Supporting a grieving parent

How to support a parent through grief

Supporting people through grief is hard, but when that person is your parent and the person they’re grieving for was someone you were also close to, it can be even harder.

People deal with loss in different ways and the relationship with the person who died is different too. For example, losing a husband, wife, partner or friend is different from losing a parent so it’s important not to assume how a person (even if that’s a loved one) is feeling after their loss.


Supporting your parent

You can help your parent during this difficult time by:

  • Making time for them and sharing your grief together
  • Being understanding and patient
  • Listening to them talk about the person they are grieving for
  • Making sure they receive any extra care they need
  • Encouraging them to look after their wellbeing e.g. eating well, resting and doing relaxing activities
  • Allowing them to express their grief and understanding that all emotions are normal
  • Acknowledging important dates and anniversaries

If you live far away you may not be able to do this physically, in person. However, you can message, telephone or see them face-to-face using video calling apps or websites.

If you’re concerned about your parent’s health in any way, you can get in touch with their GP for advice. This is likely to be a telephone or video consultation.


Taking care of your parent and yourself

You can’t pour from an empty cup, so fill yours first. This means taking care of yourself and making time for your own self-care, so you can look after yourself and support your parent to grieve.

With this in mind, here are some ways to look after yourself and your parent:

  • Eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest and sleep
  • Use online bereavement support groups to talk to others
  • Inform your doctor about what’s happened so they can help monitor your parent’s health if needed
  • Get outside where possible – whether that is in the garden, going out for some exercise or meeting with friends
  • Express feelings and emotions with each other

If you need more help to cope with grief chat with us online or call us on 08081 311 333 – we’re here for you.

More about bereavement support

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