NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS FOR BEREAVED PARENTS
That I will grieve as much and for as long as I feel like grieving, and that I will not let others put a time table on my grief.
That I will grieve in whatever way I feel like grieving, and I will ignore those who try to tell me what I should or should not be feeling and how I should or should not be behaving.
That I will cry whenever and wherever I feel like crying, and that I will not hold back my tears just because someone else feels I should be "brave" or "getting better" or "healing by now."
That I will talk about my child as often as I want to, and that I will not let others turn me off just because they can't deal with their own feelings.
That I will not expect family and friends to know how I feel, understanding that one who has not lost a child cannot possibly know how I feel.
That I will not blame myself for my child's death, and I will constantly remind myself that I did the best job of parenting I could possibly have done. But when feelings of guilt are overwhelming, I will remind myself that this is a normal part of the grief process and it will pass.
That I will not be afraid or ashamed to seek professional help if I feel it is necessary.
That I will commune with my child at least once a day in whatever way feels comfortable and natural to me, and that I won't feel compelled to explain this communion to others or to justify or even discuss it with them.
I will keep the truth in my heart--the truth that my child is always with me in spirit.
That I will try to eat, sleep, and exercise every day in order to give my body strength it will need to help me cope with my grief.
To know that I am not losing my mind and I will remind myself that loss of memory, feelings of disorientation, lack of energy, and a sense of vulnerability are all a normal part of the grief process.
To know that I will heal, even though it will take a long time.
To let myself heal and not feel guilty about not feeling better sooner.
To remind myself that the grief process is circuitous--that is, I will not make steady upward progress. And when I find myself slipping back into the old moods of despair and depression, I will tell myself that "slipping backward" is also a normal part of the mourning process, and that these moods, too, will pass.
To try to be happy about something for some part of every day, knowing that at first, I may have to force myself to think cheerful thoughts so eventually they can become a habit.
That I will reach out at times and try to help someone else, knowing that helping others will help me to get over my depression.
That even though my child is dead, I will opt for life, knowing that is what my child would want me to do