As the proprietor of Heaven and Hope I have come across a lot of death and grief. To begin with the latest loss in the family was of my brothers baby at 21 weeks gestation. A tragic story One I will share with you due to the relevance to what we do . My sister in law was not very well she was rushed into hospital and was near death she went into renal failure and needed a transplant. She was only 21 weeks pregnant. next her organs were failing one at a time. They put her into an induced coma to let her body rest.
Unfortunately it was the death of her baby that was causing blood poisoning. In the first instance they had to deliver her baby whilst still in a coma. I made sure my brother was aware not to have a funeral for baby until she was awake. By a lot of prayer throughout many churches A miracle happened . They woke her from the coma and she was not longer at deaths door. prayers had been answered. The consultant was so shocked he swore and dropped his notes on the intensive care unit as he saw her awake in bed.
As a result of her waking up they told her the news and let her see baby Ezekiel. The funeral was a couple of weeks later. In the meantime my mother was rushed into hospital and died a few days before baby's funeral. I remember holding his coffin on my knee never even able to see him due to his body condition. we made sure his funeral was a celebration on life.
I also experienced nursing an elderly parent with a terminal illness. once the staff of a retirement home took over the care our time to visit was spent visiting and having quality time with our loved one until she passed away in November 2008.I spent many days alone with my husband. During this time many family members offered support yet argued over the most trivial of things.We found being alone and having the time to grieve was of great significance.
September 2009.16th of this month I have just lost another member of my family. After a quick diagnosis of terminal gastric cancer within 12 weeks my family member passed away. Towards the end I was the one doing all the nursing and care plus there at the very end of such a traumatic experience.
I have now accepted the family loss and came to terms with the grief we experienced as a family.I also can relate to coping with grief,plus as a business owner still managed to carry on with running a business at the same time.If you do not feel up to work Don't be tempted to get back to normal straight away or clear things away at home. Don' t be forced into going back to work too soon.
As a family you will go through A mixed amount of emotions.Don't bottle up your feelings, this is a time when a family can grow even closer. offering your partner a shoulder to cry will help both partners become stronger as a couple and help to cope with grief. if you feel like crying do not be embarassed letting out all those built up tears it is better to cry than to hold back and become withdrawn.
You all may go off your food and not want to drink even.Do try to eat a little throughout the day. Especially if you are diabetic.Rest when you can so you can cope the next day.
I am very fortunate as I have my faith in God to trust.I rely on him also for comfort when I am on my own.Many people blame God for the death of a loved one.I would like to offer these words to help you in your personal circumstances." Not all men have faith". If you do have faith In God and His son jesus who died and 3 days later rose again.Plus who is now seated at the right hand of the father in heaven "Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and HOPE might be in God."
Jesus is "the way" "the truth" and "the life" and left these words to comfort any one who believes in him"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST." " Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find REST unto your souls".
Some religions do not believe children so young can be in heaven but in the bible Jesus words said "suffer little children to come unto me for as such is the Kindom of heaven".we are here at the end of the phone to offer support if you have suffered the loss of a little one and need someone other than family to talk to.
Article written by S Sudlow.
Extended family can include grandparents and best friends of the grieving parents.
Parents will be grieving and will feel numb and overwhelmed at the loss of a baby.
During the grieving process offer to help an hand with collecting other children from school, doing shopping, running errands answering phone calls.
Give plenty of cuddles but be patient if arguments happen, as the stress of it all can be unbearable to parents coping with the loss of an infant in particular.
One person needs to take care of the funeral but if the parents are not up to it a family member who is strong enough should take over this role.
Involve the parents every step of the way making sure their requirements are noted down and given to the relevant person. For example no flowers to be sent to the family or please send and money donations to the local hospital, special care baby unit.
When one person takes charge support them so the pressure is taken off the parents and make sure too many people do not have their say that causes even more arguments.
Let the parents have as much peace and quiet when they are home from the hospital as they can get. Take control over answering the door arranging flowers in vases etc but make sure cards are only opened by the parents when they feel up to it.
Do not be tempted to clear the baby’s room unless its at the parents consent . Its all part of the grieving process for parents, coming to terms with the fact that the baby is gone and will not be coming home and finally saying their goodbyes.
Finally take it easy on your self too if its you that carries a lot of the strain, try to relax and talk about your feelings with another adult family member. You need to be there for the family too ,so make sure you eat well, drink plenty and take plenty of rest.
It is also best coming from the parents in their own time.From personal experience and research it is always best to involve children from an early age.Many adults have stated years ago they were not allowed anywhere near a dead body or were traumatized due to lack of support from the family. So much so, death is a big fear in some adults dealing with a funeral later on years down the line.
Letting a child near to say goodbye to will help come to terms with death as a part of every day life. A few weeks a go I personally let my 3 year grandaughter lay a picture in my dad's coffin to say good bye wave then allowed to go to the funeral, we let some balloons up into the sky and the rest of the children 7 under 10 in total watched as the coffin went into the ground, her understanding of funerals now is not one of fear as she watched a programme on tv with a funeral and said "oh he's died now then they go to church then he's buried". Without any fear what so ever, and we are glad we did this as it shows in her attitude to the tv programme. my niece however (age 7 )was really close to her grandad and didnt want to see him in the coffin so we respected her wishes and let her shed her tears, later she watched the coffin go into the ground and realized it was a part of life and handled it really well.Now she is happy to take a walk with her Nana and place flowers on the grave so happily.
Telling children about dead ants and birds etc in the garden is a good way to break the ice saying oh no its not coming back now let’s bury it say goodbye be light hearted about it so children do not have to fear death. Flushing a dead goldfish down the toilet is not a good way to show children. Many children have had nightmares thinking they are coming back up every time they visit the toilet. If you must flush it away make sure children don’t know about it.Some libraries have books on introducing children to death, so you could check them out.