When A Parent Dies…

Creative Commons image “Mother and Son” by Russ Allison Loar via Flickr.

Your mother or father has died. Most of us love our parents deeply. And they love you with the most unconditional love that imperfect human beings can summon. You are now faced with the difficult, but necessary, need to mourn the loss of one of the most significant people in your life. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings about the death. It is an essential part of healing. Your grief is unique. Grieve in your own way and in your own time. The parent-child bond is the most fundamental of all human ties. When your mother or father dies, that bond is torn. Numbness, confusion, guilt, relief, and anger are just a few feelings you may have. They are normal and healthy. Let yourself feel whatever you may be feeling ;don’t judge yourself or try to repress painful thoughts and feelings. Find someone who will hear you out as you explore your grief. If you have siblings, the death of this parent may affect them differently than you. Each of them had their own unique relationship with the parent who died, so each has the right to mourn the loss in his or her own way. Expect some conflicts with your siblings as you may disagree about the memorial, family finances, etc. Or, perhaps you will experience a welcomed gift of the death bringing you and your siblings closer together. Grieving the loss of a parent may be the hardest thing you have ever done. Be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits. Your feelings of sadness will leave you fatigued and your ability to think clearly and make decisions may be impaired. Nurture yourself. Lighten your schedule as much as possible. Allow yourself to be around people who understand and support your religious beliefs. Express your faith, but express your grief as well. Your parent lives on in spirit through your memories. Treasure those memories. Share them with your family and friends.Those memories may make you laugh or cry, they are a a lasting and important part of the relationship you had with your mother or father. Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself. Your life will be changed forever. Embrace the blessings you receive along the way!

Originally published at stillstandingbykristi.blogspot.com on October 16, 2015.

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