Bitterness
  • Loneliness
  • Isolation

These and other reactions may feel as though they will never end. You may even feel them so deeply that it physically hurts. Many parents question their faith, wonder what they could have done to save their child and become overprotective of their other children. All of these emotions are normal, and even though you may not see things ever being "normal" again, life has a way of moving forward.

Processing your grief

No one should expect you to "get over it." You lost a child, and the simple fact is that your life will never be the same. Every unfulfilled milestone in your child's life will affect you. Some people plan ahead to deal with those occasions in a way that both honors their child and takes some of the sting out of the day. There are ways to move through your grief and come out on the other side. Don't be afraid to seek help from friends, family and support groups.

Dealing with what happened

If you lost your child in a car accident that was the fault of another driver, it may help to take legal action against that individual. No amount of money will ever replace what you lost. That isn't the point. Achieving some sense of closure regarding the way your child died and feeling as though you receive some justice for your child could help you move forward. You may feel better knowing that the individual "paid" for taking your child from you.

What you need more than anything right now is compassion. You need a legal ally who understands that you are grieving, yet you need a purpose to help you through it. Filing a wrongful death claim often gives parents a purpose that they can both rally behind and a way back to each other when they need each other most. An attorney can handle the legal aspects of your case while you and the other parent find a way to move forward with your lives despite your loss.

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