No matter how much time passes since their demise, you feel sudden pangs of loss every time something reminds you or them and you desperately wish you could turn back time.
It is not easy to lose a parent. Irrespective of whether you are very close to them or not, their demise will lead to a number of changes in you which will manifest itself in ways you never could’ve previously comprehended. When you are hit with the realization that they are no longer a part of your life and never will be again, the relationship you had with them takes on a whole new meaning. From reliving conversations and experiences with them to being reminded of them at unexpected moments, the gaping hole left behind by their death is one that can never be filled. Here are 7 ways in which a parent’s death will manifest changes in you:
1. The words “Things will never be the same again” come crashing down on you
The realization that your life will never be the same again without your late parent’s presence is incredibly hard to accept. Having known them all your life, the thought of going on in life without them feels strange and unbearable. It takes a very long time to fully accept that they are gone. Despite knowing there’s nothing you could do or could’ve done to change things, you constantly find yourself thinking whether perhaps if you had done something a little differently, they would still be alive.
2. You feel as though a part of you is missing
Losing a parent is no less than losing a part of yourself. You’ve known them since the first time you opened your eyes and they’ve been an unwavering source of support all through your life. From helping you take your first steps to guide you through aspects of your adult life, the part they played in making you who you are today is invaluable. You’ve often been surprised by how they seem to know you better than yourself and without their support and love, you feel as lost as an adrift kite.
3. You are reminded of your loss every time someone talks about their parent
You will experience a sudden pang of loss every time you hear someone talking about their parents. Memories of your late parent instantly flash through your mind and no matter how much time has passed since their demise, it reminds you of the gaping hole their absence left in your life. You look back with regret at all the times you failed to return their calls or when you prioritized other engagements over spending time with them. You begin valuing personal relationships over professional obligations as you realize that at the end of the day, that’s what truly matters.
4. You feel lost and alone without them as no one else can take their place
No matter how many bonds you forge in the course of your life, the one formed with your parent from the moment you were born will always be the strongest of them all. After their death, every instance where you’d have previously turned towards them for advice or just an ear to hear you rant about something will leave you feeling lost and alone as no one else can take their place. You yearn to hear their voice again and regret all the times you took them for granted.
5. Life’s biggest milestones feel incomplete when they’re not there to celebrate with you
From speaking your first word to graduating from college, they’ve always been there for you avidly cheering for you from the sidelines. With them gone from your life forever, you are reminded of their absence at every big or small milestone that you cross as you know they would’ve been celebrating it with you had they been alive. Good or bad, they’ve always patiently taken a keen interest in your life and it is only after their demise that you truly realize how special that was. Without them, even the biggest celebration feels as though it lacks a crucial element.
6. You incorporate personal traditions into your life to keep their memory alive
With time, you find ways to keep them a part of your life in a number of ways like listening to your father’s favorite music when you wake up in the morning or recreating your mother’s special Thanksgiving dinner every year from scratch. You smile as you remember how she’d always let you help with the cranberry sauce despite knowing that you’ll mess it up. You sigh a breath of longing as you walk through the records store every month looking back at all the times you walked through the aisles with your father. It is through these little traditions that you come to peace with your loss.
7. You desperately hold on to every memory you have of them
No matter how much you try, you can never truly prepare yourself for a parent’s death and once they are gone, all that you are left with are their memories. You constantly live in fear of forgetting conversations you had with them or what their touch felt like or their scent when you hugged them. No matter how much you try, there will come a time when some of these memories come to fade and you’ll find yourself taking comfort in the thought that your late parent would’ve wanted you to move on.