Everyone finds the loss of a parent a difficult experience but what should you remember when you find yourself always thinking ‘I miss my Dad’…
Our parents are extremely important people to us, so losing our Mum or Dad is probably one of the hardest losses we can face in life. Nothing can prepare us for the grievance we feel and it may feel like a major shock, whether their death was expected or unexpected. At the time, most of us find that helping with the funeral arrangements is a comfort and being around close family who are also grieving, creates a support network of loved ones who are all feeling the same deep loss.
The sadness that comes with losing a father can be so overwhelming that it can feel difficult to comprehend or manage. Grieving the loss of a parent is very much a process and every one of us varies in how long it takes and how we cope. From the early days to months or even years later you may often find yourself thinking ‘I’m missing my Dad’ and it’s more than likely that you will always feel this way but with time it will get easier. Grieving is our body’s way of processing what has happened and there seems to be several emotions that we go through in no particular pattern.
Losing one of your parents is a significant loss and the grief that you feel is likely to be more intense than any other loss. Often we initially feel denial and can’t believe it has happened. We feel extreme sadness and may cry all the time or not feel able to face anyone. Anger can be a strong emotion, feeling angry at others around you or even at your Dad, but this is completely normal. Depression may make you feel unmotivated and like you’re stuck with your sadness forever, but it is often only temporary. A form of acceptance is the final part of the grieving process when you finally come to terms with what has happened and start to move forwards with your life. If you feel like you are not coping or you’re struggling with your emotions, then it is important to see your GP to discuss your feelings and ask them to recommend a bereavement counsellor.
Most people will have a multitude of feelings during the grieving process:
• “My Dad died and now I feel numb and empty. I don’t think I will ever believe he’s gone”. Disbelief and the feeling of numbness is very common when you are grieving and for some it can take months before you can fully process what has happened, while for others it can take years. Understand that everyone feels like this and that it will get easier.
• “I miss my Dad so much that I don’t think I will ever get over losing him”. Getting over the death of a loved one won’t necessarily happen but finding eventual acceptance of not having him around will occur, as we learn to live without them. Remember everyone will experience loss in their life, your parents are likely to have lost their parents too and were able to eventually let go.
• “My Mum is missing my Dad so much and I’m finding it difficult to cope with her feelings as well as mine”. It can feel like a chaos of emotions with everyone around you mourning the loss of their loved one and if you are supporting your Mum and not feeling like you have time to acknowledge your own feelings, then it is important to recognise this. Support each other and explain that you are also hurting too. Remember everyone copes in different ways.
• “I haven’t been able to feel positive about life or motivated since my Dad died”. It is normal to go through a range of emotions including deep sadness, anger and numbness, but keep a check on how you are feeling. Many people find that bereavement counselling is very useful as they feel supported and able to convey their emotions with a professional who can help them.
• “It’s been three years and I miss my Dad so much still”. There is no specified time limit or right or wrong about how long we grieve and everyone is different. For some it can take months, for some it will take years. We will still miss our parents long after we have lost them as it is nature’s way of keeping their memory alive.
Firstly, when you find yourself thinking ‘I miss my Dad’, acknowledge that your feelings are completely okay and that however intense they feel, it is normal. There are several things that you can do which will bring you comfort, such as lighting a candle next to his photograph, taking a walk to one of his favourite places, planting a tree in your garden in memory of him or simply talking about him with your family. Remember the good times, the funny moments you shared together and try to keep it light-hearted. Memories are more important than anything so keep these alive and be comforted by them.
Many people believe that the loved ones they have lost are still around them in spirit. Mediums are able to connect with loved ones and pass on messages to show that they are supporting you from the other side. Speak to one of our gifted Readers at TheCircle and connect with your loved ones now.
PUBLISHED: 28 October 2016