Middle-aged man standing alone looking concerned

The sense of loss and upset when the contact between parent and children is lost can be overwhelming.

The depth of sadness may come as a surprise, and often is akin to mourning. The grief can be difficult to accept especially if you had been close to your children, and the guilt just as hard, if you were not close. How and why the contact was lost will also contribute to how you feel.

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Strategies to help you cope

  • Allow time. You need to learn to adjust to not having your children around and in many ways, only time can heal the loss. Time is necessary to grief and to learn to adjust and accept that your life may have to go on without them.
  • Acknowledge the struggle. You don’t have to feel bad about feeling sad. This is normal under the circumstances and no two people grief the same way – how you feel is totally individual to you.
  • Talk to someone. This may be a friend, family member, clergy or a counsellor. The objective is not to change the circumstances, but to find a safe place to let out and share your pain. For many people the mere process of acknowledging the loss eases the burden. It may be easier to open up to someone who is not close to you. A trained Relate counsellor can help you work through your feelings, to accept and deal with your loss and to move forward.

How we can help

If you're worried about relationships in your family, there are various ways we can help.