The lights were on but nobody was home, It was like I was alive and functioning but my brain and heart took a leave of absence. The loss of a parent can feel like you lost a key part of yourself. But getting yourself through such a gloomy period, however, proves one thing: there was resilience inside that was never thought possible.
In these few years, I have learned death cannot be fixed, but it also cannot be ignored. You have the choice to continue to love them and keep them in your life as vividly as ever… We write off the death of a parent to natural causes, you know – going through the motions but those who have been through it and through it early understand how drastically life changing it is.
But someone recently asked me what it was like. Now I can actually look back on my journey so far and understand so much about what this period has taught me about essential virtues and life lessons. Without this, I wouldn’t have been the woman I am today.
First things first it will always be hard, but it does get easier as time passes.
1. When someone you love dies you have to keep living.
Your parents want you to do great things. They dream about it before you’re even born. I get it when someone you love dies you feel like your world is falling apart, but you can’t let yourself die with them. They want us to be sad but not sad forever. To be happy continue our lives and make them proud. So keep living your life to the fullest even if your heart is broken. You still have a purpose here.
2. Be patient.
Missing your parent is natural. Regardless of how your relationship was you’ll need time to adjust. Time will heal you over the years but understand you will always miss your parent. I still cry about it sometimes 8 years later. Don’t waste time wishing away hoping you’ll speed up the grieving process. Don’t worry about everyone else’s comments and suggestions you don’t need to look or behave a particular way. This is your personal journey and yours alone. So disregard any judgment do what you know what’s right for you. Grieving has its own pace, don’t rush it.
3. Look out/after yourself.
Grieving will take its toll on you. Your grief is unique there is no set way to do it. Many things factor in the way you grieve such as the type of relationship you had with said parent, the circumstances surrounding the death, your emotional support system, and your beliefs. Loss of sleep, damaged immune system, alcohol consumption, and reduced appetite is not uncommon. The key is protecting your health and fitness (wish someone would have told me this). You don’t need a strict fitness lifestyle you can take small steps. Eat natural unprocessed food, take a hike with a friend, go swimming and stay hydrated. When your body feels strong it naturally lifts your mood and will help you cope.
4. Accept your new self.
As you get older you develop into the type of person you want to be, your outlook on life can change. A parent dying is one of those experiences that change you FOREVER. It’s not for the better or worse it’s just a change. Grief increases your appreciation for life in life, with death, and gives you the awareness that all things change so you have to prioritize what’s important. Enjoy and truly value every moment, let the new you grab life by the balls, live out loud every precious day with passion.
5. Open your new chapter.
Know that over time your heart can grow in confidence beat with new purpose and become even healthier than ever. Allow yourself to search for meaning this is normal and imperative to allow yourself the opportunity to think and feel things through. One day you will be at peace and reflect on their life with love, pride, and happiness rather than grief. Never take any seemingly painful stupid family bonding experiences for granted because they do expire. Be grateful for your health because, in the end, we are all we really have. You can still enjoy life and YOU SHOULD!
Life is to be cherished. It’s what they wanted for you. Stop beating yourself up, nobody teaches anyone about our parents died. You’re doing fine.