How to survive the death of your child

Although childhood mortality rates have plummeted over the past century in developed countries, between 5% and 10% of the US population still experiences a sibling death. While we know a death in the family has strong and durable negative long-term effects on relatives in the long run, little is known about the development of children who experience the death of a sibling in the medium run. This is a key issue, given children’s vulnerability, the malleability of early childhood skills, and their impact on future adult health and socioeconomic outcomes. By analyzing a longitudinal dataset, this study examines how children’s cognitive and socioemotional skills and parental effort change around the time of the death of a child in the family.

Abstract

This paper explores the effects of experiencing the death of a sibling on children’s developmental outcomes. Recent work has shown that experiencing a sibling death is common and long-term effects are large. We extend understanding of these effects by estimating dynamic effects on surviving siblings’ cognitive and socioemotional outcomes, as well as emotional and cognitive support by parents. Using the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (CNLSY79), we find large initial effects on cognitive and noncognitive outcomes that decline over time. We also provide evidence that the effects are larger if the surviving child is older and less prominent if the deceased child was either disabled or an infant, suggesting sensitive periods of exposure. Auxiliary results show that parental investments in the emotional support of surviving children decline following the death of their child.

In 2014, almost 40,000 children under the age of 20 y died in the United States, with the highest rates among infants, those between the ages of 15 and 19 y, and boys (1). More worryingly, disadvantaged children are more likely to be affected. For instance, blacks are 50% more likely to lose a sibling by the age of 20 y than whites (2).

Child deaths have large negative effects, including marital disruption, depression, and health problems persisting decades after the child’s death for parents (3, 4); in fact, bereavement following the death of a close relative is ranked among the most severe life events (5). Other relatives, such as surviving siblings, are also influenced by these deaths, both directly through the loss of a sibling and indirectly through parental bereavement. The uniqueness and longevity associated with sibling ties suggest that experiencing a sibling’s death could substantially disrupt the human capabilities of the surviving sibling. However, these experiences go largely unmeasured and are often not targets of interventions and resources, leading surviving siblings to be “forgotten grievers” (6 ⇓ –8). The scope of this omission is large, as US data suggest nearly 8% experience a sibling death before the age of 25 y (9).

Most of the previous literature examining bereaved siblings has examined the effects of adults losing siblings on increased adult all-cause mortality, suicide, and cardiovascular deaths (6, 10, 11). An emerging literature has begun to explore whether losing a sibling during childhood is particularly traumatic. Bolton et al. (12) show large increases in mental disorders for bereaved siblings, especially for those exposed as a teenager. Fletcher et al. (9) find significant reductions in educational attainment and increases in the likelihood of coresiding with parents in adulthood. Yu et al. (13) show increases of over 100% in mortality rates in the first year following the death and larger effects among siblings close in age. Our work extends this set of findings to explore the dynamic impacts of a sibling death using multiple relevant measures of child development and parental investments, and assesses the potential for “sensitive periods” based on children’s age (14, 15).

Insights from multiple disciplines suggest several ways that experiencing a sibling death may compromise adult outcomes. Economists often model siblings as competitors for shared family resources (16), although increases in resources to a surviving child may be counteracted by the effects of bereavement on both parents and children. Moreover, older siblings are role models for younger children, shaping educational and health outcomes (17, 18), suggesting differences in the effects of sibling death depending on their relative age difference. Epidemiologists find it a major stressful life event that leads to increased health risks, including higher rates of mortality in adulthood (11, 13). Psychologists have found that younger children express feelings of grief, sadness, and depression, and pretend play with their deceased sibling, while older children act out more, engage in elevated levels of risk taking, and are more inclined to enter helping professions (19).

We add to the literature by exploring the dynamic effects of exposure to sibling death during childhood. We use data with high-frequency measures to investigate cognitive and socioemotional (human capital) outcomes, in addition to home investments. We find large initial impacts of sibling death on cognitive and socioemotional outcomes that decline over time, suggesting that analyses that focus on only long-term outcomes fail to uncover the entire trajectory of impacts. We also show that the effects are larger if the surviving child is older, suggesting sensitive periods of exposure. One interpretation of these findings is through psychological development vulnerability; for example, older children are more likely to be at a developmental stage where they can understand loss and/or recognize the impacts of the death on their parents (20, 21).

