Many say there is no greater pain or loss in life than losing a child. Imagining a day when you can laugh or be truly happy seems impossible. Many parents say that they find themselves in a "dark place" whereby simply closing their eyes can release them from life. Only fellow parents can truly understand the depth of pain and the struggle to cope daily.
Grief, even significant grief, is normal and to be expected after such a devastating loss. Many in society look to labels, such as depression or complicated grief, to explain prolonged and overwhelming emotion that diminishes your ability or desire to live life, function in your usual roles, or carry out important responsibilities - including caring for other children. Grief is normal and will likely now be a companion for the rest of your life.
Some liken this profound grief to a switch that is turned on and will never be turned off again. For many parents, it is finding methods to control the "volume" of grief to cope daily. While it is loud and overwhelming in its early stages, over time the volume lowers, making living life more manageable, but it is never silent.
Determining your triggers or vulnerabilities is critically important over time so you can safeguard yourself from being re-traumatized and initiating another deep grief period. It is common, and to be expected especially among mothers, that parents will re-experience deep grief or even depression the in years to follow. It is possible to slip too deep into grief: if you, or someone you know, experiences overwhelming grief, consider seeking professional support.