If you’ve told your story, built a support system, explored your emotions, identified and begun grieving your losses, and recognized any unhealthy behaviors, then you’ve made significant progress! If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to make another decision - to let go of the pain. Surprisingly, this isn’t as easy as it sounds…
Sometimes we get used to the pain, sometimes we hang onto the pain so we don’t forget the loss, and sometimes we’re afraid to move on. Letting go of the pain will mean very different things to different people.
Letting go may mean letting go of broken relationships that can’t be mended. Letting go may mean letting go of some of the dreams for your life. Letting go may mean letting go of the child who perished.
Your loss is no less real once you decide to let go of the pain. On the contrary, the loss takes its place as a part of your unique history—no longer hidden or suppressed, but integrated into your past and contributing to who you are now and will continue to be in the future.
This can often mean being a person who has a special understanding of and compassion for others who’ve experienced the kind of loss(es) you have.
You may want to write in your journal about your decision to let go of the pain, or you may want to memorialize your decision in some other way. This doesn’t signify that healing is concluded, it simply signifies your willingness to complete the journey. Journaling will continue to be an important tool, and your support system will continue to aid you greatly. You may also need to simultaneously work on any unhealthy behaviors.
Note: Healing doesn’t mean you have it all together. It means you’re taking purposeful steps to go through a process. Since loss can sometimes take on different meanings over time, in the future you may experience other emotions regarding the loss of the child. However, when that happens, you’ll have many resources to draw upon to help you deal with those emotions. You’ll also have the skills to process them and integrate them into your life. You won’t need to fear them, avoid them, or repress them; you’ll be able to embrace them and keep moving forward.
If you would like to memorialize your child, you can go to the Memorial page of the website.