Our relationships with our parents are typically complex and meaningful, whether for the good or bad. Parents can be both infuriating and lovable all at the same time. For some people, the death of a parent isn’t only a loss of a caretaker but also a best friend. Whatever your relationship was with your parent, it is never easy to lose them. If you are mourning the loss of a parent, here are some simple steps to take that will help you as you go through your grieving process.
Even though we all have to deal with it at some point in our life, death does not seem natural and it’s ok to not be ok after the loss of a parent. Whether people expect you to be strong or to fall apart, know that it is ok to go through the grief process in whatever way you need to. Everyone deals with grief differently and you are no exception. Let yourself be sad, then pick yourself up off the floor when it’s time to move forward.
You may normally be the strong one, but right now, you need someone else to be that person for you. And that’s ok. Find a friend or family member that you can talk to when you’re feeling particularly down. That friend can bring you ice cream and brownies, be a sympathetic ear, or get you out every once in awhile to do something fun. Make sure you communicate with them about both your good and your bad days and they can walk with you through it.
While this may be hard to anticipate at first, get to know those activities or days of the year where life is harder and you may need more support. Whether it’s going shopping without your mom or Father’s day without your dad, let someone know you need extra help during those times. Don’t isolate yourself from others. It’s ok to seek extra care from others. It’s better to anticipate the needed additional support and then not need it!
Once you get back in the swing of things, take this piece of advice and change your normal schedule up slightly. It will help you to focus on the moment, rather than get stuck in cyclical thoughts about your deceased loved one. Whether it’s going to gym right away in the morning to get your endorphins going or visiting a friend after work, changing up your schedule may help you get into a refreshing new routine.
There is nothing worse than making a huge decision while you’re in the middle of your grief, then regretting it down the road. If possible, delay any huge, life-changing decisions until you have had time to process and grieve. If you must make important decisions during your grieving process, seek wise counsel in multiple places and heed the advice. Listen to the old proverb that says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” It could save you from more grief in the long run!
Right now it may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The truth that you may not feel or believe is that you will learn to love and live again. Life may not look the same but you will be happy and joyful again. It will take some time, but be patient and take heart knowing that your parent would have wanted you to keep living your life to the fullest. There is still hope. Hold on to that until you can see it in the distance.
What have you learned through your grieving process so far? Do you have any advice you would give to others to help them as they grieve? We would love you to hear your comments below!