3 Tips to Parenting While Grieving
When you encounter a major life obstacle such as the death of a family member or lifelong friend, life does not get put on hold. As a father, you still have bills to pay and a family to provide for in addition to planning the funeral. Being able to balance your own well being with the responsibilities of life can be immeasurably difficult but it is not impossible. Understanding these 3 tips will help you be the best possible father you can be while grieving.
1. Speak With Loved Ones
You may be surprised by how helpful speaking to loved ones about your thoughts and sorrows can be. When you are facing grief alone, you normally don’t have to be. In the wake of a tragedy such as the death of your mother, there is nothing wrong with talking about your feelings. Whether before the funeral or during the funeral service, speaking to a trusted loved one is a great way of dealing with grief.
Speaking to a therapist is also another great way to help you manage complex grief and all the associated emotions. What many people have a difficult time understanding is that some of the emotions that arise following a tragedy may seem unexpected. For instance, many people feel helplessness and guilt after a loved dies. These seemingly random emotions can have many causes. Therapist are great at unpacking all the emotions that you were not expecting in order to help you move forward in the grieving process.
2. Talk Openly With Your Children
It is important that you grieve openly with your kids. Many fathers make the mistake of trying to be strong for their children by hiding their feelings of grief. Especially when the children are also grieving the loss, it is helpful for them to see how adults process those same feelings. When parents hide their feelings while the kids are grieving, it implants an incorrect understanding that they should also act unaffected by the death. As a dad you need to make sure that your children are also expressing their grief. By helping your children develop their emotional skills you are making the grieving process more natural and manageable for the entire family.
Parents need to know that it's beneficial for their children to see them sad. It is important because it shows that adults are vulnerable and that it is ok to express emotions. By mourning the loss of a friend or family member you demonstrate to your child that crying is a natural part of the grieving process. Kids need something they can relate to.
3. What Has Worked for You In the Past?
How you respond to grief varies. Everyone has different coping mechanisms. While some people express frustration or guilt following the death of a loved one, others may react with sorrow and anxiety. Grief is complicated and there is no one size fits all label to describe the grief someone is experiencing. This is why it is important to determine how you have dealt with previous difficulties. If you normally deal with grief by further pursuing your hobbies, then you should consider continuing these hobbies. Finding a healthy outlet to deal with your grief is your main objective.
As a father, you need to really make sure you are doing everything possible to be strong for your family in the aftermath of a tragedy. By finding ways to manage your grief you can be in the position to help yourself, your children, your partner, and your surrounding family grow from a tragic experience. Don’t let grief sideline you from life at a time when your family needs you the most.
Are You Planning a Funeral?
If you are planning a funeral, find a beautiful cremation urn at Safe Passage Urns to memorialize a loved one. Our blog is also a wonderful resource for planning a funeral. If you find yourself planning the funeral service of a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice and options!