Just thinking about losing a parent is an unbearable thought. Parents are some of the most important people in our lives, and whether we’re in contact with them or not, losing a ‘life giver’ puts us through a series of emotional changes.
At some point, we will still have to come to terms with losing somebody who was a part of our being. Unfortunately, death is ‘normal’, and so are these truths:
We all experience the feeling of being ‘alone’ at one point or another in our lives. But when you lose a parent, that feeling deepens. Suddenly you feel a new type of alone, void, or blank place – once you realize that your mom or dad will not be back. It’s a heart-wrenching stage, but this pain goes away and life will go on, you will learn to live without this missing piece. While the physical connection may be gone, there is still a spiritual connection and all the memories you’ve made over the years.
Support Systems Change
Parents tend to give some of the best advice and when you lose a key member of your support system, it can take a while to get back on track with goals, dreams and accomplishments. We have to think of the memories we have, dig deep to find them. Mom or Dad can still guide you when they’re gone, although you cannot see them, they are always by your side (just like they told you).
Coping with a loss is a unique experience, and we all handle this loss differently. It’s common for us to enter a low energy phase after losing a parent. Coping with death is not easy for anyone, and you shouldn’t expect too much from yourself during this time. Practice acceptance and healing. You’re allowed to stay in bed if you need to, just remember that your life is worth living and that’s exactly what your parents would want you to do.
You Never Get Over It
This is a hard truth, but no matter how much time passes, you will still always feel like you’re missing something. You should never get over it, but you will learn and grow from it. Death can be but the next great adventure and once you accept that, you should also realize that we don’t know how long we’re going to be on this earth. Make your life worth living now, and create new memories and stories. You can find your mom and dad on the flip side when your time is up, until then – make them proud.
You’ll Feel Insecure
Seeing other people with their parents will make you feel a new type of way after losing one of yours. You may feel different forms of anger towards people who have more time with their parents and choose not to cherish it. After losing a parent it’s best to push aside any negative feelings towards others aside. You may use your words in a gentle way to remind people how a simple phone call home can lead to a memorable conversation, planning a date, sending a letter or gift can equate to long term feel-good memories. Never take life for granted.
You’ll Regret Mistakes
No matter how hard you try, think or wish. You will never be able to change the past. You may get hung up on little things that you wish you did differently after the loss of a parent. You may start wishing that you visited more, or actually went on that trip you always talked about. In the grand scheme of life, it’s highly unlikely that your Mom or Dad is thinking about an insignificant or bad memory on the flip side. They won’t be thinking about the trip they never went on, they would be thinking about all the trips they did go on. You should follow the positive thoughts as well. Be at peace, think about your favourite memories and then start making more.
Grieving is not something to take lightly. It’s a highly individualized process, for some it may take 4 weeks, and for some, up to 4 years. You can start to feel better in small ways on your own, while some may do best when working with a therapist or counselor.
If you do need help, it’s not hard to find a certified professional to work with. You can sign-up for BetterHelp, the world’s largest network of licensed, trained and experienced therapists and counselors.
You don’t have to tackle grieving and mental health concerns on your own, you can choose to work online, or find a professional in your area.