Nobody wants to even consider the fact that their parents will die someday — we want them to stick around forever. Even though deep down, we generally expect to outlive our parents, the shock and grief experienced when that moment does come can be incredibly overwhelming. It’s hard enough when they die after living a long and healthy life, but if they’re taken from us unexpectedly, it can feel like an impossible hurdle to overcome. They’ve been the constant throughout your whole life, the ones who have known you from day one. You are not only grieving a person, you’re also grieving an entire relationship — one that can never be replaced.
You will feel numb, and it won’t feel real.
It genuinely will take time for it to sink in that your beloved parent is gone. You’ll find it hard to believe that you were talking to them just yesterday, and now you can’t reach out to them for a chat, pop over for a cup of tea, or give them a big hug.
It’s okay to remember their negative qualities along with their positive ones.
We tend to idolise those who have passed, choosing to remember their good qualities instead of their bad. Maybe that’s because it feels wrong to point out their negative qualities when they aren’t around to defend themselves. Nevertheless, it is completely normal to not look back on all memories with rose-tinted glasses. Your parents weren't always perfect, or a saint perhaps, but you loved them anyway. 😍
There can be so much to do immediately after their passing that you may not have much time to grieve.
Whether you’re helping the surviving parent sort out their affairs, or you’re taking care of it completely, there are a lot of administrative tasks to do. If you’re lucky, a funeral has already been planned and their will leaves clear instructions. Trying to organise their estate can be a long and drawn out process. Once the funeral has occurred, take some time to yourself to properly grieve.
You’ll never be ready.
At some stage you know it’s going to happen, but absolutely nothing can prepare you for it. Even if they’re hospitalised or suffering from a chronic illness, you will not be ready when the time comes. Parents are often our biggest cheerleaders, who we turn to for support. Losing that can leave you feeling lost and unanchored. Even those who have strained relationships with their parents are never ready, and end up living with regret over things they never said to mend the relationship.
Who you surround yourself with makes all the difference.
Find comfort in those who have been through it themselves. They will understand better than anyone the emotions you’re feeling. The right people will reach out to you long after the funeral — they’ll check in on anniversaries to make sure you’re okay because they know grief doesn’t just go away.
The grief seems never-ending.
Some days will be better than others, but the grief will come in waves. There are periods where you will manage your grief very well, and then something as simple as a song will come on the radio that reminds you of your mum or dad, and it will be overwhelming. 🎶
You’ll never forget...🥀
You are never, ever going to stop remembering (or missing in most cases) your mum or dad, no matter how much time passes. There are always going to be things you wish you could share with them, or times when you’d love nothing more than to have their support.
But you will find happiness again.
It might take months, or years, but you will find yourself in a spot to be able to look back on memories with love and happiness instead of sorrow. You will still wish they were here, but you will get to a place where you can talk about them or think about them and feel joy for knowing them! 💛
Losing someone you love is one of life’s most difficult hurdles. It can be made slightly easier if they left behind a will with clear instructions on how they want their death to be handled. It’s a difficult topic, but you can encourage open discussions with family members about their end of life wishes and life insurance policies to give both parties peace of mind. 👪 We would love nothing more than to be there for you when you need a will or life insurance policy.
📣 And remember, buy young, buy long!