Grieving the Loss of a Parent: Navigating the Emotional Journey

Losing a parent is an immensely difficult experience that most of us will face at some point in our lives.
By illume Editorial Team
Last updated: Jul 6, 2023
10 min read
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The journey of grieving the loss of a parent is a deeply personal and complex one, filled with a range of emotions and challenges. 

In this blog post, we aim to provide you with valuable insights, guidance, and support as you navigate the grieving process after the loss of a parent. We’ll explore the impact of grief, the importance of a support system, and the resources available to help you through this difficult time.

The Complexity of Grief

Losing a parent can evoke a wide array of emotions. Whether it’s sadness, anger, guilt, or even relief, everyone experiences grief differently. It’s essential to acknowledge and accept your feelings as a normal part of the grieving process. 

Feelings of grief can also manifest very differently amongst family members. Comparing your grief to a sibling isn’t always helpful – you may have had very different relationships and therefore feel your parents death in a completely different way. 

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each person’s journey is unique, and it’s crucial to grant yourself permission to feel and express your emotions openly.

Understanding the Stages of Grief

The grieving process typically comes in waves. A popular misconception is that the stages of grief are linear. While this isn’t completely accurate, understanding the concept of stages can help you make sense of your emotions. 

The stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—provide a framework at best. It’s important to note that they may overlap or recur. It’s okay if you find yourself moving back and forth between these stages. Give yourself the time and space needed to process your emotions fully.

The Importance of a Support System 

During this challenging time, the support of family members, friends, and close friends can make a significant difference. Reach out to your loved ones and share your thoughts and feelings with them. Allow them to provide comfort, understanding, and a listening ear. 

Friends and family will likely try their best to support you during this difficult time. However some people may feel unable to offer support to you and manage their own grief. This is especially true if they were close to your parent too.

If you’re struggling to find support within your immediate circle, consider seeking solace in grief support groups. You could try connecting with a grief counselor who specializes in helping individuals navigate the loss of a parent. Remember, you don’t have to face this journey alone.

Coping Strategies for Adult Children

As an adult child grieving the loss of a parent, the experience can be particularly unique. You may find yourself grappling with the loss of a lifelong support system, the responsibility of managing practical matters, and feeling a profound sense of vulnerability. 

It’s essential to prioritize self-care and practice self-compassion. Grief can take a toll on your physical and emotional well-being, so it’s crucial to prioritize self-care. Ensure you’re getting enough rest, eating well, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. 

Incorporating regular exercise, practicing mindfulness or meditation, and maintaining social connections can also support your overall well-being. Engage in activities that bring you solace and provide a safe space for your emotions to unfold. Allow yourself to grieve at your own pace and remember that healing takes time.

Honor and Remember your Parent’s Life

Finding ways to honor and remember your parent can be healing. Consider creating a memory box or a special place in your home where you can display photographs, keepsakes, or mementos that remind you of them. 

Engage in activities that were meaningful to your parent, such as participating in their favorite hobbies or contributing to causes they cared about. This can help you to keep their memory alive and enable you to feel close to them. 

Grief Support Resources 

There’s a range of grief support offerings that can help you through your journey. From online support apps and communities like the Grief Works app or to professional support from a grief therapist – there’s resources for everyone now. 

Here’s some examples of support that could help you:

Online Grief Support 

Numerous online resources are available to provide practical guidance and support throughout your grief journey. Grief support apps, like Grief Works, offer a safe and inclusive space to connect with others who are grieving and access a wealth of information and tools tailored to your needs. 

Our app features on hand support from grief counselors, online support groups, journaling prompts, and guided meditations that can aid in your healing process. Explore these resources in your own time and find what resonates with you.

Grief Therapy or Counseling 

Having someone to discuss your grief with that is outside of your usual support circle can be a massive help. Feeling sad and struggling emotionally doesn’t have to overtake your life so if you’re feeling overwhelmed after your parents died then talking to a grief specialist may help. 

Our guide on when and how to get bereavement counseling will help. It will point you in the direction of places to seek support and offer different options depending on your personal circumstances. 

Grief Support Communities

You can find support communities in many places. Check your local church if you want a community close to home or see if there are any national charities that can put you in touch with people going through a similar loss. The Grief Works Community is also a welcoming place where you can connect with others who are also grieving. 

Find Grief Support with Grief Works by Illume

Getting support when grieving is essential, but it can be challenging.

The Grief Works app offers 24/7 support in the palm of your hand. The 28-session therapeutic course will help you process your grief at your own pace, and you’ll gain access to 30+ interactive tools to manage your emotions when you need them.

Connect with a community that cares for you, attend live monthly group sessions with Julia herself and have the option to text-chat to a counselor when needed.

Reach out for support now to take the first step towards soothing your pain, building your strength and healing from grief.

Conclusion

Losing a parent is a profound and life-altering experience. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the complex emotions that accompany such a loss. Remember that you are not alone. Reach out to your support system, utilize available resources, and allow yourself the time and space to grieve. 

The Grief Works App is dedicated to providing a compassionate and nurturing environment to help you navigate the grieving process. By acknowledging your feelings and seeking support, you can gradually heal and find solace in the memories and legacy of your deceased parent. Together, we can walk this path of grief with care and understanding.