Surviving the loss of a child

Cynthia Whitham, LCSW, Associate Director at the UCLA Parenting Program, shares advice from personal experience on how to survive the loss of a child and overcome the grief
Surviving The Loss Of A Child
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Surviving the loss of a child

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Having lost a child, other parents that have lost a child they know that there is nothing that is really going to help. But being loving, being supportive, listening, asking what can I do. Not trying to fix it because there is no way to fix this, My friends took me out and they listened to my stories. Whether your child dies in an accident or however there is a story behind it. I have found, and this is truly only personally, I found in retelling the story it helped. It helped to talk about my son. I guess one thing is don't get wigged out by the tears. That is good. It feels fine to cry. It is okay. So if you are uncomfortable with tears just be prepared. If you ask the right question, if you are there in the right way there will be tears. It is okay. I just want to say for parents is that we can handle things that we never thought that we could handle. We are braver and stronger than we ever imagined. Eventually we learn to have our rituals and still interact with our child in different ways in our lives through ritual, through memory, through stories. Eventually the memories, the stories, the pictures - The pictures that i what I want to say. The most important thing in the world when my son died were the pictures that people had taken of him, of us. Those people who are at those parties with cameras who drive you crazy, make you feel like everybody stand up one more time and take a picture. Those are pour heroes. One simple thing that you can do is go through all of your pictures and find memories for your friend.

Cynthia Whitham, LCSW, Associate Director at the UCLA Parenting Program, shares advice from personal experience on how to survive the loss of a child and overcome the grief

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Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW

Director, UCLA Parenting & Children’s Friendship Program

Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW, Director of the UCLA Parenting and Children’s Friendship Program, has been training parents for over 30 years. She is the author of two books, Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A family peace plan, and The Answer is NO: Saying it & sticking to it, which have been translated into nine languages. In addition to her UCLA group classes, Ms. Whitham has a private practice on the east and west sides of Los Angeles. In 2000, she spent a month training clinicians at the National Institute of Mental Health of Japan. A lively speaker, Ms. Whitham does presentations and trainings for schools and organizations. Ms. Whitham raised two happy, healthy, and (relatively) well-behaved children (she thinks that may be the best credential of all). Daughter Miranda McLeod is a fiction author and is in a PhD program at Rutgers University. With sadness, Cynthia tells us that her son Kyle died in 2007, within months of graduating from San Francisco State University.

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