At Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery, we understand that as an adult child, supporting a parent can be very difficult after they have just lost one of their own parents. When someone dies, many are left to mourn and grieve and it can sometimes be difficult for families to know how to support each other. It is important to honor all of the different relationships and dynamics that have been changed in the family with the passing of a loved one. Everyone grieves differently, and supporting someone you care about after they lose a loved one is difficult, especially if you are grieving yourself. It can be hard to know the right thing to say or how much extra attention to give someone in their time of mourning. It can be even harder to support a parent after they lose on of their parents. Not only are you grieving the loss of your own grandparent, but you are now worried about your parent and how they are coping as well. At Mountain View Funeral Home, we understand that supporting a parent can be difficult under these circumstances. So, how do you help mom or dad cope with the loss of a parent when you are experiencing grief of your own? We’ll help you and your family members plan a funeral or memorial service, take care of documents and arrangements, and help you through the entire process. Adult children are commonly the ones left to make arrangements when a parent dies; If your mom or dad are responsible for your grandparent’s arrangements, here are some simple ways you can help alleviate some of their stress:
Assist with Planning
Planning funeral services is overwhelming. Important and timely decisions must be made and your parent may have difficulty doing everything alone. You may offer to call relatives and friends to inform them about services or coordinating food for a reception. Visit the funeral home with your parent or offer to do something at home, like putting together an obituary or helping to keep track of flowers and cards. This will not only help your parent, it will also help you. Keeping busy helps many people cope with the initial shock of losing a loved one. Completing tasks like these is oftentimes what keeps us going.
Do a “Together” Activity
Participating in family activities helps remind your mother or father of happier times, and strengthens bonds. This can be a task related to the funeral arrangements, such as picking out flowers or designing memorial cards, or an outside activity you both enjoy such as coloring or working in the garden.
Talk and Tell Stories
Mourning is a very personal thing. Some people who have lost a parent enjoy reminiscing about good times shared with their lost loved one, while others find it too difficult to discuss immediately. Allow your mom or dad to set the pace for their own grief; if they bring your grandmother or grandfather up in conversation, participate actively. Share positive moments you recall, especially if you find that talking about your grandparent helps in your own grieving process. Sharing memories and story telling is one way that families can come together to process their grief. Ask your parent to tell one of their favorite stories about their parent and see where the conversation takes you. Just sitting and talking with family can be very cathartic for everyone.
Take Care of Yourself
We all want to support our parents during hard times, just as they have done for us growing up. Don’t forget, however, that you have just suffered a loss of your own and that you are also grieving. Grandparent- Grandchildren bonds are some of the strongest relationships out there. Take care of yourself and take your own time to grieve. You won’t be able to support your parent if you aren’t okay yourself. Even as adults, parents want to know their children are okay, so taking care of yourself may actually help your parent feel able to spend their emotional energy taking care of themselves.