Grieving the Loss of a Parent
The death of a parent is undoubtedly devastating at any age but is especially traumatizing to children who still depend on their parents for shelter, nurturing and support. Coping with such a life-changing adversity is never easy and there is no true cure for the grief of losing a parent however there are some methods that can help you through the grieving process little by little to prevent yourself from becoming dangerously depressed.
The most important step in the grieving process is accepting what you lost. This can be uncomfortable and can seem impossible in the beginning, especially because it is human nature to protect ourselves from situations that cause us pain however it is important to allow yourself time to grieve and acknowledge your loss otherwise you will never be able to move beyond your most fragile point.
Take time each day to honor your parent’s memory and make a point to recall how important they were to you. You may want to carry a photo of them or set up an area in your room where you can allow yourself a few minutes each day to pay tribute and grieve for your loss. It’s crucial to dedicate time for grieving otherwise you will eventually feel weighed down by sorrow and it will be much more difficult to pull yourself out of your grief and depression.
If you’re able to, visit your parent’s grave site and talk to them. Be sure to say all the things you want them to hear. No matter what you believe as far as religion or afterlife, telling lost loved ones how you feel is very important for you to be able to cope with your loss because it helps you find closure which is necessary to find acceptance in your loss.
- Assess Your Life
Losing a parent can make you look at the choices you’ve made so far and the choices you have yet to make about where your life is going and what you think you contribute to the world. Forget about any mistakes you’ve made in the past that you worry may have disappointed the parent you lost because no amount of self-punishment can change past decisions. Instead, focus on what you can do to make positive changes in your life and decisions in the future.
The pain of losing a parent will never fully disappear but it will get easier to cope with as time passes. Meanwhile, it’s important to remember to never let whatever circumstances were responsible for your parent’s death also be credited with completely destroying you, too.