The way we grieve our losses is impacted by many factors including: our own unique coping style, , our history of previous losses, our support systems and, the way we view the loss. The way we grieve is also impacted by the kind of loss we have had, (in other words) who died ?, and what is the nature of your relationship with that person?.
There are some common aspects to each different kind of loss. The death of my mother affects me differently than the death of your mother affects you, because we are different people. But we have some similarities in common: we might both feel like orphans, particularly if we have no other parent. Or maybe we are both struggling with difficult relationships with our siblings, now that our parent has died.
It can be helpful to look at different kinds of losses and see some of their commonalities. This helps us normalize our experience and helps us better understand what we are going through.
Have you recently lost a Parent? The loss of a parent is a very deep loss that often has a ripple affect across the entire family system. It’s as if the heat gets turned up and pre-existing family dysfunction is magnified . Adult children often say, “Since my mothers’ death it feels like the whole family fell apart, no one is talking to each other”. “There is so much resentment” Because the relationship with a parent is primal and so complex , the death of a parent can reach to the core of who we are.
When an adult loses a second parent they may now face their life feeling like an “orphan”. Of course, when a young person faces the loss of a parent, they face a lifetime imprinted with grief. This is considered a complicated loss and children are best helped through professional therapeutic support. Children facing loss is discussed in its own heading.