MedFlight911 Air Ambulance on Coping with the Loss of a Child
“There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.”
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Few things in life are more devastating than losing a child. While the recent tragedies in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., are still fresh in our minds, it's virtually impossible for someone who hasn't lost a child to understand the pain and grief that those families must be experiencing.
In my own career, I've had to respond to those kinds of scenes – situations where children have been killed – and it's always heartbreaking. And as advanced air ambulance providers we sometimes transport children who are seriously ill and facing death. Even our seasoned medical professionals have trouble not getting emotional during those trips.
Those are some of the reasons that MedFligh911 is a big supporter of Stepping Stones of Hope, a Phoenix-based non-profit that provides support, education and care to grieving families.
There is no right or wrong way to cope with the death of a child. Everyone grieves in his or her own way, and in their own time. But if you or someone you love is struggling to cope with the death a child, these tips may help:
Don't isolate yourself. For many people, grief is a lonely process, but some of that pain may be eased by turning to friends, family and support groups with whom you can talk openly about your feelings.
Allow yourself to give in to your emotions. Don't worry if it makes other people uncomfortable to see you upset or angry about your loss.
Don't feel that you need to put on a brave face or pretend that everything is OK. Denying your grief will not help you heal.
Ask for help, whether it's from friends, family, neighbors or co-workers. There are people in your life who want to be there for you, but they may not be sure how to do that. Tell them what you need, even if it's just something small.
Try using art, music, or writing to help you express and process your feelings.
Look for ways to honor the child that you have lost. Even small gestures, like preparing their favorite meal, can help you remember the person who is no longer there.
Know that you are not alone. There are others who have suffered a similar loss, and talking to them may help you move through your own grief.
Do something that you enjoy. Small pleasures – taking a hike, a massage, caring for animals – can help you manage your grief. Do not feel that you can never enjoy life or feel happy again. You can still find moments of happiness even while you are grieving.
If you live in the Phoenix area and are seeking additional support or resources after the loss of a child (or any loved one), I encourage you to reach out to Stepping Stones of Hope. They provide day camps for both kids and adults, outreach programs, and other support for families and individuals who are dealing with loss. We're proud to support this organization that does so much to help grieving families understand that they are not alone.
To find out more about MedFlight911's international air ambulance services, give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air ambulance quote here.