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Healing after a child dies

Alaska parents usually expect that they will die before their children. When a child dies, this can be a difficult time, especially when a family thinks the child's death could have been prevented. It is important for parents to understand how they can help their family heal as they move through the days and months after losing a child.

When a child dies, a family may feel a wide range of emotions. HealGrief.org says that some parents may focus on all the ways the situation could have been prevented and feel guilty they did not do something different that might have saved their child. Other parents might feel angry at the people who may have unwittingly caused their child's death. Sometimes a family may also go through a period in which they think it is impossible that their child is really gone. Additionally, some parents may feel like they are unable to protect any of their children.

It is important for people to remember that they likely need support. According to Very Well Family, neighbors and extended family members can help take care of children and bring meals. Although some families may not like the idea of accepting help, it is a good idea to welcome the assistance of others. Sometimes friends and family members may want to help but not know what they can do. In this situation, it is all right for people to assign tasks they are finding difficult, such as taking the family pet on a walk or going grocery shopping.

Although some parents may wonder how their lives can continue without their child, it is important for a family to continue their daily routine. If surviving siblings have activities they regularly attend, they should typically keep going, and a family should usually continue practices like family game nights or dinners together. Continuing the routine may sometimes help the other children, as it can provide them with consistency during this difficult time.

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