Losing the very person who gave you life isn't easy no matter what space they occupied in your life. Even if they were estranged from you, their absence is still a loss. However, the closer was your bond, the harder it is to even adjust to the idea that someone who was there for as long as you were, now isn't.
The world as you know it suddenly changes and it can completely tear your life apart from when you're unprepared. However, let these 7 truths validate your grief and reassure you that you will make it out.
Feeling Alone In The World
When a parent is alive we know that no matter how alone we feel, we're never truly alone. We are a part of them and they are a part of us which creates a blood bond that transcends even the most complicated of relationships.
When the safety of having a person who loves unconditionally, even at our worse, is gone, it can deepen our loneliness. Despite death being a part of life it can still feel like abandonment and trigger fears of rejection the more we realize that our parent is never coming back.
Reverting Back To A Child State
It may feel silly but it's natural to revert back to a child-like state when grieving parents. You could feel like all you desperately need to feel better is one more hug from mom or for dad to say that it's all going to be okay. You might feel like you just want to stop all responsibilities and crave simply being taken care of like your parents once did.
Depending on your grief level, you might not even have the will to get out of bed and spend the day crying. Your feelings of sadess might be replaced by anger at the world itself that make you just wanna throw a tantrum and give up for a bit.
Regretting Small And Missed Moments
Sometimes the loss of a person is what it takes to trigger back all kinds of repressed memories we once shared with them that may have not even seemed significant at the moment. We may not realize the worth of these moments until it's too late to do anything about them and they're all that we're left with.
You might find yourself fighting with feelings of guilt or shame over things you should have said or wish you had never done. You'll wish you didn't assume you'd have more time and feel like you would do anything to turn back time. Eventually, you will find ways to feel connected to their presence and legacy without their physical bodies being around anymore.
It's okay for grief to feel like anger. It can be aggravating to feel like we have no control or understanding of a situation. This feeling could even end up being projected onto our passed parents and translate into resentment against them for leaving us alone in the world.
You might even feel different forms of anger towards people who had more time with their parents and choose not to cherish it. If you need to be angry at the world for a minute then give yourself permission to feel that, label it and sit with it. It will pass. Emotional regulation takes time and doesn't always make sense or have a linear process.
Moments Of Acceptance
Persistent, traumatic grief can cause us to cycle (sometimes quickly) through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages are our attempts to process change and protect ourselves while we adapt to a new reality.
Acceptance, being the last stage, is the most peaceful one. However it's possible to move in and out of acceptance, or simply have moments of acceptance without ever truly making it to a place of accepting a reality that doesn't include our parents. It can be too jarring for the mind to get used to an idea that contradicts the one it has grown accustomed to since the beginning of its time.
You might be think that you've finally made it through the worse parts of grief when suddenly the smell of a certain food takes you back to Sunday dinner and you find yourself breaking down in the grocery store aisle.
Grief comes in waves and some days will feel normal while during others you will distinctively feel the absence of your lost loved one. Ride the waves because over time the moments of acceptance will get longer and the relapses will happen less and less frequently.
It Never Gets Better
The hard truth is that no matter how much time passes, you will still always feel like you're missing something. A part of you is gone and you will feel its void even if it's not always on a conscious level.
However thank them for the gift of life that they have given you and keep them alive through your memories and your own life. The more that you take care of yourself and walk in the path they always hoped for you, the more you allow for their legacy to live on and give fruit to their labor in raising you.
Making Them Proud Through The Cycle Of Life
Death is simply a part of life that we must accept. It's coming for us just like it came for our parents. All we can do is find ways to make every day that we are living count and make the most of the moments we do have with the ones we love.
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