Even though death is a natural part of the cycle of life and something that no one can avoid, people in the wake of a loved one’s death are going through a tough period.
And, it’s even harder when the one you lose is a parent. Regardless of what kind of relationship you had with your parents, losing them often changes your life.
And, this loss affects you physically and psychologically. The grief is real and measurable and scientists have concluded that losing your parent will change you for good.
Losing a parent is an emotionally difficult human experience and all of us will eventually witness the loss of our parents.
According to psychiatrist Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi, in the best-case scenario, death of a parent is anticipated and the family has time to prepare and say their goodbyes and be with the ones who support them.
But, when the death is unexpected, adults may remain in the anger and denial phases for long and this can trigger a long list of health problems, including trauma, depression, and even PTSD.
10 Things that Change when You Lose Your Parents
- You feel broken and alone
The pain of losing your parents will stay in your heart forever.
In the beginning especially, you’ll feel shattered and alone, like you’ve lost the only people that understood you.
But, don’t worry; this sadness will go away as the time passes by and as you begin to accept the loss.
- Anxiety may creep in
Stress causes us to find it harder to deal with stressful situations and it may cause even the simplest of responsibilities to become too much.
It’s not uncommon to feel like this when you’ve lost your parents.
Grieving for them can elevate your depression, anxiety, and even lead to substance abuse. Make sure you have the right support system.
- Holidays won’t be the same
For many people worldwide, holidays are special because we celebrate life’s joys with our loved ones, including our parents.
But, when they’re no longer here to share these moments together, all of a sudden, you may feel lonely during the holidays.
But, don’t worry.
As the time passes by, you’ll learn and appreciate the meaningful moments you’ll create with your family and remember the ones you got to share with your parents.
- You learn the strength of love
Indeed, it’s a bittersweet feeling to realize that your love for your parents is forever. However, it does provide comfort in the sadness and gives you a chance to reflect on those special moments you got to share.
You’ll also learn to appreciate the love you shared for them. It’s this love that will keep you going on in life.
- You accept their flaws
In our youth, our parents were our flawless heroes. But, as you grew, you realized that they were simple people, just like you are.
When they’re gone, you’ll begin to accept all of their mistakes and flaws and eventually forgive them.
Now, when they’re gone, you’ll have a new way of seeing them.
- Your feelings may become complicated
Grief has several stages, including sadness, guilt, anger, fear, relief, and numbness. Don’t shy away from these emotions-they’ll help you heal and accept.
- The relationship with siblings changes
Every family has its own dynamic and it’s held strong by each of the members.
But, when you lose a parent, it can also lead to a change between you and your siblings. For some families, it can stir up conflicts between brothers and sisters.
In others, it can help them heal their broken relationships.
Don’t underestimate the connections with your loved ones who’re still here. Show them support, kindness, and forgiveness.
- You accept sadness
Grief isn’t something you can get over, but it comes in stages.
You’ll realize that missing your parent is a feeling that is constant as the time passes by and some days, their absence will be more obvious than other days.
Eventually, you learn how to cope and move on.
- You try to call them
It’s heartbreaking to lose a parent. Sometimes, you may even catch yourself trying to call them to tell them some good news or to ask for advice.
But, you realize they’re no longer here. You may break into tears or ask yourself why.
- Your body feels the grief
The loss of a parent is traumatic and you may feel like every cell with your body is fighting with it.
And, in a way, this is really true-you can get physically ill from grief.
Men especially tend to feel struggle after losing their parents so they need all the care and support they can get.
Without doubt, grieving has to include taking care of you and it’s not just spiritual, but a physical rollercoaster.