This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Loss of a parent during childhood is extremely traumatizing for children. Parents exuberate a sense of security, love, kindness and humbleness towards children. They are the tree that provides shadow during good and bad times. When a child loses a parent, they lose a friend, a good advisor, a caretaker, a mentor, a companion, a guide and much more. It is hard to put in number what a child thinks about his or her parents. They are the only people a child can turn to seek advice and knows that whatever they will decide will be good for them.
Loss of a parent can be very traumatizing for a child. The child can get unsure and insecure and can find it very hard to cope up with the loss in this challenging time. When you lose a parent as a child, it’s hard to understand the cycle of life and death. It’s hard for them to learn that once gone, their parent is never coming back. If the loss occurs during adolescence, the child understands a little and has a chance to cope up with the challenge.
A child up to two years knows the concept of a mother and father and will feel the absence if either one of the parent is not around. Children between the age of two to four recognize their parents and can call out for them. Death of either parent can make them feel insecure, cranky, and they will call out and yell for the missing parent. Children four and above to the age of 8 have difficulty in understanding the concept of death. They learn a little that the parent is not coming back but they don’t know how to express their grief. Children should be taken to grief counseling and the other parent should ensure that in their loss, they are not neglecting the children.
The only way to move past your grief and sorrow is to accept your grief and let out your emotions. Holding on to the loss of a parent for long will make life more complicated and stressful. As a child you will gradually have to move on little by little and make your own way through this tough time. You can seek support from a close family member, e.g. the other parent, or grandparents or elder siblings if any.
The road of grief can last longer than expected but it will never last forever. Try to get your grief out in every way possible be it crying, yelling or getting angry at others. Grieving can be very exhausting and one has to find a way to move on. If you have friends or cousins, plan a day out with them to divert your attention. Smiling a little will do you good. Although the loss is irreparable, you need to have faith that one day it will be alright.
Death is inevitable and we all have to die sooner or later. If you are beginning to move on don’t feel that you are dishonoring the memory of a recently passed parent. Think that they would want you to be happy, so try to be happy to honor them.
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