Results

Table 1 reports results for cognitive outcomes: The first column in each panel shows the main effects, the second examines years since sibling death effects, and the third includes whether the deceased sibling was older than the focal child at death. We find negative significant differences in one measure of human capital, reading comprehension, for surviving siblings after versus before the death. We next test for differences in the estimates as the surviving child ages. Results in column 2 of Table 1 strongly support a large but declining effect of experiencing the death of a sibling on all outcomes. For example, for reading, we find a more than nine percentile point immediate impact that is significantly reduced by 0.8 point each year following the death of a sibling, suggesting that, on average, effects fade out ∼11 y after the death. We also find significant reductions of nine points in mathematics, nearly 11 points in reading comprehension, and six points in Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) scores immediately following the death of a sibling, all of which appear to decline over time.

How to survive the death of your child

I heard someone say, grief isn’t a life sentence, it’s a life passage. It’s the one common human experience we all have at one time or another. But, we didn’t expect it to be the death of a child, did we? If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’ve lost a child or been affected by the loss of a child. You’re now discovering grieving this loss is the hardest thing you’ve ever done.

I know, because suddenly, without warning, my life changed. My beautiful 16-year old son came home from school complaining of a headache and a fever. The doctor diagnosed him with the flu. But it wasn’t. Sometime during the night, my boy was taken from me forever. I found him the next morning in his bed, lifeless. The misdiagnosis was actually a swift and deadly form of bacterial meningitis.

Have you ever felt such incredible emotion as losing your child? It’s feared by all parents and an unimaginable loss. Unimaginable, until it happens to you. People refer to it as “the worst that can happen,” and that’s exactly what it feels like.

“In the years following my son’s death, I discovered, no matter how great my loss, or how deep my grief, the world does not stop.”

In the years following my son’s death, I discovered, no matter how great my loss, or how deep my grief, the world does not stop. In fact, it intensifies.

I remember thinking… how can I ever be happy again? I felt as though my pain was visible to others, and I would forever be wearing grief as a mask and a tagline…”I’m Sandy Peckinpah and I’ve lost a child.”

Then a friend gave me a journal and said, “Write. Just write.” The first blank page was so difficult. I could only put down one sentence, “My son died and my life will never be the same.” The next day, I wrote a paragraph, and each day after that I found words came more easily. My journal became my safe haven to empty the well of my sorrow, pouring tears of ink onto paper. And for a little while, I could let my emotions rest.

I had to survive this. I had three living children who needed a whole mother. I was not willing to sacrifice my role in their lives by succumbing to paralyzing grief. I kept writing. Words pulled me and pushed me. As weeks went on, I’d read back over the journal entries. I began to see something remarkable. I’d survived another day, another week, another month; and I was growing stronger. I’d see words of hope illuminating my way.

There’s no magic secret to the journal. Just pick up a pen and begin with one word or sentence. Keep writing. Healing is not on a timetable. In fact, time doesn’t fix this kind of loss. Healing comes from actively pursuing life again. After awhile, you’ll look back on your words and not recognize the person you once were. You’ll see how strong you really are.

“Healing is not on a timetable. In fact, time doesn’t fix this kind of loss.”

I used to believe the cliché “everything happens for a reason,” but with this kind of tragedy, it seems to be reversed. When a tragedy like this happens, it can be the starting place to give it reason and relevance. When you recognize this, it’s the moment your grieving will shift.

Imagine that. What would it feel like? I used to fantasize and picture my life without the pain by writing out that very question, What would it be like to feel peace around Garrett’s death? I would visualize myself without the veil of sorrow and allow the comfort of happiness to flow in. And for a brief moment, I could feel it. As time went on, I was able to reach that peaceful feeling more frequently. I had the power within the pages of my journal to compartmentalize my sorrow. Once you’re aware of what it feels like, you’ll be able to access it more easily.

It’s been decades since my beautiful son left this earth and sometimes tears still surprise me. But the work of healing has brought me a harmonious blend of resolution and comfort as my heart joyfully connects with the sweet ballad of his memories. Healing doesn’t mean you’ll never feel the sadness. It means you’ll be able to have memories without attaching intense despair.

“My child’s loss taught me to love harder and appreciate every single day.”

Use your journal as your safe place, and you’ll begin to form a new relationship with your child, telling stories, and feeling the joy you once had when they were alive.

