For young adults who have lost a parent
Someone I love was here and now they aren’t.
I’m sure I will never be the same.
I had a question today that only they would be able to answer.
I just wish this never happened.
My friends are kind but they just don’t really get it.
Why did this happen to me?
I would talk to my close supports, but they are grieving too.
Losing a parent to death is perhaps one of the most difficult losses a person can experience.
This is true at any age, but can be especially painful to go through as a young adult.
I know this from personal experience and specialize in supporting you through this challenging time in your life.
Into the Unknown
A loved one's death can feel unreal and disorienting, everything at once unfamiliar and out of place, including ourselves. Though we might prefer a charted course through this new world without them, complete with maps and mile markers showing what to expect when, how often and until what date—the truth is that it’s different for everyone. Though there are certainly “typical” or similar experiences shared by those who grieve, it’s important to remember:
There are as many different ways to grieve as there are people who are grieving.
The circumstances surrounding your loss matter. The nature of your loved one’s passing, the state of your connections at the time, prior, and now, the ways you were connected to your deceased loved one prior to their death… These and many more factors make a difference in how you experience the loss, and the way you may recover from it.
I Need You Most Right Now
At a stage of our growth when we are likely to begin separating from our parents in large and small ways, becoming more self-sufficient, declaring ourselves and our independence, the death of our parent preempts all of the work of individuation and rushes the completion of that separation for us. Along with the sting of grief, a teenager whose parent has died must navigate some of the most transformative and self-aware experiences of their young lives without benefitting from the presence of one or both of their primary guides through it.
I Don’t Want to Talk About It
Many people find their grief experiences too difficult to talk about. Our society’s taboos and fears about death, plus the discomfort and pain that surrounds our disconnection from the person who died, along with people’s general inexperience with death prior to losing a close loved one, all conspire to make many opt for silence around it. In addition, sometimes words seem much too limited to describe the intense emotions that accompany your loss. Eventually you may find yourself thinking “What’s the point? It won’t bring them back!”
How Can Therapy Help?
So... parent loss can: be terribly painful, difficult to talk about, make us feel different from our peers, and feel impossible to put into words. It is no wonder that it can be complex and lead to sleeplessness, anxiety, amotivation, isolation, depression and anxiety along the way. The weight of this particular loss can make an already tumultuous time- adolescence- all the more daunting.
Therapy can provide a space to share yourself and your experience without fear of judgement, or of burdening another. It can be the railing on a scary staircase you did not ask to climb, yet climb it you must. Showing up for yourself using therapy as a way to process your loss may help you maintain your functioning and avoid the pitfalls of anxiety and depression that often come with the death of a loved one. It can also help you develop a plan to deal with these difficult states as they arise, and create meaning from these experiences while moving forward with your life.
Though I don’t know what your particular journey’s map looks like (and likely right now neither do you!), I am willing to sit with you as you draw it, and help you gain understanding and compassion for what you think and feel as you go.
I am honored for the opportunity to accompany you as you make your way forward through this most difficult loss.