How to Cope With the Loss of Your Parent

How to Cope With the Loss of Your Parent

Our parents are the two most influential people in our lives.

However close or distant you were from your parents, grieving their loss is challenging in its own unique manner for everyone.

Reality check: even for mature individuals, mourning is seldom that simple.

In the case of significant losses, without grief support, it may take some time to learn to accept and cope with the ongoing presence of sorrow.

Here are some ways you can learn to cope with the loss of your parent.

Something people need to understand is that feeling distraught and devastated about the news of your parent's death is normal.

Validating how you feel about your loss is the first step to learning how to cope with the loss of your parent.

People often believe that repressing their sadness would hasten their recovery from loss.

Actually, it has the opposite effect.

If you try to stifle your emotions, they will just build up inside of you until it gets too much for you to handle.

Taking the time to remember and celebrate the life of your departed loved one can help you get beyond your grief.

It serves as a reminder of the good times you had together.

Read on to learn more ways to cope with the loss of your parent.

Grief & Loss Therapists in Colorado

Abigail Corless, LPCC

Abigail Corless, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Sarah Lawler, LPC

Sarah Lawler, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Mikayla Braukhoff, LPC

Mikayla Braukhoff, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Laura Brinkman, MA, LPCC

Laura Brinkman, MA, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Clarissa Mendez, LSW

Clarissa Mendez, LSW

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Joshua Goldberg, LPCC

Joshua Goldberg, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Susan Taylor, LPCC

Susan Taylor, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Validate Your Feelings 

Realize that your feelings are legitimate.

While sadness is a natural reaction to a parent's death, other emotions are equally frequent.

It's also okay if you don't feel sad at all.

Maybe all you can feel is numbness or relief that their suffering is over.

The experience of loss may unleash a tidal wave of layered and sometimes contradictory feelings.

Despite the difficulties, your parent-child bond was an essential part of who you are now.

It's normal to have a hard time processing your emotions after such a devastating loss.

Know that your emotions are valid, even if they don't match up with what others believe you "should" feel.

Don't Try to Suppress Any Feelings 

Rather than fighting it, understanding the dynamics of sorrow might help you cope with it.

In order to cope with their loss, some individuals naturally bottle up their feelings.

It might be an attempt to "remain tough."

It could be the urge to escape into work, fitness, drugs, alcohol, or anything else.

But if you never give yourself permission to feel, this strategy won't help you learn to live with and go beyond your emotions.

In addition, burying or denying emotions may lead to explosive outbursts or an inability to connect with other people on an emotional level.

The healing process begins in the body when you give yourself permission to mourn.

No doubt, distractions may help you get through the day, but using them constantly is not healthy in the long run.

By letting yourself experience the pain, you'll be more motivated to discover solutions to your problems and learn to live with your loss.

It fortifies your mental fortitude.

Honor Their Memory 

To commemorate your parent's memory, find a means to honor them in your life.

To keep their parent's memory alive in their everyday life, some families keep pictures and souvenirs of their parents around the house.

Do things that help you feel closer to your parent.

You may cook their favorite dish that you both used to make together, write letters to them, and acknowledge their birthdays or important anniversaries.

These actions will help you process your emotions, and through this, you learn how you can cope with the loss of your parent.

After your parent dies, certain holidays, such as Mother's Day and Father's Day, your birthday, and notable anniversaries might be difficult to deal with.

During times like this, ensure you surround yourself with loved ones that can help you through such difficult times.

Also, keeping their traditions alive is one way to pay tribute to them or preserve their memory.

It can make you feel better to start your own traditions so that your children can continue both you and your deceased parent's traditions with them.

Take Care of Yourself 

Ensure your own well-being.

It's easy to get overwhelmed with sadness.

However, prioritizing your personal health can help you cope with stress and unhappiness better.

Spend time getting proper rest, eating healthfully, and exercising often.

Do activities that make you happy as well.

Plan various periods of the year to travel if you like doing so.

If you find peace via painting, invest in materials or join an art group.

The death of one person in your life doesn't mean your life has to end too.

Also, ask for and accept help.

Let those around you help you, whether it's assisting with the funeral or chores around the house.

Accepting or asking for help is part of taking care of yourself.

You can't deal with everything in your life while grieving at the same time.

Establish a Support System 

Turn to your support networks, whether they be your family, friends, group therapist, or a grief counselor.

According to research, reaching out to a family member or close friend who has lost a parent might be helpful.

According to other studies, assistance from family members and therapy are beneficial for both young people and middle-aged individuals who lose a parent.

Pick confidantes who can provide you with a sympathetic ear when you need it.

You may find that talking things out can help you process your feelings.

Your loved ones, family, and friends are here for a purpose.

Bereavement support groups are helpful because you get to talk to others going through the same thing.

Conclusion

Losing a parent is a very personal experience.

There isn't a timeframe or "regular" route.

Everybody approaches things differently.

However, taking measures to comprehend one's feelings and find support for grief can help one cope with the loss of your parent.

Start by using these methods: validate your feelings, don't try to suppress your feelings, honor their memory, take care of yourself, and establish a support system.

Resources 

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July 13th, 2024

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