Although death is a natural and inescapable part of life, losing a loved one hurts immensely. It’s such a painful and traumatic experience that scars us permanently. And it’s even more difficult and painful when the loved one happens to be a parent.
The truth is that regardless of how old you are when a parent passes away and how close your relationship with them was, losing a parent is always a harrowing, life-changing event.
Whether their death was unexpected or slow, it’s hard to come to terms with living without them and every person grieves and copes with the loss of a loved one in different ways. Yet, almost everyone goes through certain things once they lose a parent.
Here are 9 ways losing a parent will change you:
1. You’ll become physically sick from grief.
You’ll feel as if a part of you has been ripped out of you. You’ll feel like every cell in your body is going through the emotional trauma of losing your parent. You may feel weak, exhausted, and achy and you may even experience a loss of appetite.
This painful event will undeniably change your life and affect your overall health. Also know that it’ll take you a considerable amount of time to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally and put your life back together. But eventually, you’ll succeed in it.
2. You’ll understand why family matters the most in life.
No matter how many times your parents scolded you when you were a kid, they never turned their back on you, did they? They reprimanded you and grounded you, but they never disregarded your needs or turned their back on you when you needed their help, support, and comfort.
You probably won’t find this consoling, but the good thing about grief over the loss of a parent is that it reminds you how important family is. It reminds you that no one will love you and care about you the way your parents did – so purely, wholeheartedly, and unconditionally.
3. You’ll feel lonely.
Losing someone you used to share every part of your life with will undeniably make you feel lost, lonely, and empty inside. It’ll leave a big hole in your heart.
You’ll miss them and everything you used to do with them – your and their birthday parties, the holidays, the lovely Sunday afternoons, and every moment you spent together with them. It’ll be hard for you to let go of these feelings of loneliness and emptiness, but in time, you’ll learn to live with them.
4. You won’t feel comfortable listening to other people complaining about their parents.
When you’re privileged to still have your parents around, you let other people’s negative, critical comments about their parents go unnoticed. But when you lose them, listening to such comments drives you mad. You can’t stand it.
Those who have lost a parent know that they’d give anything to have their mom or dad scold them, nag them, or send them those long, boring text messages again telling them to dress in warm clothes because it’s cold outside.
5. In fact, you’ll be jealous that they have parents to spend time with.
You will envy every person who gets to spend the holidays with their parents. You’ll be jealous of anyone that still has their mom to hug them, kiss them, and tell them that everything is going to be okay when they’re going through a difficult time. You’ll envy anyone who still has their father to give them advice, protect them, and go to a football match with. You’ll be jealous of how blessed these people are.
6. Holidays will feel lonely.
Holidays and special occasions will never be the same again without them. The cheer and enthusiasm will fade away. Your mom won’t be there to call you on your cell and remind you to buy Christmas decorations for the house. Your dad won’t be there to play with his nephews and nieces and tell them his funny childhood stories. The holidays will never be the same. Neither your life.
7. You will still want to call them when something important happens to you.
Whenever something important happens to you, you’ll feel a strong need to call them up and share it with them. Sometimes you may even catch yourself hitting the “call” button only to see if anyone will answer your call. The unbearable pain of realizing that no one will ever answer your call will stay with you forever.
8. You’ll learn to accept their flaws.
When you were a kid, you looked up to your parents and placed your faith in them completely. But as you mature, you’ll gradually realize that they were people just like you, not only parents. You’ll realize that they had insecurities and fears just like you. You’ll realize that they were doing their best to take good care of you in a difficult, complicated world.
Therefore, once you lose them, you’ll find yourself accepting their flaws. You’ll see them in a new light and learn to forgive their mistakes.
9. You’ll realize how much you love them.
The sad truth is that sometimes you realize how much you’ve loved someone when they’re no longer there. When you lose a parent, you realize what it’s like to miss and long to see someone every single day. You begin to appreciate every moment you spend with your own children, and hopefully, the memories you create with them will be a great comfort to them when they are in your shoes.