Nancy was six when her mother died and she internalized her sorrow for over 30 years. While listening to Nancy’s horrific story of grief, author and grief counselor Rodger Murchison thought about falsity of the phrase: Just give your grief some time and it will go away. For Nancy, 30 years was not long enough! If you are grieving parents, do not ignore your grief.
The death of a parent is usually very traumatic because the surviving child is left with many questions. Depending on the age of these survivors the questions might be: What about my own mortality? Who is going to care for me? Where do I go now for advice and counsel? What will happen to our family system?
Grieving the loss of a parent can be very difficult whatever the circumstances. My mother had Alzheimer’s for five years before she died. The disease changed her in dramatic ways and it also created multiple layers of grief. Mother’s death brought some relief but it did not take away the pain of this loss.
“She is at peace. No Alzheimer’s and the family is spared the pain of constant caregiving.” Although some might call death “merciful” in this kind of situation, my heart said simply: “My mother has died.”
These scenarios and many others are addressed in Rodger Murchison’s book, Guide for Grief. In his book, Rodger points his readers to the many ways they can deal with the death of a parent.