There are many thoughts that run through a person’s mind when they learn that their child or sibling has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. What will my child’s life and my life be like now? How will this affect me? How will our family survive such a trauma? These and a million other questions come to mind when your child is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Many parents and children feel grief towards a life that was lost and these feelings can occur whether or not there was a death. The life you were planning for yourself or your child may no longer be possible and you have to cope with all of these new feelings while still managing day to day life, a daunting task.
Perhaps more devastating is the actual loss of a child. This experience is heart breaking and life altering for parents, siblings, other family members and friends, as it does not follow the proper course of life. The process of grief differs from person to person. Grief is a very subjective emotion and depending on the age and the relationship a person had with the child, their reaction to the loss will take on a variety of forms. For many, however, it is a long and painful journey, and it causes some to feel alone and forgotten by others who go on with their lives.
There are many new emotions and unexpected feelings that accompany the loss of a child such as, anger, guilt, abandonment, depression, etc. Though there is no way to completely quell all the feelings that occur with losing a child, there are support services and networks of other parents to help you cope with such a tragic loss. The support you can receive from others also dealing with a loss helps you understand that you are not alone and many, if not all, of the feelings you may be having are normal, in a way and this type of support is immeasurable.
Many are not aware of the different avenues you can take when seeking support. The social workers at many organizations are available to help you determine what services will be the most appropriate in helping you and your family manage all of the psychological and emotional difficulties that are associated with losing a child.
“The feeling of connecting to other parents is that sense of knowing that you are not alone.” -quote from a bereaved parent
These organizations typically offer many programs including a Loss, Grief and Bereavement Program for families who have lost a child. Their goal is to support families through this difficult experience by connecting them to other bereaved families, providing supportive services, and offering therapeutic and educational information. We know everyone has his or her own unique way of grieving. It is for this reason that we offer different forms of support to address varying needs and ages.
Through interaction with bereaved parents, as well as siblings, we have developed a variety of services within our Loss, Grief, and Bereavement program that will attend to a wide range of families all coping in their own way.
Services include a parent mentor program, online support groups and discussions for parents and caregivers, bereaved sibling support, counseling, and referrals to a variety of grief and bereavement resources. The families who participate in our programs provide us with vital information so we can better assist future families. It is a horrible thing to lose a child and there is no way to ever heal such a wound but the goal of many organizations is to provide the best support possible for families.