How to get out of bed

Written by, Kevin Carlin Family Support Practitioner at Very Special Kids

Bereaved parents have sometimes said that there were days they would have preferred to stay in bed and not face the day as they were once more confronted with the pain of their child’s death which could be all-consuming.

The world was no longer the place they once knew. They were now seeing it through different lenses.

Parents may have been confronted by the huge vacuum in their life of no longer having to provide for the care needs of their child. However, they were forced against all of their feelings to face their “new norm” or reality; one without their deceased child.

The needs of other children may have to be met and force a parent to get out of bed. However after the children had been gotten off to school, the couch could have become the parent’s sanctuary for a few hours.

Whilst recognising that staying in bed or on the couch, and feeling the devastation can be part of the grieving process, it’s important not to get stuck and be conscious you cannot do that all the time.

As a wounded, bereaved person, caring and nurturing for yourself is important. Remember the little things that used to give you pleasure and perhaps indulge in one or more of them again. Try to establish small achievable routines in your life.

Performing ordinary, everyday home care or self-care tasks can be a welcome distraction. Exercise can be helpful; going for a walk or gardening, noticing the physical world around you, trees, flowers and birds for example. Nature can be healing: setting up a special memory space in your home or garden in honour of your child.

If you feel like talking, share what you are going through with someone you trust. This might be a non-judgemental family member, friend, counselor or perhaps a Very Special Kids Practitioner. Having what you are going through affirmed or acknowledged is important.

If you are able to allow yourself to cry, it can very therapeutic. The outpouring may provide some relief with the pain receding for a time taking you into a calmer, quieter space. Reading, writing, art, music, establishing your own ritual, creative memories, attending a support program such as those facilitated by Very Special Kids can all be helpful.

A combination of feeling and doing can be helpful. Slowly, at your own pace, seek the support you need. Strategies are not prescriptive but rather a set of tools to choose from for each individual.

In the event that you feel so immobilised or stuck that you are struggling to perform any of your “normal tasks,” it is important to speak to a doctor, counselor or Very Special Kids Practitioner.