Grief is a different experience for everyone. It is natural for people to cope differently and at their own pace. On top of that, your unique relationship with your parents could vary greatly from your siblings.
It is also important to remember that grieving isn’t a linear process; you may switch between various stages of grief or experience multiple stages all at once. Hence, you may be struggling to find the best way to grieve, so here are some healthy coping mechanisms you can adopt to cope with the loss of a parent.
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Seek support by grieving with your family
After a parental figure passes, you may notice that the relationships between your family members start changing. Despite these changes, the most important thing is to allow you and your family to cope in any healthy method they prefer.
Unfortunately, there is a possibility for a change in familial dynamics and perhaps even a rise in tension between family members. The parent who passed may have been the centre of your family that kept everyone together, and after their passing, relationships may begin to shift either for the better or the worst.
Depending on the family, some families may choose to grieve together or by themselves. Loneliness is a common problem that many people face while mourning, and many retreat into their shells as they fear being misunderstood or afraid to put a burden on others. This might be a time to reach out to your family with the support they may feel embarrassed to seek out. At times, it can be as simple as spending more time with them over meals or hobbies.
Bonds may also grow stronger as you listen with empathy and support one another during this difficult time. It is important to practise compassion and sensitivity in your interactions with others, realising that everyone copes with grief differently. By giving others a safe and supportive space, you allow both you and them to process the death at your own pace.
Honour them by doing something in their memory
After the funeral service, you may find it difficult to honour your parent in everyday life. Try participating in activities that can recreate memories and celebrate their impact on you. Consider looking into their hobbies and interests you used to enjoy together to reminisce on the shared memories.
For instance, if your parent enjoyed baking, you can spend time recreating their favourite desserts and even make baking a part of your weekly routine. You can also care for one of their favourite plants or take over their passion for a charitable cause, either by donating or volunteering.
It would also be good to rope in other family members in these activities to grieve together and strengthen your individual bonds. By participating in your parent’s hobbies, you are also indirectly creating memories with them and processing your emotions in these difficult times.
Connect with others through a grief support group
Sometimes, you may feel that your friends do not understand, but you’re reluctant to confide in family – afraid to interrupt their grieving journeys. Hence, you may feel lonely and isolated as you struggle to manage your grief.
Grieving is a highly individual process, and everyone’s emotions are valid. However, it is also important to realise that human relationships are still important in the process of grieving, as verbalising and healthily expressing your emotions can be cathartic and helpful. A grief support group is usually led by an expert who will facilitate sessions and help you mourn in a way that best suits you.
The group also consists of others who are grieving, and the shared human experience of pain and loss will connect you with others looking for a support network. Mutual empathy, listening, and support can go a long way in helping yourself and others cope with what would otherwise be a lonely process.
Grieving doesn’t have to be lonely or painful; it can be a great time to celebrate and honour your parent even after their death. Choose to incorporate them in your life even after they pass and create new memories with their presence in mind, all while focusing on the happy memories you’ve had with them.
As a funeral service provider with caring and experienced funeral directors who offer personalised services and packages, Casket Fairprice is here to help you remember your loved ones with dignity. While you focus on grieving during this difficult time, let us offer the necessary guidance and support you need.