Dealing with the passing of a parent


One would think that dealing with the passing of a parent would be easy. After all, it is an expected part of life. The natural order of things is that a parent will die before a child. Yet, no matter how expected it is, it hurts. How do you deal with a passing of a parent?

The answer to the above question is not an easy one. The answer depends on the person/child. In my case, it depends on the day.

People think I should have been ready for the passing of my mother. She was 89 years old. She was in poor health. In fact, she spent her last days in a nursing home. I know people think I should be accepting her death. Most days I am accepting it and glad she is in a better place. However, I am really more in shock still than acceptance.

How should I be dealing with her passing? In researching this subject, I found that the following should help:

Spending time with friends and loved ones

It seems that isolation is not always good for us. When we are sad and in mourning, it helps us to spend time with others. It helps us to get out in the sunshine. It helps us to remember there are still positive aspects of life.

Although, it is tempting to wallow in our own grief and depression, spending time with others and getting out of our self-made nests does help. It is easy to curl up on the sofa or bed and just let those sad thoughts overwhelm us. But when we force us to dress nicely and join the world, we may actually feel better.

Getting back to routines

Routines are good for us. Things like cleaning the house and exercising can set our bodies back on track. Then our minds will start feeling a bit more normal. It doesn’t mean we won’t forget what we lost. It just means we are slowly starting to live again and that is what our loved one would have wanted.

Take time for yourself

It is time to take time now for yourself. Go off by yourself and read a book. Write in your journal. Take a walk and sort out your thoughts. Take a bubble bath. Do what you need to do to center yourself when you are overcome with emotion or just because you want time with yourself. In fact, you should be doing this regularly, anyway. We all need a little me time.

Allow yourself time to grieve

Don’t let others tell you when you should stop grieving. There is no time limit on grieving. Each person is different and each person will grieve in their own manner.

Plan ahead when those special days are coming

Special days are going to be hard for us. Plan ahead on how you are going to cope or how you are going to celebrate the passing of your loved one on that day. Then you won’t be blindsided when it arrives. Mother Day’s will be a rough one for me. I already know that is one day I will skip the camp site and stay at home, remembering mom in my own way with my husband. I won’t be up to watching people celebrate that day.

Seek help if needed

If you feel you need extra help getting through your grief, seek it. Don’t feel ashamed asking for this help. There are many trained counselors throughout the world that can help us deal with grief and our emotions associated with it. If you feel like your grief is consuming you and you need more help dealing with than your family or friends can provide you, seek it out. You know your passing loved one would want you to go on and this may be the answer for you.

Yes, death may be a part of life. Losing a parent may be the natural order of things. However, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t leave a hole in our hearts and in our lives.

Good luck dealing it and remember you are not alone.

Photo Credit:  Photographer:  Matthew Henry  Photo Site:


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