Coping with the death of a parent, no matter how long it has been, leaves an emptiness and twinge of hurt that seems to linger on. There will always be situations and memories that make you long for a conversation with them or want to experience one more "it will be okay" hug. Whether you have lost one or both of your parents, the following are steps will help you through the grieving process and better able to cope with your loss. Try replacing the emptiness and hurt by celebrating and honoring their life and all of the wonderful memories that they made possible for you and others during their lifetime. To help cope with the death of a parent, find ways to honor them by connecting with the memories that you hold dear.
1. PRAY out loud, asking the Lord for the ability to understand the situation, the strength to endure it, and for His continued guidance in your life.
"Now That I Am Gone"
Remember me with smiles & laughter. And if you need to cry, cry with your sisters and family who walk in grief beside you. And when you need me, put your arms around anyone and give to them what you need to give to me.
want to leave you with somethingâ€¦ There
are so many who need so much. Something
much better than words or sounds. Look for me in the people I've known, or helped in some special way. Let me live in your heart as well as in your mind. You can love me most by letting your love reach out to our Lord and loved ones, by embracing them and living in their love. Love does not die, people do. So when all that's left of me is love, give me away the best you can. Author Unknown
3. WRITE them a letter. Writing to a person you deeply miss can be both healing and inspirational. Your letter can be privately written in a journal, or something to share in a family scrapbook. Write a poem, a memory or a list of the things this person taught you that would be an interesting lesson to your children and others. Writing a letter will also give you the chance to put into to words all of the things you've been wanting to tell your loved one since they have passed.
4. TAKE up one of their favorite hobbies. Did you inherit your Dad's tools, or stamp collection? Was he a fisherman, a bridge player or a crossword puzzle fanatic? Was your Mom a master in the kitchen or the garden? Did she knit, crochet, or read autobiographies? We're always looking for something new to challenge us, so why not try or learn more about one of their favorite pastimes to create a new and everlasting connection with them.
5. EXPLORE your ancestry. Study the genealogy of your ancestors by compiling a family tree. Learn the language, study the history and research your family lineage. Have a family dinner including either your parent's favorite recipe or recipes from their ancestral country. Write down all the stories about your ancestors that your parent might have told you, for the next generations to read.
6. COMMIT to a charity or do volunteer work. Maybe your parent gave to a particular charity such as the Veterans Association or local food bank. Did they volunteer at the hospital or animal rescue? Why not continue that tradition in their honor, which will also be your contribution to help the community as a valuable member.