The understandings and strategies below form a basis for my advice for bereaved families after the death of a child.
1. I have not had a child die, but I have worked with children as they died and many bereaved families over the last forty years. I have personally suffered a lot of pain and “loss” so I’m no stranger to suffering.
2. I know that the passing of a child —at any age or by any means—is one of, if not the most, horrible events that can happen to you. No matter how rosy a picture I paint of life from a cosmic view, I never minimize or forget that.
3. The death of a child creates an opening, a transformational moment for bereaved families that can, over time, be a blessing to you and others.Your tragedy, much like a near-death experience, can trigger a spiritual awakening. Your life will never be the same again . . . it can be even more rich and soulful for the experience.
4. Some bereaved families recover more quickly and easily while others take longer and suffer horribly. There’s no judgment about that. I just want you to know that the grief process doesn’t have to be long and awful.
5. My answers are always offered with respect and love so please do not feel that I am being critical or judgmental of you in any way.
6. My answers are based on the clinical, scientific, religious, and empirical (based on firsthand experience) evidence shared in the Soul Proof book and Soul Proof movie. This data clearly indicates that death is an optical illusion because the essence of a person cannot die. Your eyes may not be able to sense your deceased loved ones, but they are still very present and alive.
7. Despite the vast amount of evidence above, many people still erroneously associate the terms ‘death and dying’ with an end or a loss. That’s why I recommend using other terms that more accurately describe what really happens: dropping the body, graduating, changing worlds, passing on, transitioning, crossing over, going back Home, or returning to the Light.
8. Another conscious language suggestion for bereaved families is to use alternate terms for the love, power and intelligence that created and sustains all life. For many, the term God automatically conjures up an image of a huge white-bearded man in the sky who sits on a throne and arbitrarily decides who lives or dies when and how. That image is hopelessly inaccurate and problematic. Alternative terms for Creator include: the Light, All That Is, the One, Source Energy, Higher Power, the Divine, Creative Energy, and Universal Intelligence.
9. I don’t claim to have all the answers or the only answers for bereaved families, but I do have some good answers that have helped many people lighten their grief and make more sense of what seems to be a totally senseless occurrence.
10. Optimal self-care is a huge key to recovery for bereaved families since the severe shock of a child’s death can impact all bodily systems. You may not feel like doing this but, if you can push yourself a bit, making just small changes can yield huge positive results. My book Radiant Wellness discusses seven keys to becoming happy and healthy again, no matter what your current condition.
Holistic health care recommendations include acupuncture, chiropractic, nutritional healing (see #11), psychological and/or pastoral counseling, massage, and integrative medicine. Avoid taking anti-depressants and other potentially harmful or addictive prescription drugs unless absolutely necessary. Excessive use of any drug—medical, marijuana, alcohol—can mask your symptoms and prevent you from fully grieving in a healthy way.
Use centering practices such as prayer, meditation, time in nature, exercise, music, playing with pets or children, gardening, walking on grass or sand, breathwork, drumming, serving others, spiritual fellowship—basically, whatever helps quiet your mind and keeps you in the now moment. Holistic Breathwork and Ask Your Soul CDs are available at www.soulproof.com.
11. The shock of a child dying can deplete vital nutrients and lead to weak or imbalanced organs, especially the brain and hormonal system. This is especially a problem with women who already lacked key nutrients after pregnancy. That can cause excess depression, crying, anxiety, insomnia, etc. I recommend Nutrition Response Testing for evaluation and treatment. Visit www.unsinc.info to learn more about this Safe, Affordable, Natural, and Effective (SANE) approach to healing and to find a practitioner near you.
12. These understandings about reality can give you peace, hope, and comfort.
13. The body is much less than 1% of a person’s essence; the other 99.9 % is immortal
14. A human life, whether five or ninety-five years long, is just a blink of an eye in the span of eternity; your child is a forever being and so are you
15. You and your child are important and infinite parts of Source Energy right now;you both are inseparably and always one with the One just as drops of water are integral elements of the ocean; there is no separation within life despite what your limited brain and belief system tell you to the contrary
16. Life and love are eternal so you definitely will see your departed child again.
17. There is a rhyme and reason for all life events, even if you can’t see it now.
18. You are always surrounded by a support team of soul mates, angels and the Light; being in a spiritual/nonphysical realm, your child can clearly see that.
19. Serving others in your child’s name—in honor of your child—is a powerful way to create more meaning and purpose about his/her life and death
20. Your sadness and pain will decrease as you focus more on other emotions. Here’s the LET (as in the Beatle’s song Let It Be) formula for doing that:
L = look forward to being with the soul of your deceased child again someday after you pass on and maybe even glimpsing her presence now with an after-death contact.
E = feel the elation, the joy, that he graduated from life on this difficult planet and is experiencing a much more wonderful realm right now.
T = focus on thankfulnessfor all the great times you two had together and for all the great memories. You will always have those in your heart.
21. About 75% of bereaved parents have an after-death contact (ADC) in which they sense, while awake or dreaming, their child’s soul visiting. ADCs can involve the usual senses or more ethereal and subtle ones. You may notice electronic devices malfunctioning, for example, lights flickering on and off. Shared and evidential ADCs prove that these are not always imaginary or wishful thinking. Meditation and really knowing that life is infinite are two keys to having a higher, more peaceful energy that helps facilitate an ADC.
22. The simplest answer to why a child dies is that evolved souls don’t need long earthly lives. Some parents have described “a knowing” that their child would pass on early. The child seemed too good for this dense earthly plane and was more caring, compassionate, and loving than usual.Before they transitioned to the next phase of forever, some children have drawn artwork showing angels in the sky waiting for them. Advanced souls don’t have to complete a long earth-school or burn off karma. They came here just for a while to brighten your life, serve, and teach. Then they went back Home, to the really real place. You will certainly see them again.
Live one day and one moment at a time. When you feel like you can’t go on, take deep breaths and reach out to others. Pray, ask for help, ask questions, be around kindred spirits. See your child rooting you on because he is. Feel her encouraging you to find your way through the maze of pain and have a break through.
Apply some of this holistic recovery information for just 90 days and let me know how it’s going. Reentering the stream of life is a day-to-day decision. I hope you decide to find the blessings, the silver linings, the opening doors that always accompany adversity. You deserve to feel great again. And your loved ones and the world need your brightest light. Let it shine!
Note: My products are designed to assist your journey toward healing and transformation. If you need a product, but cannot afford it, we will send you a digital copy at no charge.
Disclaimer: This information is not designed to replace medical or psychological care. Dr. Pitstick’s recommendations are based on forty-five years of training and experience in hospitals, pastoral counseling settings, mental health centers, and holistic chiropractic practice. Some of his statements are supported by clinical and scientific data while others are based on empirical evidence and his best current understandings.
Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is an author, clinical psychologist, chiropractic physician, frequent media guest, and workshop facilitator. He is the director of The SoulPhone Foundation and board member of Helping Parents Heal. Mark can help you know and show — no matter what is going on around you — that your earth-experience is a totally safe, meaningful, and magnificent adventure amidst forever. Visit Soul Proof for free articles, newsletters, and radio shows with top consciousness experts. Email your toughest questions to him at email@example.com.