Anytime a loved one passes it is usually a very traumatic and emotional ordeal, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their passing. However, there are those deaths that hit a little closer to the heart, and those are generally considered deaths of the immediate family.
A parent should never have to endure the soul-numbing agony of losing a child. When a child is lost, both parents and siblings lives are changed forever. Depending on age, and the circumstances, siblings will typically feel a great deal of guilt after the overwhelming sense of shock has subsided. It is only after these powerful feelings have been honestly and completely experienced that true healing can begin. Siblings often times seek to start rebuilding their lives relatively quickly after their grieving process. The process for parents on the other hand, can be quite a bit longer. A complete recovery is next to impossible. Most parents never even consider the possibilities of their children dying before them, much less having to actually deal with the reality of that loss. It is crucial that compassion, patience and understanding be the rule of the day. Most parents will feel anger and great frustration combined with feelings and thoughts of “why not me?” Support groups and marriage counseling can be invaluable tools as each parent may feel that they are the only ones that have endured such a tragic event, when in reality many people have experienced the same feelings and can be invaluable resources in the healing process.
Losing a spouse can have a crippling effect on your entire being, mind body and soul. A loss such as the loss of a spouse can be one of the most deeply hurtful experiences ever. Most widowers will always feel that a significant part of their life is forever gone. These feelings are normal and should be embraced, not ignored or denied. It is also often the case that the spouse makes all of the funeral arrangements; this can leave the grieving widower dangerously exhausted. This exhaustion is as much psychological, as it is physical, and if not properly monitored can often times result in hospitalization. Strong involvement from family and friends is crucial during this time of mourning. Some people enjoy doing activities with others that were similar to those that the couple had formerly engaged in together. However it would be a mistake to assume this for everyone. Just the thought of those activities may be way too painful for many to even comprehend. The main key, as with the passing of most loved ones, is just to be there for the widower. Try to make sure they stay active and reinforce how much they are loved, and just as importantly, needed.