Living Without Parents: How to Cope
It's exactly a week after Mother's Day, and in four weeks time it will be Father's Day. For many people, these are wonderful, celebratory days, but for others, they bring up a well of sadness. Losing a parent is one of the most painful experiences one can bear, I know all about it because I lost both before the age of 18. As sad as it is not having your parents around physically as you grow up, you can learn to not only cope, but to live. For those who may be struggling with this right now, I thought to share three things that have helped me - I hope they can help you too.
1. Think About Them As Individuals
Often when we lose a parent we think about ourselves and the trauma and loneliness that comes with losing a person who loved us unconditionally. We hardly think about the person we've lost as an individual and what passing on means to them. I found that thinking about my mom and dad as individuals who had their own life paths, which included being my parents, brings me so much comfort. There was way more to their lives than me (and my siblings). They had interesting personalities and experiences, I was just one part of it all - a big part, but not everything. Before me they had their own lives, and I believe that it has been the same even after me. They have their lives to live, and it brings me joy that we were able to experience life on Earth together for some time.
This perspective makes me look at them as not only my parents, but also as dear friends and co-creators that I shared lived with.
2. Allow Their Spirit to Live On
As pointed out above, I believe that my parents still live on in spirit. I often can feel their energy, especially when I think about what they would do or say in certain situations, especially funny or comical situations. This makes me laugh and brings back good memories of them, not just the fact that they are not here in flesh. I am amazed at their personalities and marvel at the decisions and choices they made while on earth; I often think to myself 'what on earth were they thinking!?'.
I also feel like they are a part of me, especially my mom. I feel my mother's spirit and I see a lot of her in me it's sometimes freaky. So she also lives on through me. I was born through her, therefore I am a part of her. In fact, how I see it is that I am another version of her. Hopefully an improved version, even though there wasn't much to improve on.
3. Stay Connected to Your Non-Biological Parents
"It takes a village to raise a child."
Isn't that so true? As much as my mom did most of the work to raise me, I was still surrounded by other people growing up. They didn't necessarily have to do anything, but they were there. They are family, and family is not only tied by blood. You need to stay close to these people to help you cope.
Staying close to people that have some good interest in me really does fill me up. I don't feel like an orphan, I don't feel like someone who's had a loss. I feel like it was other people's turn, including mine, to pay attention to how I'm growing up. I have so many people who are interested in my well-being, and each has a unique contribution. I have lots of parents that do what they can to guide me in this life. I'm at an age where I'm old enough to take care of my material needs, but I can also do with the wisdom and guidance of those who have gone before me. It has made me who I am!
I hope my story helps you heal.
Lots of love,