The Death Of A Parent – The death of a loved one feels unbelievable, particularly when losing a parent; it can be a devastating experience. When your mother or father dies, you feel a range of emotions, and your whole life changes in a heartbeat. I’ve lost my father in the covid, and I know it is a highly stressful event that can change you forever. So, in this article, I’ve discussed the five common experiences you may go through after losing a parent. Keep reading to know these five changes.
Losing a parent is a traumatic experience
When a parent dies, you feel a personal loss, and even as an adult, it is a traumatic experience. The grief of losing a parent is life-changing that may send shock waves to you. The loss of their guidance, love, and support can leave a huge void in your world that no one else can fill.
And if you had a complicated relationship with your parent, their death can leave you on a roller coaster of conflicting emotions. Also, studies revealed that bereaved children have more risk of mental illness and psychological problems after this significant loss.
5 changes after the death of a parent
Parental death is highly painful that affects you physically and psychologically. Here are the five changes you feel in yourself after losing a parent.
1. You undergo a range of contradictory feelings
You will likely go through a range of contradictory feelings that you feel different from one moment to another. You might experience shock, anger, emotional numbness, guilt (for not contacting or caring for them), confusion, despair, or relief that they’re no longer in pain.
Moreover, the grief of parental loss will change your way of reacting to problems in life. Also, you’re likely to feel physical pain and mental illness, including depression, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide.
2. You started to accept their flaws
In childhood and young age, you expect your parent to be perfect in every situation and trust them completely. But as you mature, you realize they are just like you and still trying their best to provide you every comfort in this complicated world.
Therefore, you start accepting their flaws & mistakes and forgive them after their death, no matter the nature of your relationship with your parent.
3. Relationship with your siblings or other family member changes
The death of a parent affects your relationship with your siblings and other family members. Sometimes, the death of a loved one brings the family together and heals the broken relationships. Whereas it often creates tension and conflicts between siblings.
It’s not good to wake up old arguments and undervalue the bond with your other loved ones. You need to support each other and look after each other in this difficult time. Furthermore, you may likely meet new or distant family members and have new relationships after the death of a parent.
4. Special occasions will never feel the way they used to be
After losing a parent, it is normal that you feel hollow and lonely without them at special events. We know that occasions are with loved ones, whether they’re parents, siblings, or close friends. But parents are the ones who teach us how to celebrate events and life achievements, thus, you may no longer be excited about the holidays and the activities you used to do with your parent. Instead, you will likely develop new interests.
5. Learning to live with the sadness
As time passes, you learn to live with the grief and look at the world from a different perspective. You realize you’ll miss your parent forever, and now you will have to live with their memories. As you learn to live with the sadness and manage the grief, you eventually grow and become a stronger person.
For some people, it may be a new freedom
Losing a parent might be heart breaking, but some people see it as a freedom.
Jeanne Safer, a psychotherapist based in NYC, says “Research shows that a majority of bereaved adults report significant improvements in their lives after they have grieved for their parents.”
Some people feel themselves in a state of being free after the death of a parent. They feel free to do whatever they want, marry someone they want, and go wherever they want to go.
Some people leave religion, engage in new hobbies & activities, and they feel freer that they will not be answerable to their parents and bound to their orders.
However, marrying someone you love and living life according to your choice and goals is nothing to be ashamed of. It depends on the parent and the nature of their relationship with the child.
Also Read: Dealing With Parents’ Divorce In Your 20s
If you’re struggling with the grief of the death of your parent and need extra support, consider reaching out to a grief coach, therapist or mental health professional. It’s important to talk to one to recover from this loss, and there is no shame in it. If you’re looking for online therapy, feel free to reach out to me by scheduling a free discovery session with me. As a life coach and expert in grief support, I’d help you to process through this painful chapter of your life and manage your grief.
I coach people who desire to live a life of freedom and joy. As a fully accredited Life & Transformation Coach with hours experience coaching and mentoring freedom seekers and executives from all over the world, I thrive on helping people rebuild their life based on a freedom and joy mindset and create a positive impact in the world.