Dealing with the loss of a parent

Losing a parent has a huge impact on anyone. Whether it is a sudden illness or the ravages of old age, bereavement is a difficult time for everyone involved. Parents are irreplaceable parts of our lives, and the process of dealing with the loss takes time. However, friends and family members are often able to help you cope with the grief, and the stages involved in arranging a deceased person’s affairs can help with the healing process.

Be willing to rely on others

Even the most self-reliant of people need to take a step back during bereavement and let others step in to help. Whether it is emotional support or material help in the shape of meals and favors, allow your family and friends to help you deal with the loss by giving their support in a number of areas. Don’t be hesitant to ask for help either – you will likely find people are more willing to help than you initially thought.

Sometimes, the offers for help and support can stream in quicker than you can make use of, and if that is the case, do not be afraid to tell people that you need a bit of alone time. A carefully considered response to help will make sure that you enjoy your privacy when you need it while leaving the help on offer available for when it is most needed. 

Patiently work through the loss

Grieving is a process that simply takes time, and it consists of several stages. There is no way to rush through any of these stages, and you should accept feeling concerned and unhappy about the loss that you experienced. It is this acceptance of your feelings of loss and anger that is among the first steps to dealing with the grief of losing one of your parents.

Try to make other elements of your life a little easier than it would otherwise be. Put off any big decisions, and arrange to reduce the amount of stress that you have at work if possible. Most employers would be glad to give you some time off or reduce your workload, while educational institutions can also be very understanding when students are experiencing a loss and are in need of time to work through a major life event.

Attending sessions with a councilor can also be helpful. Trained professionals are very good at helping you get through the various stages of grief with relative ease. You may have some unanswered questions and concerns that can be resolved with the help of someone who is experienced in dealing with people who are going through a loss. 

Arrange an appropriate funeral

One of the best ways to move forward with the grieving process is to arrange a memorable funeral for your loved one. Whether you are directly involved in funeral arrangements or you allow friends and family to assist you in making arrangements, setting in place a funeral is important in moving on with the process of accepting the loss.

Funerals are important milestones, whether you opt for burial or cremation; a funeral is a clear step in the process of achieving closure. A funeral is a dignified and memorable event that allows you to mark the passing of a life in the warm embrace of your family and friends. This step, in the presence of others, is very useful in dealing with death. Funeral services have been arranged through the ages to help family and society to deal with the loss of a loved one more easily.

Focus on moving on

Though your parent has passed away, you will continue living, and you need to remember that your parent would very much like you to continue enjoying your life. Though you have lost a person of great importance to you, your life and its challenges lie ahead, and there is a lot of joy and happiness for you in the future.

Prolonging the process of grieving for too long will rob you of future joy and happiness: though you should not try to avoid the process of grieving, there is a stage at which it becomes beneficial to move on and enjoy the riches of life. Most of all, you need to accept that a change has taken place, and that life will be different. A loss of this magnitude creates changes in the way that you feel about yourself and about life, and building on this new sense of self is what will help you adjust to life after your loss.


Photo credit: Anna Pruzhevskaya on Flickr. CC-BY-2.0

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