How to Cope with the Death of a Parent

How to Cope with the Death of a Parent
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Written by Carol Trehearn

Grief can be an emotional rollercoaster, and you might find yourself kept busy putting on a brave face and taking care of details and forget about taking care of yourself.

There’s nothing that can prepare you for the death of a parent, even if their life has been a happy and fulfilling one. The initial shock is going to be overwhelming enough, and then there are a whole host of things you’ll need to get sorted. You’re going to feel stressed because you’ve got to help the surviving parent decide what to do as well as organize funeral arrangements and finances.

You might have to take time off work or be worried about how your children are going to deal with the loss of a grandparent. All of this while putting on a brave face for the family. It is possible to make the transition easier for everyone.

Take Care of Yourself

Grief can be an emotional rollercoaster, and you might find yourself kept busy putting on a brave face and taking care of details and forget about taking care of yourself. Many people resort to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain and then find themselves in need of in need of a rapid drug detox. Instead, set aside a few hours every day to do something you enjoy doing. Enjoy a walk in the open air, listen to your favorite music, watch a movie or go out with your friends.

Allow Yourself to Feel What You Feel

There will be people all around you who are only too willing to help you speed up the grieving process. Keep yourself busy; you’ll hear them say. You’ll find people afraid to talk about your parent in front of you. You need to face your grief head-on and allow it to happen. Keeping yourself busy and attempting to block it from your mind will mean the feelings only surface later.

There’s No Recognized Time Line

Believe it or not, there’s no right or wrong way to grieve for a loved one. There’s no agreed upon time limit either. Time will heal your wounds, but there’s no predicting how long that will be. For some, the pain never goes away. They just learn to manage their grief. If your friends or family are telling you it’s about time you moved on don’t listen to them. You’ve got your own timetable to follow.

Get Organized

When a loved one passes away, there are going to be bills and other financial documents you need to keep track of. You may not be feeling up to it, but financial matters can’t be put on the back boiler for another day. Set aside a particular space in your home for all the legal and financial matters, rather than leaving a mess of paperwork on the dining table.

Part of your self-care could mean you need to visit a counselor. There’s nothing to feel embarrassed about. They will be able to help you develop strategies for dealing with your grief.

If you’ve never visited one before and are worried about what happens to think about the example you’re setting for your children. You’re showing them it’s OK to look for help if you need it and to be open about your feelings.

Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers  of Self-Acceptance,  Appreciation, and Personal  Achievement.  We ask that every contributor and expert answer    the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the  current article they have written.  In that way, and as a team, we hope to  encourage  and motivate  each other, thus inspiring  you to Get All A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally?  Additionally, what are you  still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.

I’ve accepted that I am where I am and that’s a good thing.  

2. Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally?  On the other hand  OR in contrast,  are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on  appreciating?

 I have found that when I appreciate everything I’m in a good space.  I need to be more mindful of my tolerance of others.

3. Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us  not only  what makes YOU most proud  but also  share the  goals and dreams that you still have.

I’m proud of living my dream of an alternative lifestyle on a small holding surrounded by animals.  My dream is to make enough time to write and paint more.

4.  Of course, we  all have imperfections,  or  so we think.  In truth,  we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways?  Likewise,  what imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?

I love peace and quiet and ironically that’s not so easy to achieve in a world filled with people.  

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to  appreciate and express  all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU!  In fact, sharing  what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!)  Therefore,  Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my own space and my independence. Love my family, friends and  my pets.



Photo by  Kristina Tripkovic  on  Unsplash

About the author

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Carol Trehearn

Carol has a love for freelance writing.

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