You Can Expect


When a parent losses a child, their life is turned upside down. Days are long and lonely. No parent is ever prepared for this horrific loss. Through my personal journey, it is helpful to listen to what other grieving parents are experiencing or have experienced.  Some of the experiences I have read about I can understand but others have surprised me. You can expect a majority of these thoughts will be a part of your grieving process.

The timing of your grief will be longer than most people think.

Grief makes many changes and continues to develop.

Your grief will show up in all aspects of your life; physically, socially, and psychologically.

A lot of your grief will depend on how you perceived your loss.

Not only will you grieve your loved one but you will also grieve things tangible and symbolic.

You will grieve what you have lost now as well as the future.

All your hopes, dreams and unmet expectations for that person will be mourned as well as the person you lost.


You will experience many emotions and reactions, not necessarily those that are most expected by grieving such as depression and sadness.

Prior feelings, issues, and unresolved conflicts will resurrect from the past.

This major loss will create some identity confusion different from expected.

A combination of annoyance, anger, depression, irritability, intolerance, and frustration will surface at times.

Guilt will manifest or some form of the emotion.

You may experience a lack of self concern.

Suddenly, an acute upsurge of grief may manifest with no warning.

Difficulty thinking, making decisions, memory, organizational skills, and intellectual processing will occur.

Forced strength

You may question feeling that you are going crazy.

Being preoccupied and obsessed with the death and deceased loved one may occur.

Religion and your philosophy on life may be questioned and you find yourself searching for meanings.

In a social environment you may find yourself acting different from before.

Several physical reactions can occur.

Upsurges of grief can surface at certain events, experiences, dates and stimuli.

Society may respond inappropriately to you about your mourning and have unrealistic expectations.

The amount of energy grief consumes will surprise you.

We are never the same after losing our child. Our world changes and the old self is gone forever and a new one is surfacing. You can expect a whirlwind of emotions that can change in an instant. I hope some of these expectations give you some comfort that what you are experiencing is normal and someone else has shared the emotion with you. Feel free to leave a comment below of an experience that was not expected that we can learn from, relate to, or smile with.

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