Dealing with the death of a Parent is quite challenging, leave alone dealing with the death of a parent. It is pain taken to another level. The thought of never feeling their love, care and comfort are excruciating. Whether you lose them at an elderly age or while still young doesn’t matter, for to them they will always love you as their child, always giving you direction and support no matter how old you are.
For how will someone tell you to get over the death of the only person who brought you into this world? We only learn to cope, but we really never get over the death of someone as dear as a parent. It is natural to desire to honour their memories in our daily lives in attempts to keep their legacies strong.
Even so, you should give yourself time to grieve, process, understand and learn how to cope with the death of a parent. How long one takes to go through the mentioned stages is variant depending on each individual, so don’t be hard on yourself if you think you are taking too long. However, the adults have shown the ability to adapt faster compared to the young ones.
Take time to grieve- as is commonly said, there is no time limit for grieving, so take your time and heal at your pace. Do not compare yourself to anyone, even if it is your sibling, just be you. Take note that some people will take even years to learn how to learn to deal with the death of a parent.
You will experience the common grieving cycles, namely shock, denial, anger, guilt, depression, fear, and acceptance. Much as they are natural, there is no systematic way of going about them. Sometimes you may feel angry first, then get shocked at the reality of the situation and vice versa, and at times the two might simultaneously come to play. Do not get lost in these emotions for too long.
Learning how to deal with the death of a parent– take time and think for a moment, would your mum or dad wish to see you sad? No! As long as they were alive, they always wanted the best for you, including seeing you with a smiley face. The best way to honour this is by embracing their demise with a positive attitude.
It is natural to feel pain and get worried about a future without their shoulders to lean on, so do not lock out the emotions, otherwise, you will prolong the healing process. As you try to keep abreast with positivity, take time to let your emotions play their role, cry if you may, contemplate in silence if you feel, just simply let the emotions be should they come knocking once in a while.
Walk down the memory lane- of the sweet times shared together, of the encouraging words, of their relentless wisdom, everything good there is to remember. Sometimes you can go a step further by jotting them down.
You will realize that there is so much that you might probably never be able to go through them all, which means our parents have a special room in our hearts that can’t be erased even with their demise.
Sometimes you can talk to the other people who were close to your parent, be it family or friends, to help you know what they remember your parent for. Creating these memories helps one see the death of their parent not as a loss, but turns the focus to the lives they lived, which may then appear as one lived to the fullest or one that achieved its purpose.
Personal care- well, despite dealing with the death of a parent, one has to take care of their selves. It includes sleeping, eating and cleaning up. Grief is known to take a toll on people, and failing to do such things as eating or sleeping will further derail the much-needed energy for coping with the loss.
It is likely that you will get overwhelmed by emotions, but look for mechanisms to overcome them, probably by talking about your feelings to the people close to you. Do not be hard on yourself for not being able to do things the way they should be done, grieving has a tendency of making us lose our normal selves, so b easy and gentle on yourself now more than ever.
Keep off major decision making at this time- death brings confusion, we are never our normal selves, not at least we have fully come to terms with the loss. The confusion, stress and pain that comes along with the death of a parent may make you want to abandon your career and pursue the one which they had initially wished for you, just so you honour them.
It might likewise make you want to change your place of stay in attempts to run away from things that make their memories vivid. Try not to make such major decisions, be easy and give yourself time to grief, mourn and adjust to a life without your parent first, experience a life without them first prior to the decision making.
Talking about your feelings- try not to keep to yourself during this grieving moment. Dealing with the death of a parent sometimes makes us stay alone with the assumptions that no one can understand the pain we feel, nor can anyone fill the void they have left behind. Well, as true as it can get, talking about the pain with other people is helpful in dealing with the death of a parent and commencing the acceptance of our predicaments.
Discussing, probably with our siblings, who are feeling the same pain, helps in knowing that we are not alone, and the feeling of togetherness this brings becomes a source of strength.
They say no man is an island, and a problem shared is half solved. If you feel overwhelmed, you can as well seek counselling services from professionals who will suggest ways and activities help you in dealing with the death of a parent.