Life Is Not the Same after Losing Your Parents

July 4, 2016
Although it's a fact of life, no one is prepared to lose their parents. We need to give ourselves time to adjust and devote the time necessary to do so.

It’s a fact of life that children outlive their parents. However, just because losing your parents is natural doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It’s not easy to accept a loss as sensitive as the death of the people who raised us.

Whenever we have meaningful, warm and enriching family ties, any absence or separation becomes a source of suffering that is hard to cope with or manage.

Losing your parents is an emptiness never truly heals. However, you can learn to live with this hole in your heart and ease the pain with good memories, photos and their legacy that we will forever keep in our hearts.

We’d like to invite you to reflect on this and learn more so that you can develop your own strategies to face the difficulties that come with losing your parents.

No One is Truly Prepared for Losing Their Parents

First, it’s important to note that the pain of this loss will be in line with the bond that you had with that parent. It doesn’t matter if they were living independently while we were raising families of our own.

The bond forged with a loved one understands neither time nor distance.

On the inside, we’re still the same person that needs advice, a loving hug from our father, or the confident look from our mother to offer encouragement in a way that only they can.

We’re social and emotional beings. The bond that we establish with our parents is so intimate that when this loss occurs, we’re shattered on the inside.

You should read: Appreciate People Now, Not When You Lose Them

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Everyone Experiences the Pain Differently

Pain is a personal process through which we come to accept the loss of a loved one. The grieving process usually occurs in the following stages:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Expression of emotional pain
  • Acceptance

Although these are the most common stages and the process usually lasts between 1-3 months, we need to acknowledge that each person will deal with the loss differently.

By this we mean that we shouldn’t be offended if a sibling or other family member seems to be unaffected or reacts in an exaggerated manner. Pain is channeled in very different ways and not all are equally adept at managing it.

It’s about finding your own “channel”, the one that provides you with the most relief. Talk to the people closest to you, write, relax, spend time alone, look at photographs and cry as much as you need to.

The suffering will lessen with each passing day. Although you may not believe it, you will be able to move forward again.

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How to Handle a Loss Without Saying Goodbye

The loss of our parents can be due to many different reasons. It may be a long illness, an accident, an unexpected heart attack…

However, what often hurts the most when losing a loved one is not being able to say goodbye.

Sometimes, people may lose a loved one after an argument or misunderstanding that makes it more difficult to accept the loss.

We can’t turn back time to change things. What we can do, however, is to focus our thoughts and emotions on the following: a parent always knows how much their child loves them. There are no hard feelings.

Also read: Teach Children Happiness, not Perfectionism

Smile to Honor Their Memory

Losing your parents leaves a deep wound that never totally heals. However, we can learn to live without them and allow ourselves to be happy by keeping the following in mind:

  • Our parents would never want us to live a life dominated by sadness. It may seem hard, butyou need to smile again for their sake and use your happiness as a way of honoring their memory.
  • Fill your mind with positive memories and of special moments to give you strength and support.
  • The best times you had with your father or mother are emotional gifts that you should pass on to your children. They’re a legacy of love and affection that will help them to grow as people and get in touch with their roots.

You should read: Chronic Sadness: Dysthymia

hands-touching-leaves after losing your parents

We will all have to eventually say goodbye to someone that we weren’t prepared to lose. However, the love we share today will be a source of strength to help us carry on tomorrow.

Learn to live in the present and fully and sincerely enjoy your loved ones now while you have them.

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