Grieving the Loss of a Parent

By: Vaughn Greene Funeral Services
Sunday, February 4, 2018

When a parent dies, we’re supposed to be prepared for this normal life passage. Or, at least be ready to accept it when it happens.

We’re expected to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move on. However, just because the death of a parent is commonplace and is the natural order of things, it doesn’t mean we can or should be expected to simply and quickly bounce back. When a parent dies, it can be unexpectedly devastating and can cause considerable upheaval in our lives. As adults, we are often surprised at the emotions which can threaten to overwhelm us following the death of our mother or father. After all, we reason, it’s in the natural order of things that we will one day bury our parents. Why then the immense pain, the sense of confusion, the feeling of having been abandoned? This may be because, buried in our subconscious, is the belief that our parents are immortal.


Grief is exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you have recently lost your mother or father, be especially kind to yourself. These pointers can help you work through your sense of loss:


Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Well-intentioned people may try to speed up the grieving process for you. They’ll try to keep you busy, and some of them won’t mention your parent’s name for fear of hurting you. But you must allow yourself to grieve. If you try to stay busy and put it out of your mind, it will catch up to you. You’re going to feel it at some point so it’s best to let it happen naturally.


Don't put a time limit on your grief or question your personal process. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and there's no set time limit on the process. The wound of losing a parent never fully heals, but the pain does get more bearable over time. How long it should take? No one can say. For some, it’s weeks; for others it may be months or even years before the grief subsides.
Allow yourself to have bad days. Even long after your parent has passed, you will have days when you miss him or her dearly.  Let yourself feel the grief again. Those days will come, no matter how long it's been.


Find your comfort and peace. People find solace in different things. For some, taking a walk in nature helps. For others, a long, hot bath does the trick. The important thing is not what you do, but that you do something for you. There may be songs, smells, or images that bring comfort to you, as well. Find whatever works for you and don’t let anyone diminish the importance of those moments.


When you’re ready, forge ahead and live your life. At some point after your loved one’s death, you will find reasons to smile again. This is one of the greatest things we can do to honor our parents and the love we have for them. Find joy again. Laugh heartily. Love deeply. Live like they would want you to. And remember: after they are gone, your parents will continue to be a part of your life, just in a different sense. You will always be their son or daughter.


On those days when you just miss your mother or father, don't fight it. And if you feel the need, seek out support from others who’ve been there—a friend who cares, a clergy person, or a professional who can help guide you through the work of grief. When a parent dies, yes, it is the natural order of things.  But taking time to grieve for them should be, as well.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Coping with Grief: Create a Joyful Holiday by Adding Fun New Traditions

When you’re mourning the loss of a loved one, the same holiday traditions that once brought joy can serve as difficult reminders. Whether your loss was very recent or some time ago, the holidays ar...

Helpful Tips for Hosting a Memorable Repast

There are so many decisions to make as you plan the homegoing celebration for a loved one. Aside from the many details of the funeral or memorial service itself, it’s also customary (but not requ...

When Thanksgiving Feels Empty: Handling Loss and Grief at the Holidays

Thanksgiving can feel particularly harsh to those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. Memories of happier holidays surface, and at this annual time of giving thanks, it may seem hard to...

A Final Salute: Funeral Arrangements to Honor Veterans

Our military veterans have made tremendous sacrifices for our country and deserve to be honored, especially during their funeral services. A military service offers an important way to pay respects...

How to Help Children Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

Losing a loved one is never easy. It’s a time filled with sadness, emotional turmoil, and change. For adults and children alike, grieving is an important part of accepting the loss of a loved one, ...

What to Look for When Choosing a Funeral Home

Funerals are probably the most-neglected major life event we face. While there’s never a good time for it, researching and choosing a funeral home when you don’t need one is the best way to go. Tha...

Here’s Why You Should Plan Your Funeral Now

Talking about death forces us to face our own mortality. That can feel foreboding and it tends to make us uncomfortable. But since death is inevitable for everyone, funeral planning in advance just...

The Physical Effects of Grief & How to Deal with Them

“Grief is love.” – David Kessler If you've recently experienced the passing of a loved one, you're well aware of the impact grief has on your quality of life. There’s simply no way to anticipate...

Cemetery Etiquette: What You Need to Know for Your Next Visit

When visiting the cemetery, there are a number of basic protocols you should follow in order to show respect for both the living and the dead. These cemetery etiquette tips will help to ensure th...

Burial or Cremation: What’s Right for You?

Deciding whether you prefer a cremation or burial is one of life’s most personal choices. There are many influencing factors including cost, religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and family prefe...