Coping with the death of a parent

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Coping with the death of a parent

Coping with the death of a parent.

I went through a very worrying time in my life recently. That got me to reflect on death, dying and what happens with the children when a parent dies. We expect our parents to always be there. Many adults still look for their parents’ guidance and seek their approval. Even physical distance doesn’t seem to matter today, when we have telephones, emails and Skype. We’re still emotionally connected. We all make choices in our lives and for those of us who chose to move country or even continents, losing a parent can be a very difficult time, complicated by  work/life commitments, travel arrangements and guilt that we weren’t there when it happened. But what happens with our small children if we die? There are all sorts of questions that pop into your mind if you have an illness or if you believe that time is running out. Who is going to love and comfort them? Who is going to cook their favorite meal or make their lunches just the way they like it? What if they never recover if I die? What if they won’t have friends anymore? These and many more.

Bereavement is an universal issue that goes across gender, age and cultures. When we are bereaved, we feel pain, we are sad, angry or we feel guilty no matter where we come from. Whether we originate from Europe or Asia, Africa or America, we all feel  pain when someone close to us dies. However, we grieve and we cope with death differently depending on our age. For young children, losing a parent could turn into massive disruptions to their daily routine,  adolescents could have difficulties concentrating, their grades could suffer and they could isolate themselves, while losing a parent as an adult can still have a major impact.

Loss is painful for everyone, no matter their age or gender. The loss of a parent is painful in particular. Death can be frightening for many people and we all know that life changes when a parent dies. This is a fact of life that we can not avoid. The most basic of human responses to people who are grieving is comforting and consolation. After that, over a period of time that can vary, the bereaved person could be supported by helping their reintegration into their social group. In order to do that, they need to grieve and mourn the parent who died as well as the losses associated with the death.


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