Even though a child will inevitably experience the pain of parental loss at some point in their lives, that fact does little to ease the anguish they feel at the loss. Many people have difficulty making sense of grief, mainly wondering how long its effects will last.
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A parent’s grief might linger as long as it takes. The length of time it takes for an individual to grieve might vary widely depending on several factors. This chronology can be affected by age, context, and familial relationships.
This article is intended to assist the reader in understanding the numerous components involved in grieving the death of a parent in the hopes that it will allow the reader to grieve healthily. Doing so will lessen the length of time spent in mourning, but more importantly, it will give the reader a fresh viewpoint on their own experience.
This article will also detail how friends and family members can comfort those grieving.
Experiencing and Managing the Five Stages of Grief
When knowing how long your grieving will last because of your unique circumstances, it’s essential to learn about the Five Stages of Grief and how you’ll respond to them as you go through your feelings.
People tend to go through these stages. However, their duration and the sequence in which they occur vary widely. So, while it can be challenging to talk about the loss of a parent, it can assist in understanding the many phases of grief.
The loss of a parent can be a devastating blow to a child’s fragile psyche. You’ll likely respond by denying the death ever happened. This is an adaptive response to shocking information. To go past this mourning period, you must embrace the reality that the parent has passed away.
After the first shock wears off and the reality of the situation sinks in, anger may arise. You may feel directed to a dark space and alone in the universe. The world keeps turning, but you can’t move forward. Repressed emotions of loneliness and hopelessness cause this rage.
Feel free to let your anger out. Shred paper or scrawl furiously on it with a marker. Those who need to release pent-up emotions may find relief by destroying or destroying themselves. Finding a safe place and calming yourself before trying something dangerous to vent your rage is crucial.
Speculation and “what if” scenarios dominate at this point. So it’s natural to wonder what you could have done differently to make their life easier.
The circumstances surrounding your parent’s death may cause you to obsess about what you may have done better. For instance, “They might still be alive today if I had gone to the store and gotten the groceries instead of them.”
It’s natural to think this way, but you shouldn’t spend too much time there. If you find yourself dwelling on “what if” scenarios, remind yourself that you can’t change the past and that the outcome may have been the same regardless of your actions. The death of your parents was not your fault.
Realizing that “what-ifs” cannot change the circumstance brings the loneliness and helplessness felt during the rage stage to the forefront of your mind. Even if you absolve yourself of responsibility, losing your parent still hits you hard.
You may feel down and stop caring about the things that used to bring you delight. You may stop eating and want to withdraw physically from social situations.
Depending on who you are as an individual, spending time alone can positively or negatively affect your mental health. Some people will use that time to reflect on the tragedy and consider possible means of moving past it. On the other hand, being alone with their thoughts is a path to despair for some people.
We have now reached the fifth and last phase of mourning. You’ve made it through the first four phases of grief and are ready to move on with your life. Even while you still feel unhappy, it no longer interferes with your day-to-day life.
You shouldn’t have to accept your parents’ death because society told you to. No one but yourself can determine how long it will take you to come to terms with a loss.
It’s vital to remember that the four stages after denial don’t always happen in a straight line. It is usual to feel melancholy one day and then angry the next because there is a close relationship between anger, bargaining, and depression. So there is no need to worry that your grief is returning because of these fluctuations in your mood.
Methods of Coping Healthily with the Loss of a Parent
Although the after-effects of extended sadness may seem ominous, it’s essential to keep in mind that there are many constructive methods for moving past your sorrow, no matter where you are in the grieving process.
- Experiencing strong feelings will be difficult for you during this time of loss. You can only put in so much emotional effort every day until you completely deplete your reserves.
- That’s why it’s important to lean on those closest to you for help. You are emotionally delicate right now, and if you don’t let your loved ones anchor you, you could quickly sink into a pit of sorrow.
- Keep your distance from those who lack empathy or who are overly demanding. These “energy vampires” will rapidly deplete your emotional reserves, leaving you feeling worse than before.
- In most circumstances, particularly in the early stages of grief, professional advice from a therapist or counselor is beneficial. I wouldn’t call this a requirement, but it’s something I’d advocate.
- If treatment isn’t an option, hotlines are another resource. Such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Youth Crisis Hotline.
- One of the most important things you can do to allow yourself to recover is to express your emotions. The accumulation of painful negative emotions can lead to long-term problems, so it’s best not to stuff them down or ignore them just because they’re unpleasant or emerging at inconvenient times.
It is a Challenging Task to Grieve for a Parent
Losing a parent is an experience that calls for patience, understanding, and the love and support of loved ones. Knowing the stages of grief will help you support yourself or a loved one during this challenging period.