Grieving the loss of a parent can be tough, and it’s OKAY to seek help

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Losing a parent is never easy, and it could negatively affect your emotional health. Don’t hesitate to speak to a professional to process your emotions.

The death of a loved one can certainly be a difficult life event to go through, making one grieve, and be filled with a profound sense of sorrow. This is especially true when we lose a parent, as they form the foundation of our life, loving, guiding, and nourishing us to become self-reliant adults.

It is a catastrophe that one faces at such times, and could make a person truly struggle while coping with the loss of a loved one. The Covid-19 pandemic has left many families bereaved. To better understand how one can initiate their journey towards coping with the loss of a parent, we spoke to Kamna Chhibber, Head, Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare.

Losing a parent can cause a very negative impact on your mental well-being. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Grief sets in

Talking about the feeling of loss, Chhibber said, “Grief is a complex state which brings with it numerous emotions and thoughts. There is no singular trajectory that individuals follow in order to work through the experiences of loss and cope with the same.”

People are typically likely to go through multiple experiences such as:

  • Struggling to accept it
  • Wanting to deny it
  • Feeling guilt and self-blame
  • Developing anger and irritability
  • Wanting to negotiate to somehow have the loved one back with them
  • Experiencing significant low moods

All this happens till they reach a point where they are able to accept the loss of the person.

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Grief can take over your emotional health when a parent passes away. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Coping with the loss

Chhibber recommended the following tips to cope with the loss:

  • Coping with the loss requires that one give sufficient time to the self. Allowing yourself to experience these complex emotions is important as is ensuring that one is not trying to actively avoid doing so either.
  • Talking about and sharing the thoughts that are coming is critical to ensuring that you are processing the experience of loss.
  • Working towards involving the self in routines from the past and continuing with chores and work is also helpful in moving towards normalization of life. Take small steps but with regularity to ensure there is movement happening in trying to cope with and process the loss while also taking care of the varying emotional experiences you are having.
  • In some cases where the grief is either prolonged or the emotional experiences are intensifying with time then it would be advisable to connect with an expert. Seeking help from an expert is important to reduce the pain of grief over time.

“A sense of loss may never be replaced after a loved one departs, with some help, a person in grief can at least have a shot at normalcy and continuity,” concluded Chhibber.

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