Looking After Yourself

1. Remember to look after yourself, emotionally and physically. Eat well. Physical activities can energise you, nurture your spirit and provide a focus outside your grief. Try meditation, yoga, massage, long walks and bike rides especially in natural and beautiful environments.

2. Find people with whom you feel safe who will just listen and be with you without judging.

3. Cultivate activities which help maintain your connection with your child in whatever way is most meaningful to you and your family, and which honour his or her life.

4. Accept that you will have flashbacks and that grief will well up periodically. Coming to terms with the death could take many years, possibly the rest of your life.

5. Try not to make hasty decisions about relationships or anything else.

6. Remember to seek support when you feel you are struggling, whether it is through counselling, support groups, on-line chat rooms or forums. Speak with other bereaved people, especially those you feel safe with and who will just listen and be with you. This can help to normalise your own experience and provide you with new strategies.

This article was prepared using extracts from Your Child has Died: Some Answers To Your Questions.1 The full text is available online or contact Red Nose Grief and Loss Services on 1300 308 307 for a printed version.

Last reviewed: 25/10/21