Losing a Parent as a Young Adult
Guest Post By: Jessica Sayers
It doesn’t matter how old you are when you lose a parent because it will always be difficult to live in a world without them. We always hope that we will be able to see our parents grow old, we want to make memories with them as we hit milestones in our lives, and we may even hope that one day they can make special memories with their future grandkids. No one plans on losing a parent especially when you feel like you are really just starting your life. So, when you lose a parent as a young adult, it’s hard, and unfortunately, I know how hard it is. I know these words won’t ease the pain, but I hope that you can learn something and feel comfort in the fact that you are not alone.
Take Time to Grieve
One of the most important things you can do when you lose someone, especially a parent, is to take time to grieve. It doesn’t matter what your grieving process is, you just need to take time to acknowledge the life change that just happened. This could include talking to a therapist, a friend, or maybe just doing something that reminds you of that parent. If you don’t take the time to grieve now, all of these powerful emotions can sneak up and unravel you when you are least expecting it.
Be Prepared to Switch Roles
We always know in the back of our minds that one day we will have to take care of our parents, but when you lose one as a young adult the roles might switch sooner than you think (well, at least for a while). When you lose one parent as a young adult, you might need to step in and help out your other parent. This could mean bringing meals to them, helping switch things to their name or just listening to them. Even though you just lost a parent, you need to remember they just lost a life partner and they are grieving too.
Make Mental Health Plans for the Future
After you lose a parent, there become a lot of firsts again. Like the first Christmas without them, the first birthday of theirs when they are gone, and the big one – the first death anniversary. Don’t let these dates catch you off guard and plan accordingly for them. Take time off of work and classes as you adjust to your new life without your parent. Plan activities that you loved doing with them to keep their memories alive or maybe you would feel more closure if you went to visit their grave. Whatever it may be, just take it easy during all of these new firsts in your life and focus on your mental health.
About the Author:
Jessica has been writing her whole life. She even went to college for it and has a bachelors in Creative Writing and Communications. In college, Jessica wrote her senior thesis on mental health in young adult books and how it can help readers. When not reading or writing Jessica is baking up a storm in her kitchen. You can check out more of her work on her blog at changethestarz.com
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.