I now look at the life of my son and marvel at his 16 years, 3 months, and 10 days. He was the first to call me mom. His death was the birth of my new life. learning how to live with his loss, and recognizing who I am because of it. I chose resilience and my journal was a big part of helping me rise up.

My child’s loss taught me to love harder and appreciate every single day. It taught me to reach out to others and begin sharing my story in hopes it could reassure other wounded parents there is life after loss.

As the years go by, I’ve learned a mother’s love never diminishes; in fact, my love for my son has grown, just as it would have if he was still alive. I am still his mother. No child dies without a legacy and a purpose for those that are left behind. It’s up to you, his mother, his father. Honor your child by healing. They wouldn’t want it any other way.

How to survive the death of your child

It’s no secret that many marriages fall apart after the death of a child. I completely understand why.

The death of a child completely shatters you. You’re the same people, but at the same time, you’re really not. Everyone changes throughout the course of a marriage, but it’s rarely so sudden and complete. So you have to get to know each other again in one of the most harrowing circumstances imaginable.

No two people grieve the same, even when they’re grieving the same loss. One partner might be very vocal about how he or she is feeling, while the other is quiet. One might express grief in “traditional” ways (crying, etc.), while the other does things his or her partner finds odd. You’re also rarely grieving on the same “cycles,” so to speak. Sometimes you resent your partner for bringing you down when you’re having a good day. Sometimes, you feel guilty for bringing your partner down.

There are times in grieving when you want to be — need to be — selfish. You don’t want to consider somebody else’s feelings, only your own. You want to be taken care of, and you want to believe what you’re going through is the worst and no one can possibly understand how much you hurt. But you do have someone who understands, and it’s both a blessing and a curse. A blessing not to have to walk the path alone. A curse because some days it’s all you can do to help yourself survive, let alone someone else. Shutting down and shutting out becomes a defense mechanism.

You’re also forced to address difficult situations and emotions that you might otherwise be able to ignore. It would be easy to ignore the complicated things if you were grieving solo — you could just say that no one understands, and leave it at that. But with a partner in grief, you’re really forced to examine painful concepts and memories if you ever want to possibly rebuild your life. Sometimes you have to do that at someone else’s pace, and it’s frustrating.

I asked my husband Mike why he thought our marriage survived after our daughter Maddie’s death, and he paused and then said, “I don’t know.” I don’t either. We didn’t love each other more or better than couples whose marriages ended. I think it helped that on the days we couldn’t bear to speak to each other, we could write how we were feeling and decide if we wanted the other to read it. In the beginning we realized that the best way to take care of us, the couple, was to take care of us, individually. We allowed each other to be selfish, but we worked on keeping our communication open and honest. When one of us needed more, we tried not to let it fester. We still work on that.

We give each other space when we need it and we hold each other when we need that. We went to therapy together, but we’ve mostly gone separately because we preferred it that way. We’ve had to figure out our comfort zones and what works for us, and that’s constantly changing. We rely on the “drowning” analogy a lot — that a drowning person will sometimes pull his or her rescuer under. When one of us is having a bad time, we’ll say, “I’m drowning,” and we’ll tell each other what we need to feel “rescued” that day without pulling the other person down.

Losing a child is the hardest thing a couple can go through. We still have our struggles, and, as anyone who’s suffered loss can tell you, you never know what life is going to throw at you. We try to focus on our kids, each other, and ourselves, and not on what could have been or might be coming. And it’s hard. So hard.

Home » My Adult Son’s Death Has Changed My Life

When someone we love dies…we are changed. When that someone is our child…we are changed forever, deeply, no matter how old they were. Letting go is not a possibility. Everything in my being was geared to hold on, to protect and to be aware of his life. It didn’t matter that he was an adult, twice the size of me. Past, present and future collapsed into a series of nows. This event shook me to my core. I have lost parts of myself. How can this happen? Where did he go? Where did I go? What were his last moments like? Did he feel pain? Did he suffer? Was my mom who passed a year prior there to greet him? How could I have prevented this? What should we have known?

In the months after his death, feelings of failure, vulnerability, depression, remorse, profound grief, guilt on top of a first hand experience of the meaning of the word bereft. Feeling bereft was/is physical for me. The word so accurately expressed my flattened energy.

