Death of Innocence
Death is an eventuality and inevitable.
There are no pre-determined dates of expiry.
Death does not consider age, sex or creed.
You can die in a second or suffer through a prolonged disease.
The pain of seeing a loved one suffer through a painful and terminal condition is far worse than bearing it yourself.
If it is a child of your own, the pain of seeing the little one push through unimaginable suffering, with no hope of survival is the worst thing that can happen. Parents feel cheated. Their faith in God is shaken as the impending death of a precious child is the biggest loss that they can imagine.
The pain of losing an offspring is much severe compared to not having offspring at all.
Bringing up a child involves a lot of costs that are monetary, emotional and physical.
The time invested in bringing up a child is a labour of love and when you see that beloved person suffering and facing death, you are broken and aghast.
You would gladly give up your own life for the child, but are resigned to seeing the child suffering and eventually dying.
It’s like buying a lottery, then winning it, but losing your winning ticket at the time of claiming of prize money. The prize money in this case is a happy and healthy child, who grows up to be a healthy and happy adult. The tough period makes everything else seem paltry and there are innumerable problems that the family as a whole has to go through.
There have been instances when the parents lose all their wealth, in the process to try and save their baby. The income sources are also hurt when all your focus remains on saving your child.
Obviously, work suffers in taking care of your child who needs special care and maybe multiple hospitalizations.
The emotional strain has been known to create even more havoc with both parents crumbling under the strain. Marriages can break and families are torned in grief.
Terminal illness: Coping With Painful Disease
Few unfortunate parents have to go through life with a child who is facing pain and imminent death.
The disease has many facets that need a lot of financial and emotional strength to get through.
Most terminal diseases like cancer or organ failure require frequent hospitalizations.
This may require a lot of money.
It also requires the undivided attention of the parents and eventually loss of income. This puts the entire family in turmoil.
The other children in the family face the maximum neglect and the psychological trauma of seeing a sibling in pain is huge.
The parents cannot support the healthy child when the other one is in excruciating pain. This may also cause many more emotional complications in a healthy child who may feel ignored.
The dying child may also feel traumatized and responsible for the other sibling’s pain. This issue has often been seen in families where a child is differently abled.
The healthy child may feel neglected and depressed unless counseled and taken care of adequately.
In these trying times, it is often the mother, who binds the family together and looks after the physical and emotional needs of all the family members.
The physical needs of the sick child cannot be ignored either. It takes a toll on the parents to help the child through the day.
Caring for a sick child is not easy and may need your attention 24*7.
The physical effort may tire you out and make you irritable and frustrated over a period of time.
After all other chores do not stop, just take a back seat.
Pace yourself and get help from a caregiver.
It could be family, friends or even paid help if you can afford it. Some time outs are necessary to keep you in balance.
Coping Strategies: While Helping Child Through Pain
Once you hear about a life-threatening condition in your child, your equilibrium is lost.
You need to gather yourself up and plan your course of action.
Do the first things first.
ACCEPT the inevitable.
Work through your pain to understand the pain of the afflicted child.
The other children who are in the family also need your care.
The first step to helping your child face physical pain and emotional trauma is to accept the disease and its path.
Study all the ways and means available to you, in order to manage the pain that your child faces and will face in the future.
Choose the Doctor, who is the best in the field and can help your child live the rest of the days with minimal pain.
Once you get the nitty-gritty sorted about the treatment process and chalk out details of the way, you will manage the household, while still tending to the sick child, you will feel much better.
Being busy in routine tasks can be a balm to emotionally tortured parents at this juncture.
Work out a routine.
Everyone feels better, if there is a semblance of routine and normalcy.
The second step is to address the emotional trauma that your child is going through.
The parents are of better help when they are in control of their own emotions.
You must come to terms with the fact that your beloved child has only a limited time with you.
Once you know and acknowledge that healing begins.
Help the child with her /his physical pain first.
Do everything in your power to keep the child comfortable and in the best of medical treatments.
Some alternative therapies have been known to help with pain and disease.
It may be a good idea to search for them and use them.
Support groups and counselling sessions for the parents and the child help in alleviating mental suffering.
It is easier to cope when you hear the experiences of others who have faced the same pain and come through it.
The dying child has a lot to live for. There are many dreams unfulfilled, many experiences that are yet to be felt. Many relationships not yet savoured. Try to help the child be happy.
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