10 Beautiful Ways to Reclaim Your Life After the Death of a Child
1. Live in the now. Stay attached to other family members by sharing feelings, listening to each other, talk about the child's life (versus the death)
2. Rent or purchase a helium tank and balloons big enough to write messages on them. Any time you want to send the message, release the balloon and watch it disappear into heaven, focus on the thought the message is being delivered to your child. Have the family members participate.
3. Blow bubbles anytime, watching them float out of site. A small container can be kept with you no matter when or where you are. Send mental messages as you blow the bubbles.
4. Make a medicine bag. Gather small stones, or small objects that remind you of memories of your child. When you feel you need to be closer to him/her, hold your medicine bag in your hands.
5. Ask family and friends to write about what they recall life was like with the child (maybe a poem, maybe a song they heard, any pictures of the child participating in events with them.) Put these together in a (Child's Name) Story Book.
6. Plant a garden or a tree, tending it, watch it grow in honor of the child. If you plant flowers, cut a bouquet when the flowers are ready, imagine your child helped you care for these flowers/tree. (the child is with you in your memory and in your heart)
7. If the child had t-shirts, inquire who in your community can make a T-Shirt Quilt. If the child was smaller, add t-shirts from other members of the family. When the weather changes, wrap up in the quilt, imaging the child is in your lap, put their arms around you.
8. Plan an activity when you have history dates. Maybe the family can do something the child liked doing. Discuss what he/she use to do when you did this activity. Share feelings, stories you recall, allow yourself to laugh.
9. On a weekly basis, take personal time for yourself. Have a manicure, pedicure, your hair done, go to lunch with a friend.
10. Join an organization that is advocating for the cause (whatever was the reason for child's death) Maybe education, maybe funding to support research. Use the energy for your child in a positive way to help another child.
11. Memory quilt Make 10" squares out of white 100% cotton fabric. Ask individuals who were in your child's life to decorate this square. The squares will be sewn together and quilted. Hang the quilt for all to see in your house. Memories help you keep the positive memories of your child's life in the present.
12. Plan and take a vacation where your family including the child went before. Remember what fun you had. Feel the excitement as you recall what the trip was like.
Personal Account: As Stepmother who lost a 29-yr old stepson to suicide 10 yrs ago, I can say I have done most of the above items to help heal my grief.