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Your Life: Holidays heighten pain of loss

Charlotte Lankard: The pain of loss is especially acute during the holidays for parents who've had a child die.
BY CHARLOTTE LANKARD, For The Oklahoman Published: December 10, 2012
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Missing the child never goes away. The age of the child at the time of death does not lessen the hurt. Parents describe the feeling as having a hole in their heart. It is common to feel alone and isolated because family and friends are often a loss as to how to respond.

If you know someone who has lost a child, put that child on your Christmas list. Let the parents know you wrote a check to your favorite nonprofit or bought a toy for a child who would not have one as a way to remember their son or daughter, or write a thoughtful note sharing a memory.

It will not make the pain of loss go away, but it will help to know their child has not been forgotten.

Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Email her at clankard@opubco.com.