What a Professional Can Offer

No one can ‘solve’ the problems of a person impacted by the sudden and unexpected death of a young child - indeed how could anyone ever ‘solve’ or ‘fix’ this problem? A bereavement counsellor can, however, assist with the grieving process by acknowledging and normalising feelings and experiences, providing accurate information, identifying resources and suggesting options that you can pursue in your own time. Most importantly, such a relationship can provide constant support and validation of the small but terribly difficult steps that must be taken in order to feel re-empowered as individuals, parents and family members.

“It wasn’t until about a year after Madeleine’s death that I felt like I was ready to start talking about the experiences I’d had. Once I started seeing a counsellor one-on-one, I started to get a better idea of what I was going through and Jeanette started seeing the same counsellor. It allowed us to gain insight into how each other was grieving. We were better able to understand the things that got us down and those that stopped us functioning. We were able to discuss ways of supporting one another and of avoiding shutting down. It was a challenging time, but one of tremendous growth in our relationship.”

“There is a limit on how much you can do to help yourself. Get professional help even if you don’t think you need it.”

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: 28/2/20