by Fran Jerisk, MS, LPC, Bereavement Counseling Professional
Pathways of Hope
The month of July includes the observance of Bereaved Parents Month. The loss of a child is a loss like no other.
Parents who have lost a son or daughter often feel that their world has turned upside-down. Their most basic understanding of the natural order of life can crumble when they find they have outlived their child. Intense feelings of grief and loss are often accompanied by feelings of anger, guilt, anxiety, and even hopelessness. During this time some parents find that their need to talk about the son or daughter who died is not welcomed by friends or family who are uncomfortable with the parent’s expression of grief. This can result in isolation, at the very time the grieving parent is in need of an understanding support system.
During this time of grief, it is important for parents to look for ways to nurture themselves. Basic self care, such as eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising, can be very difficult early in the grieving process. However, some people find it helpful to choose one thing they can do to nurture themselves, and make that a regular part of their day. One way for parents to nurture themselves is to reach out to those who are willing to listen and be supportive. This is an area in which Pathways of Hope can be of assistance. Pathways of Hope has counselors who can offer individual counseling, and support groups where parents can meet with others who have had similar losses.
We invite those who are grieving over the loss of a child to contact Pathways of Hope services in their community for support.
Community Care Hospice, Wilmington
Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, Dayton
Hospice of Central Ohio, Newark
Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice, Springfield
Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County, Generations of Life Center, Troy
Ohio’s Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties, Franklin