Fortunately for me, I hadn’t completely lost my spirituality. I lost my belief in God but I still held a belief that we are more than our physical bodies. This belief helped me to try to be open to connecting with him or open to the possibility that he might be able to give me a sign or some indication that he was nearby. I believed early on that if it took any focus or intention for a spirit to make contact, Richard would at least try to make himself be known. He had a strong presence in life. When he walked into a room, people noticed. He was upbeat and deeply calm at the same time. He loved life.

While my belief about the non physical was open, my heart was so badly wounded by his sudden death that all I could do was to call out his name and plead, “Richard, Richard, Richard, how could this happen to you?” I begged for an answer, “Richard, how am I going to survive this?” These phrases poured out from the longing in my heart. I continued this way for a year, several times a day.

Everything in my world had changed. I moved to Southern California from New York to live close to him. These were to be the good years in my life and in his. Lots of outdoor activities, cookouts, hanging out, bike rides, hikes, paddle boarding and the gym. Those activities were just the “normal” weekend fare. Lots of talk of boats, excursions and opportunities to share life and celebrate the life of his baby girl. Our lives had not been easy when he was young. now the future looked really bright.

My hope stopped when he died. The resounding emptiness was deafening. Our family is spread out but mostly located in the Chicagoland area. I wouldn’t have survived without them, close friends and wonderful neighbors where we lived three blocks from each other here on Balboa Island.

With Richard’s guidance, I believe, I chose measures to help myself to continue with some of the goals that he and I shared, like becoming part of the community, getting involved and trying to make a contribution. Each choice that I made to move through an obstacle, or my own resistance, I heard Richard’s voice beside me encouraging me, like he did back in Chicago when I achieved my second masters degree in 2005 to become a psychotherapist. He was always in my corner.

Now my journey includes widening my circle of trust. I’m choosing to live life instead of living a small life. Each of the obstacles have given me a choice…either move through it or acquiesce. Movement always feels like choosing life. Acquiescing to obstacles/resistance feels like defeat. I can’t take anymore defeat. Richard’s death was literally my worst nightmare. So in some ways my current fears are nothing compared to the one that just happened…out of the blue, suddenly, and shockingly.

Well-meaning people make assumptions about each other’s lives. I’m choosing not to focus on being offended. I’m choosing to believe that people are generally well-meaning, even if their comments sound ignorant or unconscious. People have the impression that I’m strong and that I’m getting over this or that new people have filled the void in my heart, that horrible, empty void. That is just not so. I’m unique to this journey, as is every other parent who has lost a child. There’s no script except the one that we write.

I’m choosing to stay focused on the ‘miracle’ of feeling Richard’s presence in my heart on a daily basis. Feeling connected to him helps me. During his life, he would never have been in favor of my checking out or living a small life. I know that ultimately choosing to live is my decision but I have to say that many times it’s because I know what he would say or do. You could say that I continue for him. He has sparked a new determination in me to create an expanded version of myself. I have nothing to loose.

I’m clearing out the clutter of previous struggles, attitudes and perceptions that aren’t useful to me any longer. I feel leadership growing out of my broken heart. People are entering my life and I am saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ or worse, ‘I don’t know”. I am beginning to get glimpses of how my life is evolving completely differently than I expected when I moved here. It’s like my energy is clearing by the methods I have used to take care of myself in the past year and a half. I am finding a strong connection to Richard in my heart that I feared would go away but now I know will never die. I am not afraid to die and welcome the moment that I see and embrace him again. It doesn’t matter what form he is in, I will recognize him.

David was the second king of Israel, leader of God’s chosen people. I identify with David for so many reasons. He had a humble upbringing. He was a fighter. He loved to praise. He loved to sing. He loved to write. He was a vile sinner. He was given a life only God could have planned.

And his son died too. In this season of my life, I connect the most with the time of David’s life when his baby died (2 Samuel 12:14-25). I find myself drawn to his writings. I am seeking solace from someone who understands.

How to survive the death of your child

This is the man who wrote Psalm 34.

I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
he will erase their memory from the earth.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
not one of them is broken!

Calamity will surely overtake the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

In the middle of this writing, he asks us, “Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous?”

I can feel David tenderly looking at me from the beyond, asking me, “Do you want a life that is free of pain, where your sorrow is healed? Do you want to feel joy again? Serena, do you want to experience life again, when you were whole?”

“Yes! David, YES I DO! How? How do I live again? How do feel joy again? How do I survive this?”

