Grief is a natural and complex emotional reaction to a loved loss triggered by various circumstances such as the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or a major life change. The process of grieving is the series of mixed emotions related to physical and cognitive reactions that a person expertise as they come to terms with the loss of their loved one and are expected to adjust their life without the person or the thing they have lost.
Losing a parent is one of the most difficult and emotional experiences a person goes through. Parents are like figures of stability, love, and support and their death leaves a huge impact on children. The loss of a parent comes with the baggage of all the bad emotions, sadness, grief anger, and guilt. The grieving process varies from person to person. Some people take time to completely adjust and accept the reality of loss and find multiple ways to honor and remember their parent who has passed away. If you have lost your parent do seek from your near and dear ones and family members.
While the pain of losing your parent cannot be forgotten but it is possible to find ways to move on and incorporate your parent’s memories into your own life story. What to do when a parent dies? Continue reading.
1. What to do When a Parent Dies
Losing a parent is a challenging and sad experience. Here are some of the points to remember that can be followed when a parent dies:
- Take Your Time to Grieve- Allow yourself to sense the emotions that come with when a parent dies. It is essential to take your time to process the parent’s loss and permit yourself to grieve in your way.
- Notify Your Family Members and Friends- You should first reach out to your family and friends and acquaintances know about a parent’s death. It helps to ask for support.
- Make Funeral Arrangement- You should decide the type of funeral services or memorial services. It should also involve choosing a casket or urn preparing for burial or cremation, and planning services.
- Handle Legal Matters- Learn to take care of all the legal matters that should be addressed such as filing for a death certificates, closing bank account, life insurance policy and setting the estate.
- Seek Support- You should first seek support from your family, or friends or reach out to a mental health professional for emotional support during a tough time.
- Take Care of Yourself- Involve yourself in self-care activities like exercises, healthy eating and getting proper sleep.
- Honor Your Parent Memory- Figure out ways to honor your parent’s memory like creating a memorial or tribute, planting trees around your home or making a contribution to charity in their name.
There is no right or wrong way to show your grief what to do when a parent dies. For everyone the grieving process is different.
1.1. Seek Support to Cope with the Loss
It is hard to cope with the loss of a parent and the challenging experience. You should remember that it is fine to find support during a tough period. Here are some tips to seek support:
- Connect to Your Friends and Family Member- Talking with friends and notify family member works as a great way of finding comfort and support. They provide you with a listening ear, physical presence or shoulder to cry on.
- Associate with a Support Group- Support groups help in providing a safe and friendly environment where you can share your thoughts, and experiences, about loss. You can find them in person or online in mode.
- Reach Out to Mental Health Professionals- You should reach out to mental health professionals like a therapist or some counselor who gives you a safe ad personal space to discuss your feelings with people who are facing the same situations.
- Involve Yourself in Self-Care- It is essential to take care of yourself during this phase. You should involve yourself in social activities that give you immense joy and comfort to you by doing exercises, spending time around nature, reading books or meditating.
- Join Religious or Spiritual Support – You should join religious or spiritual support to relieve your soul and find peace and positivity.
1.2. Grieving Process After a Parent Dies
Losing a parent is serious and is a very much sad experience. The grieving process after when a parent dies can be complicated and varies from person to person. Here are some of the shared experiences:
- Shock and Disbelief – It is considered to be a difficult situation to accept that a parent is no more. It is common to feel a sense of shock and disbelief especially when death occurred suddenly or is not expectedly.
- Emotions- It is a normal occurrence of a wide range of mixed emotions following the loss of a parent. Some people feel enormous sadness, grief, wrath, regret and anxiety. Others may experience a sense of relief, knowing the fact the parent suffered from a long-term illness.
- Memory and Nostalgic Moments- As time passes by memories of the current moment become more conventional. It can be comforting and much more painful. It is normal to sense mixed emotions when remembering the past, including happiness and regret.
- Accepting and Moving Forward- As time passes you should come to a place of accepting the phase and move forward with the hope of positivity. You cannot forget your parent’s memory, but the time spent with them becomes memories and it is with you for the rest of your life.
1.3. Steps to Honor and Remember Your Parent
Losing a parent is a heavy and sentimental experience. but there are steps to honor and remember your parent:
- Construct a Memorial- Constructing a memorial can be a sign to honor and remember your parent’s memories and praise their life. You can do it in numerous ways such as creating a picture album, showing up your favorite items or planting a flower.
- Contributing to Charity – Contribute to charity or cause which was important for the parent. This is the best way to show respect and keep their memories alive. and keep a positive impact on their credit.
- Start Writing Journal or Letters- Start writing journals or letters to your parent as it is considered therapeutic to express your emotions and remember them in your memory. You connect with them personally and privately.
- Share Your Stories- You should share your lost parent’s stories and memories with others to engage yourself and praise their life. It should be done with family members, friends or support groups.
