Dr. Ross shares advice for mothers who are struggling with grief management from the loss of a child.
My journey through grieving the loss of my son was very individual and yet, very generalizable. And what I learned from it is that, first of all, I think I heard someone recently on the TV say that, oh, it was Elizabeth Edwards, she was talking about the loss of her son, and she said that when you lose a child, your own personal feelings about death change. And I think for me, I started to take Noah’s death as part of my healing journey, and what that means is that I looked for whatever meaning I could find in it, and going back to Victor Frankel’s book, you know, Man’s Search for Meaning, the more meaning you can find in any difficult situation, the more likely you are to survive it on the upside.
So I looked for meaning, and one of the meanings for me was this change in my career. I think the other thing that I learned was to compare myself to other women. I felt like I was part of this large body of women–of mothers who had lost children, women in Africa who, you know, lost babies, and women who had soldiers in Iraq, and other women like myself whose children suffered from mental illness and have died. And so I began to feel like that I was part of this larger group, which gave me a lot of strength.
Other than that, you know, I did a lot of crying and I talked to a lot of therapists, and I just kept putting one foot in front of the other until I got through it, but that’s the most that I can say about it.
About Dr. Ross, M.D., M.P.H.:
Dr. Carolyn Ross, M.D., M.P.H., completed her undergraduate degree in Modern Foreign Languages at Purdue University and worked as a full-time mother of her two older sons before returning to school to complete her pre-med requirements. She then went to the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Ross’s practice experience after medical school helped fuel her interest in understanding what makes people heal as she saw that most of her patients’ medical problems were related to lifestyle habits and the stresses of modern living. In searching for a better way to address these issues, Dr. Ross began to explore complementary and alternative therapies and the use of herbs and supplements for her patients. She then completed a residency in Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University and then set up practice in San Diego, California where she eventually opened three women’s centers where she practiced primary care and office gynecology.