From his psalm he speaks to me, Serena,

  1. Boast only in the Lord
  2. Exalt his name
  3. Pray
  4. Look to him for help
  5. Take refuge in him
  6. Fear him
  7. Trust him
  8. Turn away from evil and do good
  9. Search for peace and work to maintain it

The Lord is close.

How do I survive the death of my child? The choice is mine today. I have a choice to follow the counsel of David or remain stubbornly in my grief.

Today, I choose to move. I choose to act. I will boast in the Lord and exalt him. I will pray. I will look to him and take my refuge in him. I will fear him. I will trust him. I will turn away from evil and set my hands to doing good. I will search for peace and work to keep it because I believe. I believe the Lord is close.

How to survive the death of your child

Helping parents to face the future when an only child has died.

Anyone whose child has died is acutely aware of the enormous gap that their child leaves, no matter what their age or the circumstances of their death. However, when you have lost your only child, or all of your children, the emptiness within your heart has another dimension altogether.

Many speak of feeling as if there is no reason to go on, since there is no one for whom they must be strong or feel responsible. The loss is not only of the present relationship, but also of future hopes and dreams. When an only child dies, all hopes of weddings, a daughter- or son-in-law, and the possibility of ever becoming a grandparent are gone. The future can appear bleak and empty.

It can be very difficult for childless parents to hear stories of surviving children – even from other bereaved parents. You have, perhaps, an even greater need to talk about your child who has died, but it hurts to have no living children to relate these adventures to. Christmas and birthdays are particularly painful, and there is no-one to remember and acknowledge your role on Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day.

If you have to deal with the loss of two or even more children you face very complex emotions. It may be that another child has died in completely separate circumstances and so the stages and agonies of grief are begun all over again. Or perhaps more than one child died in a single incident and there is the confusion of grieving equally for two or more unique children. Each had their own individual characters and personalities, and we have had a very different relationship with each.

If you have lost your only child, or you know someone in this situation, here are some important points which you may find helpful to focus on:

Once a parent, always a parent

You may ask, “Am I still a parent?” Hold on to the fact that once you have been a parent you are always one. You know that your love for your child or children (whether babies or adults) will never go away and is part of who you are.

Grieve for the loss of the future you expected

This will take time. Not only do you need to mourn your present loss, but also the loss of all future hopes and dreams. Very gradually you will be able to incorporate your all-important past into a new present and future.

Adjust to your loss

Well-meaning people may encourage you to take advantage of your new ‘freedom’ to develop your career, other interests or community work. But this is not a ‘freedom’ you would ever have chosen, and it is painful to even think of it in that way. Try to lay aside such hurtful suggestions as you adjust to the enormity of your loss.

Find a ‘new normal’

Gradually, imperceptibly, as you travel the long journey of grief, you will find you have gained a new strength and will begin to find new interests in a future that is quite different from the one you had anticipated, but which can again be filled with peace, joy and meaning.

Eventually some bereaved parents become involved in charities, perhaps supporting a cause their child was closely connected with. It may be possible to work to prevent further deaths from similar causes to that from which their child has died. Some find a positive way to allow the name of their child to live on by leaving awards or memorial prizes.

As one mum put it: “My charity became my child; his legacy for eternity … It is my Sunday lunch for Alex, his roast potatoes and my attempt to feed him and make him loved forever.”

Social Security survivors benefits are paid to widows, widowers, and dependents of eligible workers. This benefit is particularly important for young families with children.

This page provides detailed information about survivors benefits and can help you understand what to expect from Social Security when you or a loved one dies.

The Basics About Survivors Benefits

Your family members may receive survivors benefits if you die. If you are working and paying into Social Security, some of those taxes you pay are for survivors benefits. Your spouse, children, and parents could be eligible for benefits based on your earnings.

You may receive survivors benefits when a family member dies. You and your family could be eligible for benefits based on the earnings of a worker who died. The deceased person must have worked long enough to qualify for benefits.

Apply for Survivors Benefits

You should notify us immediately when a person dies. However, you cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online.

In most cases, the funeral home will report the person’s death to us. You should give the funeral home the deceased person’s Social Security number if you want them to make the report.

If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Although our offices are closed to the public, employees from those offices are assisting people by telephone. You can find the phone number for your local office by using our Social Security Office Locator and looking under Social Security Office Information. The toll-free “Office” number is your local office.

