Courtesy of Griefwords.com  | Copyright 2007-2013, Center for Loss and Life Transition |  Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

Your mother or father has died. Whether you had a good, bad or indifferent relationship with the parent who died, your feelings for him or her were probably quite strong. At bottom, most of us love our parents deeply. And they love us with the most unconditional love that imperfect human beings can summons.

You are now faced with the difficult, but necessary, need to mourn the loss of this significant person in your life. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings about the death. It is an essential part of healing.

Realize Your Grief is Unique

Your grief is unique. No one grieves in exactly the same way. Your particular experience will be influenced by the type of relationship you had with your parent, the circumstances surrounding the death, your emotional support system and your cultural and religious background.

As a result, you will grieve in your own way and in your own time. Don’t try to compare your experience with that of other people, or adopt assumptions about just how long your grief should last. Consider taking a “one-day-at-a-time” approach that allows you to grieve at your own pace.

Expect to Feel a Multitude of Emotions

The parent-child bond is perhaps the most fundamental of all human ties. When your mother or father dies, that bond is torn. In response to this loss you may feel a multitude of strong emotions.

Numbness, confusion, fear, guilt, relief and anger are just a few of the feelings you may have. Sometimes these emotions will follow each other within a short period of time. Or they may occur simultaneously.

While everyone has unique feelings about the death of a parent, some of the more common emotions include:
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