8 Tips for Coping With the Death of a Parent | Nancy Stordahl

February 17, 2015 9:41 PM

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I was supposed to be ready when my mother died in 2008 from metastatic breast cancer. I was supposed to be ready to say goodbye. After all, she was in her seventies and had been ill for quite some time. I was not a child or even a young adult. At my age I was supposed to be ready. My mother's cancer had been diagnosed four years earlier, so I was supposed to be ready. Her cancer had metastasized and her prognosis was very poor, so I was supposed to be ready. Her health had been rapidly declining before my eyes and she was living out her final days in a care facility, so I was supposed to be ready. My family and I knew the end was coming, so I was supposed to be ready.

Society gives few messages and the ones that are given seem mixed about how to "appropriately" grieve for parents. In his book, When Parents Die: A Guide for Adults, Edward Myers states, "Loss of a parent is the single most common form of bereavement in this country. Yet the unstated message is that...

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