If you are not getting benefits

If you are not getting benefits, you should apply for survivors benefits promptly because, in some cases, benefits may not be retroactive.

If you are getting benefits

If you are getting benefits on your spouse’s or parent’s record:

  • You generally will not need to file an application for survivors benefits.
  • We’ll automatically change any monthly benefits you receive to survivors benefits after we receive the report of death.
  • We may be able to pay the Special Lump-Sum Death Payment automatically.

If you are getting retirement or disability benefits on your own record:

  • You will need to apply for the survivors benefits.
  • We will check to see whether you can get a higher benefit as a widow or widower.

Documents You Need to Apply

Please select the benefit you will be applying for from the list below to see what information and documents you may need when you apply:

    . . (You must have a child under age 16 or disabled in your care.)
  • Lump-Sum Death Payment. (You must have been dependent on your child at the time of his or her death.)

If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay applying for Social Security benefits.

In many cases, your local Social Security office can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online at no cost to you. If we can’t verify your information online, we can still help you get the information you need.

Mailing Your Documents

If you mail any documents to us, you must include the Social Security number so that we can match them with the correct application. Do not write anything on the original documents. Please write the Social Security number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with the documents.

We’re not going to make it.” I said aloud, through broken sobs.

I was both shocked and horrified by the words that had escaped my lips, that hopeless September day.

My husband and I believed in the sanctity of marriage.

We took our commitment to our vows seriously— for better or for worse.

Who knew that our worse would come so soon..

Visions of my daughter’s lifeless body, held in the arms of the man I loved, as she took her final breath, played repeatedly in my mind.

Her sudden death wreaked havoc on our family.

The wreckage was massive.

My husband and I loved each other, but neither of us knew how to navigate loss of this magnitude.

Our ability to connect became a major hurdle in our marriage.

We behaved like living zombies— operating the daily tasks of family life, while simply going through the motions .

Devoid of intimacy or joy.

Tension was high, and morale was at an all time low.

It is no secret that many marriages fall apart after such circumstances.

Tragedy, trauma, loss and grief all have a way of shattering lives.

Please join me at Messy Marriage where I am honored to be a guest this week!

How to survive the death of your child

How to survive the death of your child

How to survive the death of your child

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Comments

And I’m so honored to have you as my guest, Rachel! What a vulnerable and powerful post! I applaud your bravery not just in your writing but in your life, girlfriend!

Thanks again for sharing, Rachel.

What a powerful post. I am so sorry! Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sure it will be a blessing to many.

As I’ve already expressed over on Beth’s site, this is such a powerful and vulnerable post. I pray your story of great loss continues to help others who are walking through that same dark season. And authentically and bravely telling our story makes us comfort ambassadors.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (ESV)

Thank you Karen!! <3

Thank you for sharing your story! Heading to Beth’s site to finish the post!

I did read your story in Beth’s site, it made me crying. I could not help it. But, I am glad that you opened your experience. I shared this with my family and friends. And thank you for sharing your story in iHeart Verse Link-Up Party #8.

By the way, your post is being featured in iHeart Verse Link-Up Party 🙂

Thank you Joyce! I am honored.
And thank you for your kind words. It means so much to me. ❤️

Rachel, your post is beautiful and full of wisdom, not only for those facing tragedy but for all marriages. Thank you for your openness and honesty, as well as your desire to help others with the wisdom you gained through difficult times.

Love you rachel- sharing your story is so important and God will continue to use it. shared.

This post was a blessing. I read it over at Messy Marriage. Thank you for sharing your story.

Thank you for sharing your heart. My husband and I nearly lost our newborn son and then received the diagnosis of Down syndrome. It affected our marriage because we handle things so differently. I have to constantly remind myself that he’s not going to be like me, and that I need to give him grace. Thank you for the timely reminder!

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How to survive the death of your child

Meet Rachel!

How to survive the death of your child

Hey there! I’m so glad you’ve found your way here!
My name is Rachel. Wife, mother, and the writer of this here blog.

In August 2005, I lost my daughter to a car accident that not only took her life, but also left me reeling with pain, questioning my faith, and groping for answers.

Through the lens of suffering, I’ve begun to rediscover what it truly means to have hope, despite life’s hardships.

Could you use a little hope for your journey?

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