The reality of death tends to be almost unreal, especially when it takes away a parent whose existence in your life is irreplaceable. You grew up from being a child to a teenager and then an adult, but you loved and cherished your parents all these years.
Though if their death was foreseen, the loss of their care, advice, and affection could leave a deep void and anguish that may seem hard to fill or let go of. Alternatively, perhaps you and your parent were distant or had a troubled relationship, leading to a roller coaster of complex feelings.
There are no hard and fast rules to overcome your childhood trauma. However, these ideas can help you get started as you accept your loss.
Know That Your Feelings Are Valid
Grief is expected following the death of a parent. Still, it is also customary for other emotions to take over. There may be a couple of reasons why you might not feel sad. Maybe you are just numb or grateful they are no longer suffering.
The feeling of grief unleashes a stream of nuanced, often conflicting feelings. Your connection with your parent may have been difficult, but it was still vital to your identity. They either created you or chose to adopt and nurture you, becoming your first anchor in the world. It is common to struggle or have difficulty grips with your grief after such a huge loss.
You may encounter:
- Rage or irritation
- Regret, possibly for not communicating with them regularly or
- Not being there for their funeral
- Disbelief and psychological numbness
- Ambiguity, denial, or a feeling of absurdity
- Depression or sorrow
- Physical discomfort
- Psychological problems, such as anxiety or suicidal ideation
- Relief that they are no longer in pain
Let Your Mind Feel the Pain of Loss Completely
People respond to sorrow in various ways, but it is critical to living through all your emotions. There is no single, correct method to mourn, no specific number of days after which you should hope to feel a little better, and no phases or steps of sorrow to tick off a list. This can be hard to acknowledge on its own.
Rejecting your emotions may appear to be a faster way to heal. You may also think that others want you to bury your sadness and move on before fully accepting your loss. Remind yourself that grieving is a painful and challenging process. Don’t let the opinions of others overtake your emotions in any way.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Grief significantly impacts daily living, causing sleep problems, increased or decreased appetite, impatience, poor concentration, or excessive alcohol or drug usage. You may find it challenging to work, care for your household, or meet your basic needs.
Finalizing your parent’s affairs may overwhelm you, especially if you must do so alone. Some people run away from reality by trying to find solace in the distraction of work, but, if possible, resist pressuring yourself to return until you are ready. People frequently immerse themselves in work to escape the ever-present wall of painful emotions, taking more than they can properly bear.
The best way to learn ways to cope with such a situation is to learn from real-life experiences. Read Lee Brand’s Discovering Discovering the Family I Never Knew, a fiction story based on real-life events, to see how Jeffrey Madison coped with untold family secrets. It is a book that is relatable for all those struggling to fight away the effects of their childhood trauma. You can get the book today by ordering through Amazon.