11 Things About You That Will Change When You Lose Your Parents

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Losing a Parent

Effects of losing a parent

Losing a parent is one of the most difficult experiences a person can have, and it’s one that almost everyone will go through. Whether your parents pass away when you’re young or an adult, it’s a loss that will profoundly change you. No matter the quality of your relationship with your parents, they shape us deeply. When you lose a parent, things are never quite the same. (1)

11 Things That Change After Losing A Parent

While everyone’s experience of losing and grieving a parent is different, there are some changes that you’ll likely encounter. While some are expected, others may be surprising. 

1. You’ll feel lost for a while.

For many, their parents are their true north. They raise us and pass on their values and attitudes about the world. Even as we become adults, we still look to our parents for guidance. Whether it’s about looking for a job, parenting, or fixing a leaky faucet, we still turn to our parents for advice. And no matter how old you are, you probably still want to call your mom or dad for comfort when you’re sick or heartbroken. 

Losing that “true north” when a parent passes away will make you feel lost for a while. Eventually, you’ll get your feet back under you. And although you won’t be able to call your parents to ask a question, all of the advice they’ve given you will stick with you. They’ll keep guiding you even after they’ve passed away.  

2. There will be holes in your routines.

Until they’re gone, you probably won’t even notice what a big part of your life your parents are. You might call your dad every evening or have dinner with your mom once a week. When you lose a parent, those routines will become holes in your schedule, and it might be hard to know what to do with yourself during the times you’d usually spend with a parent.

3. Holidays will be painful.

Holidays and birthdays are full of traditions that are made special by the people you share them with. Every holiday and birthday will feel a little bit empty and even painful when one of your parents isn’t there to share it with you.

4. You might have some regrets.

After losing a parent, many people focus on regrets about a recent argument or not answering the phone the last time their parent called. While it’s normal to wish for one more opportunity to show your parents that you loved them, don’t fixate on regrets. Your relationship with your mother or father was more than one argument or missed phone call. Concentrate on the love you’ve shown them throughout your life together and celebrate the love they showed you.

5. Memories will come to you when you least expect it.

Memories you haven’t thought about for years will pop into your head at any given moment. You might want to write them down or call a family member and tell them about each memory that occurs to you.

6. You’ll soak up others’ memories of them.

Just as you’re remembering moments with a parent who has passed away, their other loved ones will too. You’ll soak up every precious story and hilarious anecdote as other people share them with you.

7. It will feel like others forget them too quickly.

Losing a parent causes a deep and unique type of grief. And it may feel that others forget your parents too quickly. Don’t be afraid to talk about your grief with others, even if it seems that they have moved on. They might also be suffering silently, and talking about it will help both of you continue to move through the grieving process.

8. Others’ complaints about their parents will annoy you.

In our culture, it’s common to complain about our families, especially our parents. When others do this, you might feel annoyed that they’re not appreciating their parents enough after having lost yours. It’s always okay to excuse yourself from a conversation if you feel uncomfortable or frustrated. And if you’re really annoyed, you might talk to the complainer privately about why.

9. You’ll have a deeper appreciation for family.

Sometimes it takes losing something important to appreciate what we have. The same principle applies to family. After losing a parent, you’ll more deeply appreciate your other family members and want to show your love for them.

10. You may uncover secrets.

When people pass away, old secrets sometimes come to light. Whether you stumble upon information while you’re cleaning out their house or someone else reveals a secret to you, this can be jarring. If this happens to you, don’t hold it in. Depending on how personal the secret is, talk about it with family members or a grief counselor to help you process this new information.

11. You’ll always carry a sense of sadness.

The death of a parent is an enormous loss. While moving through the stages of grief will make it less acutely painful, you’ll always carry a sense of sadness. But don’t let that make you feel hopeless. That sadness means that your parent was an important person in your life. When your grief shows up, take it as an opportunity to remember and appreciate your parents and the impact they had on you.

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About Sara Ding

Sara Ding is the founder of Juicing-for-Health.com. She is a certified Wellness Health Coach, Nutritional Consultant and a Detox Specialist. She helps busy men and women identify their health issues at the root cause, in order to eliminate the problems for optimum physical/mental health and wellbeing.


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