Recognize that when you experience the death of a child, your marriage will be greatly stressed.
Each person deals with grief differently.
Men and women deal with grief differently.
Also, personality differences will contribute to how each person deals with the stress of grief.
Ideally you and your spouse will be the best support for each other. But remember that both of you will be numb with grief and possibly unable to support the other.
Be kind to each other and don’t be too hard on each other. You won’t be able to “fix it” for your partner.
Both of you are on a grief journey, and unfortunately there are areas that each of you will have to sort out separately.
Find ways to draw near each other. Trying to help each other with grief at your time of bereavement is very important.
Work to keep communication going, even if it is about mundane every day things. Even if you can’t talk about the death of your child, listen while your spouse does.
And remember that communication doesn’t always have to be in the form of talk; it can be a letter, note, flowers, their favorite dessert, a book etc.
It will probably be hard work to communicate with each other, but it is well worth the effort. It is natural that one or the other of you doesn’t feel much like talking.
Continue to stay close physically. Touch is a valuable healer. Hold each other close, snuggle, lay a hand on your mate’s arm….
Expressions of blame can be devastating if one spouse accuses the other in relation to your child’s death. Both of you will be grieving terribly; do not fall into the trap of blaming each other. This will only add to the difficulty of this special kind of grief!
If you are experiencing accusatory thoughts, it does not help your relationship to let them fester.
Find someone that you can confidentially express your feelings to so that you have help sorting things out. That person can listen in a more objective way without the emotions you and your mate are feeling. Consider going to your pastor or a professional counselor.
Also consider joining a support group together. There are ones specifically for bereaved parents. You lost your child…you do not want to lose your marriage too!
As I write this I am reminded that this is easy enough for me to say, but is altogether another thing for you to try and do.
My encouragement would be to do the best that you can. And don’t be too hard on yourself or your spouse. Be kind to yourself and one another.
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