Chapter 2: Your parent
One of my dads was our family’s “go-to guy.” He always had an answer for us, even for folks outside of our family. I think we’re all a little bit lost, but it’s only been a few months. He wasn’t a cuddly guy, but he sure knew how to problem solve.My mom and I didn’t really talk throughout most of my adult life. We had different values and had trouble finding common ground. My partner’s mom has filled this role for me. When my mom died, I was sad that things couldn’t have been different.
None of us are perfect. Most relationships are complicated and contain both positive and negative aspects. Some relationships feel supportive and loving, while others feel uncaring and detached; but most are somewhere in the middle.
There may have been times when you felt supported and understood by your parent and other times when you felt ignored or dismissed. You may feel gratitude for their love and support, while also feeling sad and frustrated about the times they didn’t meet your needs.
If you felt supported by your parent
If your parent was supportive and helpful to you, there may be times when you now feel “at a loss,” wondering who you can call on for advice or support.
You may have asked for advice on everything from parenting your own children, to repairing a door latch or fixing runny scalloped potatoes. You may be feeling the loss of not having someone to ask about your family history or ancestry. You may also really miss the loss of their companionship and just being able to be with them.
Over time, you may discover a sense of “knowing” what they would think or suggest about a particular situation.
If you weren’t close to your parent
If your parent was not a person you turned to for guidance or help, you may be able to think about and reflect on what you learned from them in different ways. Their struggles and difficulties, or perhaps their view of the world and their values, may have helped you decide how to live your own life or raise your children.
There may be things about your parent you don’t miss. You might be feeling free for the first time to live your life the way you want. Conflicting and confusing emotions are all part of grief.