Losing a parent is devastating, no matter what your age; whether you’re an independent adult with kids of your own, or if you’re still a child, dependent on your parents for everything. The bond between a parent and their child is so special, that when it is broken in death we experience one of the most painful forms of grief. If you’re coping with the death of a parent, work through your grief and take comfort in these 5 coping tips.
1. DRAW SUPPORT FROM OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS
Although everyone’s relationship with your parent was different from yours, there are other family members who are mourning the loss with you. Reach out to those family members, especially siblings during this time of grief. These moments can really help us to realize how important family is and that no relationship should be taken for granted. Show your siblings support and compassion during this time and hopefully they will reciprocate your loving gesture.
2. TAKE COMFORT IN KEEPSAKES
When a parent is taken from us, we tend to feel abandoned. We cling to anything that reminds us of them as a way to hold onto them for as long as possible. Go through your belongings and pick out keepsakes from your childhood that remind you of your parent. It could be family pictures, a special gift they gave to you or an item of clothing. Hold on to these treasured keepsakes and take comfort in them when you are missing your parent the most.
3. KEEP THE MEMORY ALIVE
There are other ways to keep the memory of your parent alive. On days that you’re really having a hard time, cook their specialty dish. The aroma and flavors will immediately remind you of your parent and the care they showed for you growing up. Maybe your parent had a distinct scent. Keep a bottle of their perfume or cologne on hand and use it to remind you of their essence.
4. THINK, ‘WHAT WOULD MOM OR DAD DO?’
Most of us turn to our parents for advice even well into adulthood, so it will be second-nature to want to call on your mom or dad with the same type of questions. It’s painful when we come to the conscious realization that we can’t do that anymore. It’s hard, but chances are your parent has already taught you everything you need to know. Stop and think about how your parent would handle the situation.
5. STRENGTHEN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR OTHER PARENT
Not that one can ever replace the other, but the death of a parent is often an eye-opener that your parents won’t be around forever. This is as good a time as any to really become close with your other parent if they are still alive. There’s no doubt your other parent is very grief-stricken at the loss of their life partner, so your effort to reach out to them at this time will mean a lot to them.
Nobody will ever be able to replicate the love and care that your parent gave to you during their lifetime. That’s what makes your relationship so special, but it’s also the thing that makes it so painful to lose. Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in your loss. Although no one can ever replace your mom or dad, your family can help you through this heart-breaking loss.
A death of a parent or grandparent is assumed to be part of the 'Natural Order of Things’ in today’s society. Tell that to a child or grandchild who has just lost his or her best friend. Over many years cement a bond not so easily broken when death occurs.
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