How To Cope With The Loss of Your Father
Written by Mental wellness advocates, Jessica Kelly & Caitlin Brandt from Meet Your Mind Online.
A father can be one of the world’s best support systems, a pillar in the foundation of any family. As we experience another Father’s day, while this can be a happy occasion for most, some are dealing with the absence of their father due to death or loss. The mere thought of spending this father’s day without your dad can be heart-wrenching. Though nothing can bring your father back, there can be some ways that will make it easier to cope with the grief and loss, especially on this day.
Validate Your Emotions
At the moment it may seem hard to experience those feelings of loss, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness as a result of the loss of your father. One way to cope with these emotions is by validating them. What you suppress, remerges with a bigger force and hence, it is advisable to take some time alone, be aware of what you feel, and accept those feelings. You can also do it by writing down any feelings that emerge, which can help you in understanding why you are experiencing them.
Try To Feel Your Feelings As They Are
When you experience a deep loss, it is hard to compartmentalize your feelings and they may affect you in different ways. When you become aware of your feelings and the reason behind them, the next step is to observe them and try to let them be. There is nothing more distressing than being stuck with what you can do nothing about. Try to allow yourself to grieve, and spend time with beautiful memories.
Memorialise Your Father
Father’s day may be the best day to go down memory lane. If you find it difficult to do it alone, spend some time with your family. Maybe go through pictures, voice messages, or videos you have of your father. You may find it hurtful at the start but this can be a therapeutic exercise when you feel ready.
Other ways to keep his memory alive could look like planting a tree, making a memory book, donating something in his name, or any good deed that can benefit others who were close to him or your family.
Try and Connect With Others
If you are planning to isolate yourself on father’s day, thinking that this will reduce your suffering, isolating yourself can sometimes make the pain deepen. Spend time with your family members, friends, or try joining a support group. Support groups help you learn more coping strategies, look at your loss from a different perspective and help you learn how you can memorialize your father. Seeking a therapist may also help.
This father’s day can bring up painful emotions especially for those who have just lost their father. If you have been struggling to cope with the grief till now, let this father’s day be a new beginning. There is no right and wrong way to grieve and cope and some ways work better than others. Above all, try to be kind and compassionate to yourself, you have been through a lot and honoring yourself in this process is also just important as you go through this grief.
With thanks to the team from Meet your mind Jessica Kelly & Caitlin Brandt.
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