Senior Alternatives

Care Management and Home Care Services
Dealing with Grief after a Parent Passes Away

August 25, 2023

 – Dealing with the loss of a parent or a loved one is a challenging journey that adult children often find themselves navigating. For most people, grief is an individual experience, and the process of healing varies from person to person. Here are a few suggestions to help manage this difficult time:

  1. Allow Yourself to Grieve: Your grief is a testament to your love for your parent. It’s essential to allow yourself time and space to experience these emotions. This could involve crying, quiet reflection, or expressing your feelings in a personal journal.
  2. Reach Out to Others: Sharing your feelings with friends, family, or a support group can be therapeutic. It can also be comforting to connect with those who have undergone a similar experience.
  3. Take Care of Your Physical Health: Grief can take a toll on your physical well-being. Ensure to eat balanced meals, engage in regular exercise and get adequate sleep.
  4. Honor Their Memory: Creating a memory book, planting a tree, or donating to their favorite charity in their name are ways to keep your loved one’s memory alive.
  5. Seek Professional Help: If your grief feels overwhelming, it may be beneficial to seek help from a grief counselor or a mental health professional. They can provide strategies to help you cope.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and the process is unique to each individual. Allow yourself the grace to grieve at your own pace.

Item 4 above can be quite therapeutic to those left behind as it calls for a celebration of a parent’s life and a way to honor their memory. This can be a meaningful part of the grieving process, providing both comfort,  a sense of connection and remembrance. There are many ways to do so:

  • Create a Memorial: This could be a physical location or an online space, such as a memorial website. It provides a dedicated place for friends and family to share memories, photos, and anecdotes.
  • Organize a Tribute Event: This can be an annual gathering, a charity run, or a simple dinner on their birthday, where those who knew your loved one can come together to celebrate and remember them.
  • Personal Artifacts: Wearing their favorite piece of jewelry, using their favorite mug, or reading from their favorite book can keep their memory close and be a comforting presence.
  • Name a Star: There are services that allow you to name a star after someone. Every time you look up at the night sky, you can remember them.
  • Plant a Tree: A tree can serve as a living memorial, growing and changing over time, just as our memories of our loved ones do.

Each act, no matter how small or large, serves as a testament to the love and connection shared. They offer a tangible way to remember, honor, and celebrate the life of the loved one who has passed on. Saying goodbye to a parent is a life-changing experience, marking the end of a bond we’ve known for our entire lives.  Take time to plan and include family members to take part in every aspect of the event, this will bring much needed closure. 

Another aspect that adult children deal with is the disposal of mom or dad’s belongings. Deciding when to deal with a deceased parent’s home and other things is a deeply personal decision and should be made at a pace that feels comfortable to you. There’s no set timeframe to adhere to; for some, sorting through their loved ones’ personal effects can be a cathartic process that helps them cope with their grief, while others may need more time to come to terms with their loss before they can face this task. It’s perfectly okay to wait weeks, months, or even longer if necessary. It’s important to remember that this is not a race, but a journey. Take the time you need and don’t be pressured into rushing through this process. You may want to seek the help of an expert organizer that can aid in this process and make it easier to deal with.

As the weeks pass and all family members go back to their normal routine, be sure and touch base with those closest to the person who passed.  This is the time they will need continued support, as well as you. 





To schedule a free 45 minute consultation about this and other related topics, reach out to us @ 888.451.4290 – We are here to help adult children deal with aging parent’s issues.

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