Helping Stepparents Cope After Losing a Stepchild
Losing a child is an incredibly difficult experience. For stepparents, the funeral services and grieving process offer unique challenges. The nature of the relationship between the stepparent and child can cause a range of emotions when the child passes, and stepparents often find themselves isolated in their grief. If you are mourning the loss of your stepchild, keep this advice in mind.
Prepare for Potential Issues
After the death of a stepchild, it is common for issues that were never resolved during the initial divorce of the first family and transition to the new family to resurface. Being mindful that stress may trigger these old wounds to reopen can help you deal with them in a healthy way. It is also common for the biological family to draw together after the loss of child in ways that may exclude stepparents. This includes a renewed bond between the biological parents, as they are likely to have memories of the lost child that the stepparents cannot share. Recognizing this as natural during the funeral planning and grieving process can ease potential strife.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Stepparent and stepchild relationships are complex. Some are very close, with stepparents taking a significant caregiving role. Other relationships are distant, strained, or even hostile. The emotions stepparents feel after losing a stepchild are significantly influenced by these relationships. Feeling grief, guilt, and even ambivalence are all natural. Don’t criticize yourself if you are surprised by some of the emotions you feel.
Ask for Help
Speak up and get the help you need. A funeral home can help you find grief support services. Ask your spouse to open up to you and allow you to do the same. Lean on friends and family outside of biological family who can provide support solely for you.
At Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park, and Crematory, we help families of all types navigate the funeral planning process and offer grief support services in Lakewood, Washington to those in need. Contact our cemetery and funeral home today at (253) 584-0252.