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Dealing with the passing of a parent

obably one of the most emotional challenges in life is processing a parent's death.

Because of parents, we have a life. In most cases (not all, unfortunately) these people (or at least one of them) raised us. They sheltered us, fed us, helped us learn social and cultural skills. They made sure we were educated and learned skills so we could go out and build productive lives and support ourselves and a family as adults.

These days, however, most marriages end in divorce. Leading up to a divorce us a.break up. There can be physical or emotional strife, and this will tend to affect the kids.

Although research is inconclusive on many factors of how divorce effects children, the conflict between the parents can affect them a lot (Parental Divorce and the well-being of children: a meta-analysis, byAmato, 1991).

Many children get caught up in the oarents' conflicts. Additionally, the parents, being involved in their conflicts, are oftentimes not emotionally available for the children.

Many children end up with adjustment and other emotional issues ( Older children may feel anger at one of the parents. Younger children may have feelings of abandonment.

So people with this experience may have conflicted feelings towards their parents. There may be resentment. This resentment may manifest during Mother's Day or Father's Day, or perhaps in the face iof a parent's demise.

Sometimes, there may be issues with a parent regularly demeaning or denigrating a child. There are situations in which a parent may be unsupportivw to a child, feeling that nothing they do is good enough. It may be that a parent is living out their own aspirations through their child.

Here is a case in which someone who had face these issues "divorced" her parents ( The question comes up as to how she will react at their deaths. Clearly, she will it be present at either funeral or involved, and has accepted being most likely uninvolved in any legacy.

It is not uncommon in.any case, to experience a multitude of emotions when a parent dies, according to psychologist Alan Wolfelt (

If the relationship had been good, there us grief associated with the loss of a loves one.

On the other hand, if there was a conflict with the deceased parent, thwre are mist likely unresolved feelings. There may be a lot of anger at the parent, and now guilt for feeling that way. There may be negative feelings that overshadow expected grief.

The big issue us now that any hope for resolution dies along with the parent. How does one now deal with thise feelings?

It is important to understand that any feelings are normal. It is important to accept these feelings and not judge yourself. Certainly if one can get support from others, that would help.

Nevertheless, remember that your feelings are OK. Have them as ling as you need, and do what you to do to get through it.

Finally, remember the old saying: this too, will pass

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