Tag Archive for: Losing a Parent

Losing a Parent – How to Cope

Losing a Parent – How to Cope


We all know that losing a parent is a significant and challenging event that can be difficult to cope with. It is like loss of a piece of ourselves. Upon losing a parent, we often find ourselves unsure of how to navigate the world in their absence. Even if their passing was expected, it will still cause emotional distress and even trauma. 

Coping with the loss of a parent is not an easy thing to do. There will be changes in how you feel and what you need, and you may feel completely lost. All of that is more common than you think. 


Each Feeling Is Valid

Instead of fighting your sadness, you can learn to cope with it by understanding how it works. As a normal and natural reaction, some people try to bury the painful emotions that accompany loss. In an attempt to keep their strength up, some people may feel compelled to turn to their jobs, alcohol, or other distractions. However, until you allow yourself to feel your emotions, this strategy will not help you manage and process them.

Emotional outbursts or emotional isolation from other people can result from suppressing your emotions. When you give yourself permission to mourn or face your pain, your body starts to heal. While distracting yourself and using other coping mechanisms to get through the day are acceptable, doing so repeatedly could be harmful to your health. The act of validating one’s emotions enables the development of coping mechanisms and resilience in the face of bereavement. 


Ways to Cope with the Loss of Your Parent

Self-care, coping strategies, and mindfulness practices all contribute to the process of accepting one’s loss and the accompanying emotions. There is no definitive approach to mourning, no specific period during which one can expect to feel better, and no sequential stages or checklist items to complete. It may be difficult to accept this by itself.


  • Build a Support System

You might want to use a friend, family member, group therapy, or a grief counselor as part of your support system. According to research, talking to a close friend or family member who has also lost a parent may help. Support and guidance from loved ones can be beneficial for young people and middle-aged adults who have lost a parent. Choose people who will support and listen to you, because talking about your feelings with them might help you regulate them.


  • Write a Letter to Your Parent

It is possible that you had something you wanted to talk about or work out with your parent before they died. Many are upset that a parent did not share family recipes, missed a graduation, wedding, or other important event, or had unresolved disagreements or talks.

Write a letter to your deceased parent. Focus on what you regret not telling them, what you want to thank them for, and what you want to continue as their legacy. This letter is to digest and release anything you have held onto. As you write, remember that the letter will not be sent. It may help you feel better about your relationship with your deceased parent, but it will not erase the pain. If you are able, burn the letter in a safe way after writing it. 


  • Take Care of Yourself

Grief typically impacts daily life. Some find work comforting, but do not return before you are ready. Some immerse themselves in their work, taking on more than they can to avoid climbing the uncomfortable wall.

Finding balance is very important. An occasional distraction is fine, as long as you set aside time to deal with your feelings. You might also want to ask people who will support you to join you on things like walks, workouts, trips to your favorite restaurant, and so on.


  • Go down Memory Lane

Protecting the memory of a parent who has died might be scary, but if you talk about these memories often, you will make sure they do not fade. As a parent, you may tell your kids about your grandparents or continue family traditions you loved.

Though it might hurt at first, remembering may make you feel better as the stories come back. As you might expect, not everyone has good memories of their parents. Without talking about or processing your parent’s death, it may be harder to recover. It might be easier to handle if you open up to someone you trust.


  • Talk To a Therapist

After your parent’s death, consider seeing a therapist to teach you how to cope with the loss of a parent. Therapists often specialize in bereavement.

As you process the complex emotions of loss, a therapist can help. Grief counselors can help you adjust to life without a parent and teach you coping skills.

Be Kind to Yourself

Grieving a parent can leave you confused, hurt, and lost, regardless of your relationship with them. Remember that everyone mourns differently, and that is healthy. Slow down and be kind to yourself as you grieve.



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