Helpful Tools for Grieving Child Loss (Part 1)

Helpful Tools for Grieving Child Loss (Part 1)

In the early months following the death of our son, Travis Jr., we engaged in several activities that helped us navigate this heart-wrenching loss.


It’s worth noting that these activities were also interwoven with buckets of tears, psychosomatic symptoms like chest pains, sleeping issues, and a whole suite of other challenges. There isn’t a stepwise “do this and you’ll feel better” approach to grief.


However, we want to highlight a few activities that we found helpful in surviving the early months of our ongoing grief journey.


  1. Attend support groups. We started attending virtual support groups with an organization called Postpartum Support International (PSI) about two weeks after returning home from the hospital. These groups provided a space to connect with others who had experienced stillbirth and other types of child loss. We were able to listen to others’ experiences and share our own as much or as little as we wanted to.


  1. Watch movies/shows. We watched several movies and TV show series together, mostly at night time. There was something about being temporarily immersed in a different storyline, and doing so together, that helped the painful nights pass by.


  1. Journal. I (Travis Jr.’s mom) started journaling a few weeks after Travis Jr.’s death. I wrote in great detail about what had happened and the emotions I was experiencing. It was often a tearful process, but so helpful in releasing the emotions. I know I’ll look back through this journal in the future and cherish the raw memories that I recorded in the early months after losing my son.


  1. Spend time outdoors. We spent lots of time in nature at local parks, botanical gardens, and even just outside on our deck. The fresh summer air provided a different atmosphere to help us process the grief.


  1. Travel. Travis Jr.’s dad spent countless hours researching and developing itineraries for trips to take together. We had some really meaningful encounters on our travel expeditions that reminded us of the beauty of life amidst our experience of death.


Future blog posts will go into more detail on these travel adventures and our experiences with some of the other coping tools.


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