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Helping Yourself Heal After the Loss of a Parent

The aftermath of a death in the family can involve many challenges that you have never dealt with before. If your parent has died unexpectedly—such as at a crime scene — it can be particularly difficult to accept the fact that your parent is no longer there. If you’re having significant trouble coping with the aftermath of a death in Orlando, consider talking to your doctor or a mental health counselor.

Understand that there is no typical grief experience.

People who have yet to experience the loss of a close family member may have some misconceptions about the experience. It’s often thought, for example, that someone who is keenly grieving a loss may shut him- or herself away in a room and cry all day. This is certainly possible, but it’s also possible to be capable of going through the motions of daily tasks. There is no typical grief experience, regardless of what you may have heard about the stages of grieving. This means there is no “right” or “wrong” way to cope with the loss of a parent, as long as you aren’t harming yourself or others.

Be patient with yourself and accept your limitations.

In the aftermath of a parent’s death, it’s natural to experience unusual emotions and to have challenges you’ve never experienced before. You might be rude to your closest friends for no reason at all, and you may find yourself having trouble remembering the simplest information. Grief follows its own timetable. Try not to be frustrated with yourself if you experience ongoing limitations or problems.

Take care of your physical needs.

Severe emotional stress affects physical health. Some people respond to grief by losing their appetite or overeating, or by sleeping too much or not sleeping much at all. Do your best to care for your physical health by eating nutritious meals every day, drinking plenty of water, and getting some light to moderate exercise. If you’re having trouble sleeping or eating, talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

Take care of your emotional health.

Grief support groups are available throughout the U.S. and online, but they aren’t necessarily helpful for every mourner. You may need to try a few coping strategies to find something that helps. Some people like journaling, others join martial arts classes. Do whatever works for you, but try not to make any major life changes for a while.

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