Balancing Grief and Parenthood

Balancing Grief and Parenthood

Nurturing Through Loss

Navigating Parenthood Amidst Grief

Often our sense of self becomes muddles with our role as a parent. We continue to face challenges as we journey on through parenthood and one of those may be death of a loved one. There is often a clear distinction between life before and after significant loss. Grief is an intensely personal journey, unique to each individual, where the depth of emotions can be difficult to see from the outside and almost impossible to understand by an onlooking teenager. 

For a parent, the challenge intensifies when tasked with guiding a teenager through their formative years while mourning a personal loss. It's a delicate dance, juggling the complexities of grief and parental responsibilities. The motivation to navigate daily tasks, maintain a positive demeanor, or prioritize personal well-being may be lacking. Patience becomes scarce. Moments of strength and determination to create a beautiful life for your child can swiftly shift into moments of vulnerability, where you might find yourself metaphorically or literally curled on the floor.

Asking For and Accepting Help

Acknowledging and accepting assistance during this tumultuous time is crucial. While the inclination might be to retreat into solitude, permitting others to be nearby and offer support can be invaluable. Whether you need moments of quiet reflection or the gentle encouragement to step outside, allow those who care about you to be a source of strength. Your emotional state may fluctuate, demanding resilience and adaptability. Understand that your teen may also be navigating their own grief, and fostering open communication is essential.

Scheduling Time to Mourn

One of the critical aspects of navigating parenthood through grief is recognizing the importance of scheduling time to mourn your loss. Grant yourself the grace to be alone, dedicating specific moments to process and mourn. While grief does not adhere to a schedule, having appointed times when you are allowing yourself to fully feel your feelings will decrease the number of times the ebb and flow of emotions catch you off guard. Scheduling time to mourn becomes a self-care practice, allowing you the space needed for healing.

Encouraging Open Communication

Engage in conversations with your teenager about your grief, allowing them to share their own feelings. Create a safe space for dialogue, fostering an environment where emotions can be expressed without judgment. Mutual understanding can be a powerful tool in navigating the complexities of grief together.

Parenthood through grief necessitates a delicate blend of self-compassion, seeking support, scheduling dedicated mourning time, and maintaining open communication with your teenager. Recognizing the evolving nature of emotions and roles can pave the way for a journey of healing and connection.

  1. National Cancer Institute. Grief, Bereavement, and Coping With Loss.

  2. APA Dictionary of Psychology. Complicated Grief.

  3. APA Dictionary of Psychology. Absent Grief.