Grief is an unpredictable and challenging process. Losing a parent is a particularly challenging process that has its own set of obstacles. Emotions will come and go, and there’s no easy way to deal with it all. Many things can take us by surprise when dealing with grief. The pain of loss may never go away, but eventually, you can find your footing again. Here are a few things no one tells you about losing a parent:
People forget you’re still grieving - After a few weeks or months, people will stop asking you how you’re feeling. It’s nothing personal, but some people have never been through what you’re going through. They may not understand how long the grieving process is and the pain you’re still feeling.
It’s okay to not be okay - You might feel like you need to stay strong for those in your family who are also suffering. But it’s okay to not be okay. You may have a bad day years after the loss, and that’s okay. You may cry when you least expect it. The pain may never go away, but understanding that you can have a bad day will help ease the process.
Guilt - Over the years, you may feel guilty if you don’t remember the small things. Your memories fade, and sometimes you forget the little things about your parent. Other times, you may feel guilty because you couldn’t take their phone call one time or you weren’t able to be there when you think you should have been. This guilt is normal and happens to many of us. It’s important to give yourself grace and remember that some things you cannot change. We must not forget our happy memories with our parent.
Milestones are painful - It’s natural that when you lose a parent, they will miss out on certain milestones in your life. Your parent may miss a significant promotion, birthday, or even a wedding. Remembering what important milestones your parent was there for is a way to ease the pain.
Negative and positive memories - You will still remember unpleasant memories with your parent, and that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to recognize the best and worst qualities of your parent. No one is perfect, and it’s okay to remember someone for the way they were. You loved them despite any negative memories.
Jealousy- During the grieving process, you might feel jealous of others who have both of their parents. This is a normal feeling when you have just lost someone so important to you. It’s important to focus on the positive memories you have and be grateful for the time you spent with them.
Losing a parent is never easy and isn’t a predictable process. Finding your footing and remembering your positive memories with your parent is the key to being at peace.