After your parent’s spouse dies it can be a difficult grieving period for the both of you. It’s a time to support your parent helping with arrangements and giving emotional support. Once the services are over and friends and family go home this can be the time that the grieving process is just beginning.
How to Support a Grieving Parent?
Losing a partner can create a major state of devastation, making it difficult to focus on memorial preparations. Being there for your parent to arrange the memorial service program or relaying the sad news on Facebook can be ways to help. Your loved one can be in a daze, unable to think or carry out the necessary things.
The grieving process for your parent can be marked by sorting through memories of the deceased parent and worrying about the changes to come, while the surviving parent faces daily reminders of their loss. Your parent is used to sharing all their familiar routines with their spouse and now all of that is going to change. This creates a huge disruptions in the surviving parent’s life.
Long after the funeral your parent will still need support, allowing the process to unfold. Secondary losses may occur, such as having to sell the house or losing married friends.
What Can We Do To Help Our Parent?
Accept Change in Your Parent
With so many changes your parents mood may change from minute to minute. The parent who was always telling jokes and laughing may have a serious face for now. Your sweet and caring mom could be more irritable and react more easily to things. A sense of embarrassment may come over them for not being able to follow their same routine. They may lose the desire to do the same things they did before and that’s okay, allow them the time to grieve.
Be Okay With Their Withdrawal From Socializing
A person in grief can have a difficult time rejoining the world. A room full of people could be overwhelming for them, so allow them to make a come back in their own time. It’s understandable that you don’t want them to be isolated, but give them time in making steps to get out in public again.
Be In The Now
Being isolated is the enemy to healing from grief. Keep them engaged by taking them to lunch or having them maintain companionship’s. Be present when helping your parent, this can be done by a phone call or cheering them up with videos of grandchildren. Take your parent to church and add lunch onto the plan to give them extra attention and care.
Listen to what your parent is going through. Part of the grieving process is talking about the person who passed and reliving experiences through stories. Allow them this time to cope with their grief and move forward.
Reno Valley Assisted Living and Retirement Community
Reno Valley is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact Reno Valley today to learn more about our services or tour our community.