How To Love Someone That Has Lost A Parent
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Parents

You Need To Know Loving Someone That Has Lost A Parent Is A Different Kind Of Love

Losing a parent shapes your whole outlook on life, and it can be hard to understand its impact.

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You Need To Know Loving Someone That Has Lost A Parent Is A Different Kind Of Love
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On March 7th, 2012, I lost my dad to cancer. I was 14 years old, a freshman in high school.

It was so surreal for many reasons, but a huge factor was because no one my age could relate to losing a parent. I found myself feeling detached from those around me, and I was hesitant in forming new relationships with people because I didn't want to feel "othered". It has been six years now, and even today I will hear people whisper, "Why hasn't she gotten over this yet?"

Some years ago, I was with a guy that did not understand why I was so hung up on losing a parent.

It was the anniversary of my dad's passing, so I took a day off school. He kept asking me, "Shouldn't you be over this by now? That happened years ago; you need to let it go." He simply couldn't understand why I couldn't just "get over it". He became irritated when I would get emotional when I talked about fond memories I had with my dad. Unfortunately, many people around me shared those same thoughts.

When loving someone that has lost a parent, it is important to remember that healing is not linear.

Death of a loved one isn't something someone just gets over, so stop having such strict expectations about someone's recovery. Using positive language rather than negative language can also make us feel more secure. For example, instead of saying, "It's been six years, why aren't you over it?" try instead saying, "Take as much time as you need to heal, there's no rush." It is a small, simple gesture, but kind words can really go a long way.

One of the major components of loving someone that has lost a parent is allowing them time to grieve.

If they trust you with cherished memories of their loved one, know that it is because they trust you greatly. If they cry over the loss, let them cry. If they lay in bed for hours because they are too numb to process, allow them to do so. Be there if they are ready to talk, but never force them to open up if they aren't ready.

Individuals that have lost a parent will also exhibit some behaviors that others may find strange.

We know what loss is, so if we cling on to you perhaps a little too tightly, know that it is only because we fear losing you. Sometimes, we may fear getting close to someone because we know what it is like to have the people we love taken from us. We fear annoying you with our sad episodes. We fear opening up. We fear feeling that same loss again.

Personally, I'm terrified that you'll find my family structure strange because it is nontraditional.

We may be lacking in people, but we make up for it in our love for each other. We are so closely knit because we understand the value of life and love. So please, before you tell me to "get over it," understand where I am coming from. Anyone that has lost a parent will tell you that this is the harsh yet real truth of living with the pain of losing a parent. We are still human, we can still love, but it may look different from what you are used to.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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