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Coping with the loss of a parent

Coping with the loss of a parent whether it is due to death, mental illness or an addiction is never an easy thing to do. Many times coping with the loss of a parent due to mental illness or addiction can be more difficult than grieving the loss of someone who has recently passed away. Whatever the reason is, when you have to cope with the loss of the person who was your caregiver and gave you unconditional love it is expected that you will feel intense emotion because of it.

You will most likely go through the five stages of grief:

1. Denial

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression

5. Acceptance

Going through the five stages of grief is a natural part of the healing process that should be experienced with much compassion towards yourself. You have just lost someone very important to you and you will probably be very hard on yourself, try not to be. Allow yourself to go through those emotions but to not be completely broken and defeated by them.

The two main coping strategies for bereavement include getting support and taking care of yourself.

1. Get Support – You are not alone in your feelings of grief. Turn to your loved ones, friends, counselors and support groups for healing.

2. Take Care of Yourself – It’s very easy for people who are grieving to want to give up on life and become detached from their family, friends, hobbies, job and even society. You must remember to take care of yourself and reach out to your support system when you are having an especially rough day.

When coping with the loss of a parent it is important to remember that the grieving process is your own. Different people express their grief in different ways and you should remember to express your grief in whatever way feels comfortable to you. You don’t always have to be tough or happy. Most people understand the grief that comes with a loss of a parent regardless of how. Always remember coping with the loss of a parent is a process. It will probably take some time but it won’t always be as intense. If you feel it necessary maybe look into getting help from a counselor in coping with the loss of a parent.

The second most important thing you can do when coping with the loss of a parent is to remember that they would want you to keep on living. This goes for the loss of a parent due to mental illness and addiction as well as death. A parent only wants the best for their child even if they cannot give them the best. Remember that our parents love us the best way they know how and don’t want us to cripple our lives forever in grief due to the loss of them.

The last thing you can do when coping with the loss of a parent is to remember your parent as you want to remember them. If your parent was lost due to addiction remember them healthy and clean, if your parent had a mental illness remember them healthy and stable, and if your parent passed away remember the happy times with them. Write down the happiest moments you have with your parent and keep those to cherish forever. They can hold a special place inside of you and those good moments, those positive moments will help you cope with the loss of a parent for sure.

Coping with the loss of a parent is never a black and white ordeal. It is messy, emotional and sometimes overwhelming. Luckily there is help out there for anyone coping with the loss of a parent due to death, mental illness or addiction and that there are ways to move on. As with everything in life, it gets better.

If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.


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