Module summary


This module has outlined how grief may affect you, and others in your family, after a parent has died. It also provides some guidance about grief. Remember that everyone is different and you need to do what works best for you. This may involve some trial and error as you explore different ideas.

You might find it helpful to think about the “legacy” your parent left. What did you learn from them? What impact did their life have on you or others?

Spend time with people you feel comfortable with, and if you can, let them know what you need. Sometimes this might mean you just need them to listen and other times you may need silence or distraction.

As you find your way through your grief, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your feelings may vary in intensity from day to day, or moment to moment. This is normal.
  • Your grief will reflect the nature of the unique relationship you had with your parent.
  • Other factors that may affect your grief include how your parent died, your age, your health, your personality, the support you have, and other losses you may be grieving.
  • Your grief will also be impacted by what else is happening in your life, such as a new job; moving; separation or divorce; or financial struggles.
  • Just because you have moments of distraction, or not thinking about your parent’s death, doesn’t mean you’re not grieving.
  • You’ll probably have many different, sometimes conflicting, feelings.
  • Other people in your family will grieve in their own ways. Try to suspend your judgments of yourself and others.
  • Give thought to how you might wish to spend special days, such as birthdays, holidays, or anniversary dates.
  • Be as patient and kind as you can, with yourself and others.
  • You may find it helpful spend some time outdoors in nature.

  • Pay attention to your physical health. Research has proven there are benefits of any kind of exercise. Move. Walk – even if at first it is just to the end of the driveway and back.

Moving through your grief doesn’t mean forgetting your parent or never feeling sad or angry about their death. If you find that, over time, you have feelings or thoughts that overwhelm you or are interfering with your everyday functioning, don’t hesitate to seek help from your healthcare provider or an experienced grief counsellor. Remember that there are people who can understand, support, and help you in your grief.