LSH blog - death of a parent

The death of a parent

My mother’s death ten years ago turned my world upside down.  Nothing could have prepared me for it and everything felt very unstable. It changed me and my life forever. I had lost my anchor and I wasn’t sure I had the reserves to navigate the choppy waters that surrounded me. I was supported by a wonderful bereavement counsellor and what I learned was that although we can’t be fixed, we can heal.

Everyone experiences grief differently and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. It is a process. Grief uses up a huge amount of energy and can be exhausting.

For some, they will experience intense emotions years after the death of a parent which can impact mental and physical health. Since everyone experiences grief on their own individual timeline, it can be difficult to recognise that this has developed into sustained, or complicated grief and you need some support.

Whatever age you are, the death of a parent brings with it significant changes. Although most of us would expect our parents to die before us, we can be surprised by the complexity and depth of grief that the loss creates. And these feelings can re-surface year after year, especially at significant times like birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas.

The death of a parent can create a range of different feelings and emotions, depending on the relationship you had. If the relationship was good, then coming to terms with the loss of that special person and their unconditional love can feel unbearable. That stability has gone and this can create feelings of intense pain and panic. If the relationship with the parent was difficult there can be a sense of anger, guilt, and regret for something that had never worked out and can now never be challenged.

It can change the way we view ourselves. It can feel like we have lost part of our identity. We are suddenly the older generation, a change which can make us more cognisant of our own mortality.

There can be a loss of role too for those who have been carers for parents. This can feel like a release, but it can also create feelings of loss of purpose, isolation, and depression.

There can also be a significant effect on other relationships after when a parent dies. Where some families come together for support, others can fall apart with anger and tensions. The death of a parent can create a loss of cohesiveness in a family. Were they the glue that held everyone together? How can you move forward without them?

Where one parent has died there is often an adjustment to a relationship with the parent that is left.  In time, we may have to cope with that parent and a new partner, which can be challenging for some families.

How Hypnotherapy and Bereavement support can help with the death of a parent

Talking your feelings through with a trained bereavement professional can help you to understand the intensity of the emotions you may be experiencing and to adjust to the new reality without that presence.

Hypnotherapy can also help you with the emotional fallout when a parent dies and support you as you work towards restoration in ways that are appropriate to you. So if any of this resonates with you, do please book in for an online appointment.


Grief is the price we pay