Life After A Death: Dealing With The Loss Of A Parent (And Your Child’s Grandparent)


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The big thing about when someone you love passes away is that you will run the gamut of emotions. You will feel pain, anger, emptiness, but also guilt. Guilt that you weren’t there enough for them, guilt that you didn’t do or say something to help, however little, and these feelings can be trapped inside you. It’s hard when you are a parent to deal with all of the various formalities involved when it comes to someone passing away, and while there are issues like sorting out funeral, dealing with the will, and everything that goes along with it, you might find it very difficult to speak to your children about it, for fear of it upsetting them too much, or for fear of you getting more upset. When you lose a parent, it’s a very hard hitting loss, and some people struggle for a long time afterward. So when you’ve lost a parent, but also a grandparent to your children, how do you learn to deal with it in a healthy manner, but also, learn to cope with it for the sake of your children?

 

Honesty, The Best Policy…

Depending on your version of the word “honesty”, it does depend on your children and how old they are. Lots of parents have had to tell the children about the death of a dog but usually disguised it in the manner of saying something like “they moved next door”. But when it comes to someone they are close to, they might be very confused as to how to deal with this feeling of loss. By explaining it in an open and honest manner can benefit your children in two different ways, firstly, it isn’t sugarcoating the issue, because the fact is that the person has gone away. Secondly, in letting them process the grief as naturally as possible, it will benefit them in the long run. Naturally, your children, depending on their age, will have lots of questions about how it happened. This can be very upsetting for you, of course, and the one big thing that we struggle to accept when it comes to losing someone we care about is that we will avoid the issue as long as possible, but we eventually come round to accepting that the person has gone. This is, in essence, the grieving process. Now, this can come across as careless and somewhat cold-hearted, but if you deal with the whole process as open and honest as you can, this will help everybody, not just your children, but yourself also.

 

Treading The Fine Line Between Detail And Too Much Detail…

Speaking to your children about what happened to can be very upsetting, especially if it’s was under difficult circumstances. Because your children will have questions about what happened and why it happened, this can be very difficult for you to explain, because you are going through processing the lost yourself. This is why it’s important for you to give honest answers, but keep them brief. The hard thing in speaking to children about death is that you have to explain that death is actually a part of life. The difficulty in speaking to children about this is that if the person that passed away did so because of an illness, you could run the risk of your child associating illness or sickness with death, which will cause them to worry. And this is something that is very important for you to be careful with when discussing death with your child, because they may, naturally, get scared about the whole concept of death. But also, realize that you don’t need to provide all the answers because you actually don’t have all the answers!

 

The Difference Between Coping And Avoiding…

When we go through any sort of grief, we can feel confused that going back to work or keeping busy is good for us. We can feel that when we have children, we need to carry on and look after them and do everything like it once was so we can present a picture of normality. But, it’s vital for you to understand the difference between coping with the situation in a healthy manner and avoiding going through your own grief. Only you can provide the answer in if you are being honest with yourself and your own feelings. Of course, the cliché that “life goes on” is something we all have to think about at some point because we have our own duties to contend with. And, whether this is looking after your children, going to work, or anything else, the important thing to consider is whether you are going back to normality too soon, and so you are using it as a way to not go through the grieving process, or if you are using normality as a way to help you cope. It’s a very fine balance.

 

Why Dealing With The Formalities Can Be A Good Thing…

For a lot of us, arranging the funeral, dealing with the legalities and general formalities that come with the loss of a loved one can go one of two ways. It can either help us in terms of the grieving process, so we can actually process the facts that the person we care about has gone so we can grieve in a natural and healthy way. Or, the other aspect, which happens all too often, is that the formalities can be very draining. This could be due to issues with the will, family squabbles or the various processes of closing their bank accounts, dealing with unpaid bills, and so forth, which can weigh us down. Dealing with the formalities can be a good thing, to an extent. When it comes to dealing with professionals in relation to sorting out someone’s estate, you would naturally expect them to have an air of sensitivity about them. So when it comes to something like trying to find a probate attorney, you would expect them to deal with the whole process as swiftly and sensitively as possible. And so, because these are things that we need to deal with, it can be a healthy kick-start into the grieving process, especially for those of us who avoid putting off this grief.

 

The Process Of Saying Goodbye…

Of course, there is that overused sentiment that if someone is remembered, then they are never really gone. While this is true to an extent, you can run the risk of dwelling on the loss of someone years after the event, which isn’t healthy. The process of saying goodbye is something that takes as long as it takes, and when you are ready to say goodbye, you will know. We have to go through the grieving process, and it takes a different amount of time for different people. But the big thing that’s some people worry about when it comes to saying goodbye to someone is that it is drawing a line in the sand. This is far from the truth, as anyone knows deep down, but it’s something that is worth saying out loud, and while the process of saying goodbye is a finality, it’s all about keeping the memory of that person alive.

 

Life Going On, For You And Your Children…

The death of a parent and a grandparent is something that can have a profound effect on the whole of the family, and it’s the inability to cope that can cause issues further down the line. And while we can shy away from confronting or emotions, either for the sake of our children or because we are too scared to deal with these emotions, you can look at the passing of someone you all care so deeply about as something that has brought your family closer together. The grieving process is a terrible thing, but there is a point when we come out of it, and we have learned many lessons, either about ourselves, about how we relate, or about what is actually important to us in life. In this respect, you can look at the passing of a loved one as a positive. By pulling together as a family, or you explaining to your young children about what has happened and help them through their confusion and their grieving, you can help yourself in many ways. As life inevitably goes on and we all have to go back to some sort of normality, it is one of those things where, as time goes on, we, for the most part, learn a way to carry on. It can take a lot longer for your child, because they may very well need to deal with the confusion of the situation first. And as acceptance becomes a part of the grieving process for your children, it will become a natural part for you also.

 

How we deal with the loss of our loved ones, especially parents, and our children’s grandparents, it can shape our own abilities to cope, but it can be beneficial to us as parents, and it can help our children to get to grips with the complexities of life. Dealing with death is never a nice thing, but it is a natural part of life, and we need to learn how to understand it, not just for the benefits of us, but for our children too. Holding on to everything about our loved ones, after they’ve gone, can be a great thing, but it’s a fine balance.

 

 

 

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