What can I do when grief overpowers me?

There are days when the grief of losing a child seems over-the-top. The pain is just too much and we have no idea what to do or how to cope. I’ve been there. I’ve had a LOT of those days when I felt totally defeated. I spent hours upon hours in bed crying until I thought there were no tears left. This is a horrible place to be in our grief.

When my son died, the early months of grief are barely remembered. All I know is that I was in a lot of pain. Nothing made sense. My world as I knew it no longer existed. This new world was frightening. It was dark and lonely. I didn’t know how to breathe most days.

Through a lot of trial and error, I found a few things that have helped provide me with some tools to help me on those days when I feel powerless. One of the first things I do is to “force” myself to get up and get dressed. That seems like an easy enough thing, but it’s no when our grief is pressing down on all sides. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. The grief is paralyzing.

Once I’m up, I make certain that I have at least one full glass of water. I tend to “forget” to drink when I’m grieving so deeply, and it’s easy to become hydrated. Crying, sobbing, heaving, and crying some more will drain us quickly!

Then, I make certain I walk for at least five minutes. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, and it isn’t to some, but to the grieving person five minutes is enough to get some of our endorphins moving. Such a simple thing to do, but so very difficult when all we want to do is lay in bed and cry.

The next thing is to read something that is filled with hope! About a year after my son Mike died, I penned the words to the book Hope 365: Daily Meditations for the Grieving Heart. Believe it or not, I have a copy of this book with me at all times. There are brief meditations (less than 3 minutes to read). There is a hope-filled quote on every page. And, there is a hopeful, strengthening Scripture with each meditation. There’s plenty of food for the grieving soul!

In this particularly difficult time of fear and loneliness with the Covid-19 restrictions, we parents who are grieving the loss of a child are feeling an extra heavy weight upon our already burdened hearts. It’s so important to take care of ourselves so that we don’t sink deep into a grief depression!

Please follow this routine that I’ve laid out for you and see if it helps. Each thing I’ve mentioned seems east to do — except when we can’t. Force yourself to get up, drink some water, take a brief walk and breathe in some fresh air. Then, finish by feeding your soul with a vitamin called HOPE!

I love you, and care about you. I want you to take care of yourselves during this grief journey. Even if you can’t find a purpose for your life yet, trust that you have a purpose. Take off some of this heavy grief burden, and you will notice some changes in the way you carry your grief.

With much love until the next time,

Clara Hinton

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