The passing of a parent is an unfortunate reality that all of us have to experience at some point. But that does not make it any less painful. Some of the feelings people cycle through after the loss of a loved one are shock, denial, anger, numbness, despair and sadness.
If these feelings are not dealt with in a helpful way, they could lead to increased risk of psychological difficulties, such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse, according to research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
It has also been found that the loss of a parent can affect physical health, according to an article published in the Journal of Family Issues. So, here are some ways to deal with grief after the loss of a parent.
Seek the Help of a Grief Counselor
It is always helpful to share your feelings and seek the support of friends and family. But, in some cases, that might not be enough. It is always a good idea to seek professional help in such situations. A grief counselor can help you talk about and process your feelings, such as anger, frustration and sadness, according to experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. The death of a parent can also lead to the revival of past resentments and can alter the family dynamics. A grief counselor can also help you in resolving these conflicts in a constructive way.
Join a Support Group
A support group helps in making people feel like they are not isolated in their loss. These groups comprise people who have suffered similar loss. People can find these groups online through grief support forums and organizations, as well as in local communities. These groups also help those suffering by giving them a sense of hope, empowerment and skills to tackle their problems.
Take Care of Yourself
People often stop taking care of themselves on the loss of a parent. But self-care is essential for dealing with grief. You would be able to better process your feelings if you exercise, eat well, get enough sleep, and take time to grieve. Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep and exercise 30 minutes each day.
Know Your Triggers
It is a good idea to know when you are most upset and might need extra support. For instance, if someone has lost their father, then the activities they did together can be a trigger. Knowing this can allow you to prepare yourself and not be alone at such moments.
Apart from these, getting a pet or being involved in things you enjoy can be beneficial in dealing with the loss of a parent.