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 it’s natural doesn’t mean that it’s easy to accept a loss as sensitive as the death of the people who gave us everything.

Whenever we have meaningful, warm and enriching family ties, any absence or separation becomes a source of suffering that no one has taught us to cope with or manage.

The death of a parent is an emptiness that we can never heal. However, we can learn to live with this hole in our hearts 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 prepared to lose their parents

The pain of this loss will be in line with the bond that we 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 are 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.

So, let’s take a closer look.

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


Every one experiences this pain differently

The 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. The 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, 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.


A loss without saying goodbye, how to handle it?

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

  • What often hurts the most when losing a loved one is not being able to say goodbye, not being able to tell them how much they’re loved.
  • Sometimes, people may lose a loved one after an argument or misunderstanding that makes it very 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 knows how much their child loves them. There are no hard feelings.

Also read: Teach Children Happiness, not Perfectionism

The need to smile again 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, but you need to smile again for their sake and use your happiness as a way of honoring their memory.
  • Fill your mind with positive memories, 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


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, fully and sincerely enjoy your loved ones now while you have them.