Finding Happiness After the Loss of a Child to Cancer: A Journey of Healing

Written by Lynette Apodaca

Lynette's Blog

October 11, 2023


Losing a child is a parent’s worst nightmare, and when that loss is due to cancer, the pain can be particularly devastating. The journey through pediatric cancer is one of the most challenging experiences a family can face, and the grief that follows is indescribable. While the pain never truly goes away, finding happiness and healing after such a profound loss is possible. In this blog post, we will explore the steps and strategies that can help parents and families navigate the difficult path toward rediscovering joy and meaning in life after the loss of a child to cancer.

Acknowledge Your Grief

The first step towards finding happiness is to acknowledge your grief. Losing a child is a monumental loss, and it’s essential to allow yourself to grieve and mourn in your own way and at your own pace. Understand that grief is a complex and lifelong process, and there is no right or wrong way to experience it.

Seek Professional Help

Grief can be overwhelming, and it’s entirely normal to seek professional support. Therapists, counselors, and support groups specializing in grief and loss can provide invaluable guidance and a safe space to express your feelings. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help when needed.

Create a Support System

Lean on your family and friends for emotional support. Share your thoughts and feelings with loved ones who are willing to listen and offer a shoulder to cry on. Surrounding yourself with a support system can help alleviate some of the loneliness and isolation that often accompanies grief.

Preserve Your Child’s Memory

Honoring your child’s memory is an important part of the healing process. Create a memorial or tribute that reflects your child’s interests, passions, and personality. This could include planting a tree, starting a charity in their name, or creating a scrapbook of cherished memories.

Embrace Self-Care

Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is crucial during the grieving process. Make self-care a priority by getting enough rest, eating well, and engaging in regular exercise. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can also help manage the intense emotions that come with grief.

Find Meaning in Your Journey

Many parents who have lost a child to cancer find solace in using their experience to make a positive impact in the world. Consider volunteering for a cancer-related organization, sharing your story to raise awareness, or participating in research and fundraising efforts.

Set Realistic Expectations

Healing is a nonlinear process, and it’s essential to set realistic expectations for yourself. There will be good days and bad days, but over time, you can learn to live with your grief and find moments of happiness.

Allow Yourself to Feel Joy

While it may feel impossible initially, it’s important to allow moments of joy into your life. It’s not a betrayal of your child’s memory to experience happiness again. Celebrate small victories and find beauty in the world around you.


Losing a child to cancer is a tragedy that no parent should ever have to endure. The journey of finding happiness after such a devastating loss is a challenging one, but it is possible with time, support, and self-compassion. Remember that grief is unique to each individual, and there is no timeline for healing. It’s okay to seek help and take the necessary steps to find your way back to a life that includes moments of joy and purpose, all while keeping your child’s memory alive in your heart.

Book Recommendations:

The Art and Science of Getting Happier – #ad

Never Give Up Hope: The Little Girl Who Changed The World – #ad

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