- Party on their Birthday or Anniversary- Throw a party on their birthday or anniversary to show respect and keep their memories alive. You can do this in many forms like getting together with family members and friends, preparing their favorite meals or visiting a relevant place.
1.4. Deal with the Finances
Dealing with the finances after the loss of a parent can be a challenging and tough experience. Here are some of the steps which can be taken includes:
- Collect Important documents- Gather important documents like parents’ will, insurance policies, bank statements, credit accounts post office papers, and tax returns. These documents will help you in identifying the favored position and benefits.
- Inform Financial Departments- Inform banks, credit card departments, and other financial departments about your parent’s death. They may ask you to provide a copy of their death certificate to transfer ownership to you.
- Reach Out to Attorney- Reach out to Attorney to receive help and steer all the legal procedures and guide you on how to manage your parent’s estate. An attorney helps you in filling the necessary paperwork and handle the court process.
- Appeal for Benefits- If your parents received any benefits regarding Social Security or Veteran benefits reach out to renowned agencies of the death and appeal for survivor benefits.
- Pay Undone Debts- You should pay undone debts and bills from your parent’s estate funds.
- File for Taxes- File tax returns and estate taxes if applicable.
- Manage Your Investments- Reach out to a financial advisor if your parent has done any and with their help transfer to your ownership.
1.5. Care for Your Physical and Emotional Health
Start caring for your physical and emotional health after when a parent dies is important, but it can be tough. Here are some of the following ways to take care of includes:
- Get Proper Sleep- Getting proper sleep is vital for both physical and emotional health. You should make it a priority and make a regular habit of following a sleep routine.
- Intake of Good Foods- You should make a habit of eating healthy foods which help you support physical and emotional care. Eat healthily and avoid intake of alcohol and caffeine.
- Exercise Regularly- Make a habit of exercising every day to handle stress and improvise your health starting with light exercise and practicing yoga.
- Find Support – Ask for help from your friend or family member when in need or reach out to mental health professionals. It is essential to share your feelings and be helped by your loved ones.
- Take Breaks in Between – Prioritize yourself some -time by reading books, going to a beach or working on your hobby.
- Follow Relaxation Techniques- You should follow relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation or muscle relaxation to reduce stress and preach relaxation.
- Remain Patient- Grief is an emotional experience and everyone handles it differently. You should allow yourself to sense the emotions which come when a parent loses and remain patient with yourself as you explore this tough phase.
2. Understand the Grief Process
Grief is a natural and sad response to loss which can be generated by many situations such as the death of a parent’s loss, the end of any relationship, or a drastic change in life. The process of grieving is an episode of physical, emotional, or cognitive reactions that a person experiences.
It is accepted that there is no wrong or right way to grief, and it varies differently with others. You should follow some steps including.
- Astonished and Rejection- The very first step of grief is determined by do not agree and rejecting. It is very difficult to accept when a parent dies and feel clueless as to what to do when a parent dies.
- Wrath and Regret- When the reality of losing a parent comes, some people deny the fact and sense wrath and a lot of regression. They also experience sadness and blame themselves.
- Learn to Bargain- You should learn to bargain with the reputed powers to recoup what you have lost. For example, they promise or make a deal in return for their loved one.
- Deal with Depression- Many people suffer from depression when a parent dies they sense a deal of sadness, loneliness, and lack of hope. Their life becomes directionless and searches for meaning in their life.
- Acceptance – The final step of grief is determined by a sense of acceptance and intention. The loss of a parent is agonizing people move forward with their life to find meaning in it.
It is essential to notice that these steps are not always upright, and some people experience them at different levels or can skip some steps. Additionally, people move back and forth between the levels, experiencing emotions of different kinds at different levels. Additionally, it is essential to reach out to your friends and family members during this tough phase of your life.
2.1. Preparing Yourself for Practical Consideration
Make yourself ready for practical consideration when a parent dies to help you alleviate your stress and make the process smoother. Here are some of the ways to prepare:
- Create Your Contact Lists- Prepare your contact lists for friends or family members, mortgage companies, and attorneys. Keep this list in a very safe place like on your phone or in a diary.
- Know your Important Documents- Collect all your important documents like your parents will, insurance policies, bank statements, unpaid bills, digital assets and tax returns statements and more in-depth guides. Keep an extra copy of the death document for further use.
- Talk over Final Arrangements- You should talk over the final arrangements beforehand, if possible, with your parent’s wishes about a funeral home-related procedure like prepaid burial plan or cremation choices, funeral arrangements or memorial services pieces of information and also another request for parent’s affairs regarding probate process.
- Reach out to Financial Institutions – Go through all parent’s financial documents, parent’s assets and reach out to life insurance companies and government agencies make yourself aware of them and learn to manage them. This includes distributing assets, receiving social security benefits, copies of the death certificate, and preventing identity theft bank account information, investments, and retirement details.
- Debate on Estate Planning Documents – You should encourage your parents on estate planning documents if possible. This includes preparing a parent’s pass will or distributing assets, establishing power of attorney, and planning for healthcare proxy.
