The pain of losing a child cannot be described in words. It doesn’t matter if the child is still young, an adult, or still in the womb – a child is a part of us and the pain of losing that extraordinary person is incomprehensibly heartbreaking. The loss of a child creates a ripple effect that can touch the lives of relatives, friends, and the larger community. 
 
There are plenty of heartfelt stories, blogs, books and groups dedicated to people who have been bereaved by the loss of a child. In this article we are turning our focus to common misconceptions around child loss so that we can bring comfort and hope to those who are grieving. 
Loss of a child
Every loss is unique, as is every person who has suffered loss. But those who have been bereaved by suicide know that there are aspects of this type of loss that are particularly painful, hard to accept, challenging to explain to others and seemingly impossible to overcome. 
 
We would like to talk about some of the unique aspects of bereavement by suicide to help those left behind as well as those who would like to provide them support. 
Last July, just as I’d pitched up a tent in a field in Cornwall, I got a devastating call from my mum’s friend to say that she’d started coughing up blood not long after we’d left home and had been taken by ambulance to hospital. She didn’t want to worry us. The next day, we learned she had terminal lung cancer that had spread. My stoic, stubborn mother told us to go and make memories with the children, and that I wasn’t allowed to visit anyway, due to Covid restrictions. I did as I was told in between floods of tears. 
In just a few weeks, mothers all over the UK will be receiving gifts from their children and partners to celebrate motherhood. We would like to look at the holiday from a less common perspective, acknowledging those who may be experiencing more painful emotions than happy ones on Mothering Sunday. 
 
Some of us may find this occasion difficult to celebrate because we have never been able to experience motherhood even though it has been one of our hopes and dreams. 
 
Others may struggle with this day because motherhood has not been everything they expected it to be. 
Mothering Sunday
Esther Rantzen - Living with Grief

It's not very often tv talks about grief so we're thrilled that Channel 5 have given Esther Rantzen the chance to explore the topic in this ground breaking documentary. 

When you’ve experienced the death of your husband, wife, or partner, the lead-up to Valentine’s Day may cause you to want to hide undercover until it’s all over. Cupid’s arrow can turn and get you right in the heart when you’re grieving. For many, it is a particularly painful reminder, as it used to be a time to acknowledge and declare your love for each other, only now your significant other is no longer there. 
From an early age we have learned to deal with sad, negative emotions incorrectly, and we end up storing this energy inside. An example of this would be a child coming home from school feeling sad about an argument with a friend and they’re given a biscuit by their mother ‘to feel better.’ In that moment, they’ve been given a message that feelings can be fixed with food. The feelings are now buried under the biscuit and the distraction. In times of crisis, we turn to our old and learned ideas to deal with them. 
Eating too much during lockdown
Families are experiencing more emotional outbursts from children of all ages in Lockdown. If you want to take the intensity out of them, or try to limit them as much as possible, firstly you need to understand why they might be happening, and secondly read on to find out what you can do about them. 
 
Tantrums are a short-term energy releasing behaviour. Think of it as a boiling kettle letting off steam. The feeling of frustration and the inability to communicate their feelings – either because they don’t understand what they’re feeling but know they’re feeling something, or because they’re not being heard – must come out somewhere. 
What to do when your kids are clingy
 
After a year of loss for many, we wanted to give you some tips on helping your friends who have lost a loved one, who might be spending their first Christmas alone, or have an empty chair around their Christmas table. 
One of the most painful of experiences when you’re grieving is having a disturbing image of your loved one’s final hours, days, or weeks etched on your mind that you keep flashing back to. 
 
If your relative or friend died from COVID-19, our hearts go out to you. You may have seen your relative in hospital via a video call from their hospital bed. Your last image may have been seeing them in the back of an ambulance with an oxygen mask on. Your mind may have made up its own image if you weren’t able to see them. 
Stuck on a painful lasting image
Whether it’s your first Christmas without a certain person or your fifth, whether you’ve experienced a significant loss in the past year or are sad to be spending the holidays alone – so many of us struggle at this time of year because our memories turn painful, certain songs or decorations trigger emotional reactions or we’re heartbroken that our relationships are not the way we wish they could be. 
 
Many of us find it difficult to enjoy the Christmas and New Year. What makes things all the more challenging is that we're expected to be in good spirits all of the time and that we see everyone else enjoying their Christmas holidays and thinking we should be able to do the same. 
Christmas when you're grieving
Men hear a lot of messages as they grow up that can inhibit their ability to grieve. Unhelpful phrases including, ‘man up,’ and ‘crying is for wimps/girls.’ Men have been told for generations that they’ve got to be strong. 
 
We want to enlighten you. 
Men and Grief
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