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Allow Yourself Peace in Grief

Grief can be very overwhelming and it leaves us with feeling of helplessness. Even with established stages of grief: anger, denial, bargaining, and acceptance, we still are unique individuals and we can experience so many different levels of pain. The first year you can experience all stages of grief but my experience is that not all stages last equally in amounts of time. No two people are alike in grief. I wish someone had told me about just some of the feelings that I would go through, that were possible, and I wish I had known then what I realize now. So, I hope sharing this experience will make peace of mind easier for you.

You will feel like your life is over and the world doesn’t care about your child anymore. I can assure you, your life does go on even though you may not feel like you want it to. The life you will call your “New Normal” will slowly begin. You may find yourself sitting for hours and nothing gets done, but it’s okay as long as you can continue to care for yourself and the others that truly need your attention.

No matter how bad a day feels, it is only one day. When you go to sleep crying, you will wake up with the power to make a choice on how you want to live that day. Wake up tomorrow and say out loud: Today I choose to live the way (name) would want me to. I choose to remember one happy memory. Grief comes and goes like a vicious roller coaster. One day you can talk about your child and the next day you can’t speak or hear their name without having a total breakdown. This is all part of your new normal life. Don’t forget, it’s okay to cry. Do it often. But don’t forget it’s okay to laugh, too. Don’t feel guilty for feeling positive emotions even when dealing with losing someone so precious to your heart. Monitor your self- talk for negative messages and replace them with positive ones. Even if you don’t believe what you’re saying, sending a healthy intention can work wonders.

Try to take good care of yourself by eating healthy and/or going to the gym even if you don’t want to. This one is still a struggle for me and has been even though it’s more than ten years later. You may find that you’re doing great for a few months but that you then resort back to your old depressive ways. It happens, but as long as you get back on track, you will be okay. Don’t shut people out of your life or hide from them how you’re feeling. You will lose relationships and gain relationships during your life’s grief journey.

Some people will surprise you, for the good and for the bad, but remember those that love you can be hurt if you don’t allow them to help you. Sometimes they don’t know how to deal with their pain so they will reach out to you. Don’t cut yourself off from their reach. They need your touch and you need theirs. Reach out to others. This can seem daunting, especially when you don’t even have the energy to get out of bed. But keep the phone or computer handy and reach out as much as you can to those you love and trust. God will be there for you and it’s okay to cry out to him. He will never, ever let you down. He will let you scream, cry, and question. Throw all your emotions at Him. He is near to the brokenhearted. Take time to truly remember the precious life you lost. Write about him or her, go back to all your memories with them in all the good times you had. It will help; this is how I started to heal. Dealing with the grief head on is better than running from it or denying it. Don’t hide from the pain. If you do hide from it will fester and it will grow and it will consume you. It could turn into a worse issue than you ever intended. If family tells you it’s time to get help, don’t ignore them or worse get mad. Just go get help. You will ask “Why?” with no answers more times than you can count. What helps is prayer, asking God for mercy and strength. He will show you how to be strong.

He will provide strength. You may ask “How?” But it is probably better to ask not why did they die but how did they live? And, how can we honor them in memory. You will try to escape grief by getting busy. You will think that if you don’t think about it, it’ll just go away. This isn’t really true.


Take time to process and begin to heal. Food, liquor, drugs, hobbies, work, and other relationships will appear to take the pain away and give you peace. But if you are trying to use anything to numb the pain that can lead to other issues, danger or unhealthy lifestyle changes. I recommend you seek help immediately before it gets worse and consumes you.

 You may be asked, “How many children do you have?” It’s okay to include your deceased child in that answer. After all, he or she is always your child. I typically answer by saying, “I have three children and my middle child passed away.” I usually get shocked looks but I simply smile and continue the conversation. If someone is uncomfortable that’s not your issue, it’s his or hers.

 It’s okay to enjoy your life without feeling guilty about living. You are alive and your loved one would not want you crying all the time. It’s okay to be angry as long as you can move past it.

 Get some sun. Withdrawing to a dark room can only hinder your progress. Try to sit in the sunlight for a few minutes every day. Vitamin D has a direct impact on brain functioning, and sunlight is the prime source of vitamin D.

Allow others to have a life, too, and have fun without you making them feel like they should be grieving. Every one grieves differently.

 Depending on the circumstances of death you may find yourself wanting to blame others for your pain and this isn’t healthy. Whether it is at the hand of another or in my son’s case just a random accident with no one else involved, the pain is still there and the healing comes from God from within yourself and the strength you find in God.

 If you have other children, you need to continue to live strong for them. Don’t compare their talents, personalities or dreams; just support them for being them and remember their loss is a pain you may not see for years to come.

Remember nothing will ever replace or fix your pain and the hole left in your heart. We can only do small strides to live in the grief we have been left with. Your never living i even the past but loving your child in the present when you strive to thrive not just survive. I can only speak of my child and what I know with all my heart he would want for me. My son and I had a very strong, loving relationship that I miss more than anything in my life or ever will. I know Bryant and his love for life and he would want to see me remembering him in the best light of positive spirit as possible so I write and research to help not only heal but make him proud of his Mom.

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About the Author

Cherie Rickard’s first book, Wake-Up Call....A Mother's Grief Journey , goes where few people dare to ever go – deep and real. Cherie, a Registered Nurse and Medical/Business Professional working with clinicians caring for adults and children, is first a child of God, a Mother of three, a wife, daughter, sister and friend. Born in Arkansas and raised in South Louisiana, Cherie now devotes her life to helping people understand how to turn the tragedy of losing a loved one into a life of joy. In a refreshingly honest and transparent narrative, Cherie shares her heart in this book -- a moving, inspirational voyage inside how her life was shattered in an instant. In vivid detail, the reader lives how overwhelming her grief was when in 2007 Bryant Kite, her 17-year-old son entering his senior year of high school was killed in a one-car accident. In ways unexpected, practical and real, Cherie gives anyone who has ever experienced the devastating loss of a loved one, extremely practical, heart-felt advice on how to turn life’s most tragic blow into triumph by trusting in God and His Word. Cherie’s second book Strong Women is available here

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