Let me offer some compassionate support for those who are going through grief over the loss of a parent. Having to handle all the details of a funeral and the liquidation of your parents’ estate ranks high on the lists of stressors that can wreak havoc emotionally.
You and your siblings really need a lot of shoulders to lean on during this time. This is the time to make withdrawals from your emotional bank accounts of close friends. If you are active in a church or synagogue, let your pastor or rabbi know what you’re going through, and be open to any acts of kindness from your congregation.
Grief can bring with it the symptoms of clinical depression, yet you’ll feel as if you have to be the strong one for the sake of your family. It’s not a sign of weakness to meet with a counselor and unload what’s happening during this stressful time.
With nearly every client, I’ve found myself holding the hand of an angry, heartbroken, grieving son or daughter. Many are in a very vulnerable state, feeling angry and lashing out because of all the decisions that their parents did not take care of while they were alive. Then their anger turns to guilt because their parents are no longer here, and they feel guilty because they feel angry.
You really do have to be strong and think straight as you go through your parents’ home for the last time, so take advantage of resources — personal and professional — that can help you cope with the sadness and stress.
Keep in mind: you don’t have to go through this alone. There is reliable and trustworthy help that can make this painful experience go smoothly.
© 2010 Julie Hall