Back in the early 2000's I became my mother's primary caretaker after she had a major stroke.
Over the next few years she did recover quite well and moved into a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CRCC). She went from Independent Living, Assisted Living, Nursing Home and Hospice.
After all we went through with each other, I felt such gratitude for being able to have given back to her after all she had given to me throughout my life.
On the day of her funeral I was all ready to do her eulogy and because I was a "professional" speaker I "had this" under control...of course.
NOPE! As soon I spoke, I started to sob like a 3 year old! The grief and loss rose up in me from now where. I surely didn't expect that.
That's the moment I learned even as a full-grown adult who has been on their own for many years, the loss of a parent can be absolutely devastating. In some cases, the loss can be sudden, while in others the parent may have required care for a long period of time due to an illness.
According to the Huffington Post, nearly 5,000 Baby Boomers lose one of their parents every single day in the U.S. But even if you’re part of this large group, it still doesn’t make the process any easier.
Grief can cause both emotional and physical pain. With a generation of Baby Boomers who are used to having quick fixes for a whole host of situations, there is no magic potion that can change the fact that a beloved parent (or parents) is gone.
But, although there is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve, there are some tips that you can follow to help you work through the process, and to carry on with your “new normal” going forward.
First and foremost, it is extremely beneficial to find someone who will allow you talk about a topic that is oftentimes considered taboo. This individual can be a spouse or a good friend, or even a professional grief counselor.
Reading about how to handle loss is another good outlet that can help to move you through the process. It can also allow you to learn about how others in the same or similar situation moved forward.
Making sure that you stay physically healthy should also be high on your priority list after losing a parent. It is essential that you eat right (and in moderation), as well as take time to exercise – even if it is just a short walk around the block.
Take care of yourself...you have 30 years of retirement to look forward to!
Best to you always,