- Update Beneficiaries- You should update your beneficiaries on life insurance policies, retirement documents or other life insurance benefits.
- Go through Legal Documents- Go through your parent’s estate like trust agreements or death certificates. You should go review credit reporting agencies’ information and probate court action if needed.
2.2. Learning Paper Worker and Financial Accounts
Learn to handle the life insurance policies and financial accounts, credit card companies, personal property when a parent died, and it can be a challenging task You can follow some of the ways include:
- Collect Important Documents- Collect parents’ important documents such as their living will, life insurance policies, parent’s bank account, cancel driver’s license, close social media accounts and tax files, and death certificate. Keep extra copies of it for future use,
- Clear Off the Debts and Cancel Services- You should clear off the outstanding debt and cancel all the services of personal affairs that were in your lost parent’s name. This includes utility companies like cable services, phone bills and internet services hospice facilities, and bank accounts.
- Reach out to Social Security Office- You should be receiving death benefits and social security benefits inform them about your lost parent to the social security administration and keep yourself safe from identity theft know if they can provide you with survivor beneficiaries.
- Ask for File Returns- There is a rule to file a last tax return from your parent’s side. You will be needing to obtain a tax ID to report for giving any other income details and ask for any life insurance benefits or remaining assets if needed.
2.3. Build a Support System
Strengthen a support system around yourself when a parent dies to cope with the tough situation. Here are some of the ways to strengthen your support system:
- Rely on Family Members and Friends- Relying on other family members and friends works as a great support system during this tough phase. Do not be scared or hesitant to ask for help emotionally or physically.
- Add to a Support Group- Add yourself to a support system that can provide you with a safe and supportive environment to gather with close friends who suffer from a similar situation and can be available for you in person or online mode.
- Reach out for Professional Help- Reach out for professional help like a therapist or professional counselor who is a specialist in the grief department.
- Join Your Community- Join your community by donating and performing in activities of your interests. This helps you establishing new connections and give you a meaningful life.
- Do Self-Care- You should take care of yourself mental health and physical wellbeing by involving in eating right getting proper sleep and include in self-care activities such as doing exercises or perform meditations.
2.4. Reveal Your Emotions in Creative Ways
Revealing your emotions in creative ways works as well in handling yourself when a parent dies. Here are some of the best ways to reveal your emotions are:
- Make a Journal- Start writing a journal that can work as a therapeutic way to bring out your emotions and sadness. You should write about the time spent with your parents, their given lessons or anything else that comes to your mind to bring out in your journal.
- Make a Remembrance Book- Make a remembrance book to honor your lost parent’s life and the legacy they left for you. You must include pictures and memorable stories that recall your lost parent.
- Create Art- You can create art to show respect and show how much you loved your lost parent. You must draw create your art or any other kind of art form.
- Put down in letters- Make it a habit of writing letters to your lost parent. It is considered the best way to bring out your feeling of sadness.
- Join in Innovative Activity- You should join in a creative activity like music, dance or theatre works as the best way to channel your feelings and gather with other people.
2.5. Establish Distance to Think and Cure Yourself
You should establish the distance to think and cure yourself from losing a parent can be an essential part of the grief procedure. Here are some ideas to remember including:
- Make a Safe Deposit Box or Holy Place- Make a safe deposit box or holy place for remembrance including items like pictures or other memorable items which hold special importance.
- Devote a Nursing Home- You can devote a nursing home in your parent’s home for your lost parent like a crafted shelf or wall where you can show up their pictures or any other items in their remembrance.
- Construct a Small Garden- You can grow fruits or flowers in remembrance of your lost parent by creating a small garden at your home.
- Start Writing Journal – You can start writing your journal to express your sadness or deep emotions about your lost parent. This works as a therapeutic method.
- Add to Fraternal or Religious Group- Add yourself to fraternal or religious groups which help you in connecting with other people who also suffer from a similar situation of losing a parent.
2.6. Find Peace in Hobby or Activity
Give time to your favorite hobbies or activities to engage yourself in coping with the bad experience of life:
- Exercise Regularly – You should exercise regularly to decrease emotional and mental stress and improvise your mind. Do join fitness classes or any other activity area of your interest.
- Enhance Interest in Cooking- You should enhance your interest in cooking your favorite meal or learning about different cuisine foods.
- Enhance interest in Reading Books – You should enhance your interest in reading books and learn the best way to break free from the world. Go to libraries and search for your favorite book to read and share.
Suggested Reading: Lessons From Life: 10 Amazing Facts That Will Make Your Life Better
3. Final Words
In conclusion, when a parent dies it is the most challenging experience one’s suffers. It is essential to choose practical ways to take care of the multiple tasks that come along the way like forming final arrangements and learning paperwork and financial documents. Likewise, it is important to self-care by spending time activity of your choice.
Make sure to engage yourself in recovering from life’s biggest tough experience. With time and patience, you can overcome and can find happiness again after losing a parent just trust in the process and believe in God.
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