Parental Alienation #3: How to Grieve the Living

Grieving the Living: The experience of an alienated parent. My two boys died, but they live down the street. They go to high school ten minutes away, but I’ve attended their funeral. Not because I wanted to but because I had to.

The grief process for a living child is not as clear-cut as grief for one who passes. The parent, and others, may not realize the need to grieve. There may be shame attached that keeps the alienated parent silent and isolated. The parent may not permit themselves to mourn as they hold on to guilt and a hope for reconciliation. Nonetheless, losing a living child is a loss that must be mourned.

One alienated mother wrote me:

“It’s worse (than a death) but death is as close as you can get to describing the loss and grief. It’s challenging beyond description. People kept telling me to celebrate myself and go live the life I deserved as a single person. It was so shallow and impossible. I wasn’t a single person with no cares. I was a mama in deep grief.”

As we walk through this grief, we offer ourselves a portion of the love and nurturing that we hold for our children. The healing is not easy and the pain never completely goes away; like other forms of grief, it only changes with time. However, there is hope and we can live while we grieve. The following ten steps have transformed my life and I pray that they may benefit you on your journey.

10 Steps to Grieving the Living

1. Acknowledge your worth

2. Surrender what you cannot control and focus on what you can

3. Apply your mind and body to intense work

4. Express your feelings through prayer, journaling, or other outlets

5. Practice meditation and mindfulness

6. Serve others

7. Prepare for triggers

8. Reach out for help

9. Get into nature

10. Focus on gratefulness

"The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalm 34:18

Be sure to check out the other posts in this Series: My Parental Alienation Story and What is Parental Alienation? If you have found value in this post please like, share, subscribe, and comment. I would love to hear from you.

To learn about a movement to stop parental alienation visit:

This Series theme song:

3 Comments on “Parental Alienation #3: How to Grieve the Living

  1. Thank you for baring your soul. And no, you are not alone. I haven’t shared your painful experience, but I’ve witnessed it too often.

    I understand the inevitable grieving which takes place, but the genuine truth is that as long as you and your children still live, with God’s grace, there is always a possibility of reconciliation.

    I have seen some wonderful (though still scarred) situations where children have become emotionally mature enough to recognize what they were subjected to. I’ll offer a prayer that this will someday be your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: