Both My Children Have Died

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

In the last 2 years I have lost my 27 year old daughter, my 25 year old son and my mother. I don’t seem to care about anything anymore. I’m not sure how to live when I don’t care. I don’t have any energy. I could care less if I leave the house. Taking a shower and getting dressed takes a lot of effort. I don’t look foward to anything and nothing brings me any joy. Things seem pretty pointless. I guess my question is how do I go on living when I just don’t care anymore.

A. I am very sorry for your loss. The death of children, no matter their age, is traumatic. Your reaction, in some regards is normal but it may also be evidence of depression. Not having energy, not caring what happens to you, the lack of joy, the feeling that your life is pointless, are all signs of depression. Depression degrades the quality of life and thus requires treatment.

During this difficult time, it would be advantageous to receive as much support as possible. This could include seeing a mental health professional who specializes in grief and loss. You should also consider joining a support group for individuals who are also dealing with loss. Continued isolation will only make you feel worse. It is never too soon to seek professional help and bereavement support.

There are several resources that I would recommend including The Compassionate Friends. They specialize in assisting families who are grieving the loss of a child. You may be able to locate a local chapter and visit a Compassionate Friends support group in person. There may be other bereavement support groups in your community.

When you feel the time is right, consider reading the works of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Many people have found her work to be immensely helpful. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross dedicated her life to understanding grief and grieving. To say that she transformed the way the world understands death is not an exaggeration. Many people turn to her books as a way to spiritually prepare for the inevitability of death and to heal from the devastating loss of loved ones. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Mar 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Both My Children Have Died. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/03/25/both-my-children-have-died/