Tuesday, December 6, 2005
Parent to Parent: Dealing with Death
For some families, the holidays can be a hardship. Parents who lost a child often use this time for reflection and remorse. But in tonight's Parent to Parent, Dr. Sally has some advice on how to deal with the devastation.
WSVN--Angel Victoria knew she had a special girl when adrianna was born. Despite a congenital heart defect and two surgeries to repair it, adrianna loved life.
Angel Victoria: "She never had the attitude of poor me, I have a heart problem."
Then in June, the 13-year-old went in to replace a heart valve...A little afraid but without complaints.
Angel Victoria: "When she went in the hospital, I think I went in thinking everything is going to be okay."
But this time, everything wasn't ok. After the surgery, doctors delivered devastating news.
Angel Victoria: "One of the medications that they gave her during surgery she had a severe allergic reaction to it, which put her into multi organ failure."
Adrianna passed away, and a part of Angel did too.
Angel Victoria: "Nobody talks about the true rage that you can feel, the hopelessness the helplessness that you feel because this is your child and the only thing that you want in this world is to bring them back, and it is the one thing that you can't do."
7 parenting expert Dr. Sally Goldberg says that's why parents must honor their grief.
Seven Parenting Expert Dr. Sally Goldberg: "Many people will come up to you and try to protect you from your own grief. And you can reassure them that grief is an important process that you are going through."
But while you do that, if you have other children, try to reassure them and encourage them to discuss their feelings.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "You are a model, as you go through the feelings, your child will be seeing those and understand them and learning from those as well."
If you want, keep pictures and memorabilia but also try to re-focus on the future and life's journey ahead. To do that, you can find outlets for your feelings -- like writing or talking about your pain.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "You'll always keep a sadness but at the same time, you'll always keep a happiness about the life your child lived at the time she was alive."
Angel victoria now writes about her loss in an on-line journal. She memorialized her daughter with a celebration of life instead of a funeral. Angel says she will always have beautiful memories of Adrianna and one bright wish for the future.
Angel Victoria: "I think that my biggest hope would be that we can help somebody else through what we have been through."
Remember if you are still struggling with the loss of a loved one, there are many bereavement camps for both parents and children... Or you could also seek professional help.
E-MAIL QUESTIONS TO:
Dr. Sally Goldberg's Website: