EP 355: Grieving the Sudden Loss of a Parent with Sarah

This episode is about opening our hearts by diving deep into our grief. Today’s caller, Sarah, lost her father unexpectedly. It was not the way she planned to go through the transition. She is moving through grief and feels resistance to grief. We talk about how she can receive more support and know that she doesn’t have to do it on her own.

The reality that our parents will die is something we all know. But, as it gets closer it is difficult to deal with. Whenever we have a looming feeling that something is close, we grasp onto anything that makes us feel like we have some sense of control.

We all have our coping strategies to bypass our feelings. Going into our feelings can make us feel out of control. How do we feel more in control? We control. This is a strategy that is rewarded because when we control things we are seen as productive, and efficient. But we don’t give ourselves the grace to fall apart and we need to fall apart sometimes. Often, it is in the falling apart that we crack our heart open to fully grieve and truly feel what we need to feel so we are not suppressing, which causes disease within our body and spirit.

The more we don’t allow ourselves to fall into the sea of grief, the more we are treading water, it seems like we are functioning; there is always a low-level suppression so, over time, it does impact us.

When we have a way to swim through the sea of grief and we have markers, it doesn’t feel as daunting.

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Consider/Ask Yourself:

  • Did something happen that didn’t go the way you planned and you’re having a hard time accepting it?
  • Have you recently lost a parent or someone close to you or are you anticipating the loss of a parent soon?
  • Do you attempt to control, plan, and strategize things when you feel helpless or that you don’t know what to do?
  • Are you afraid of grief because you think it is a pit you will fall into and never be able to get out?

Sarah’s Question:

Sarah is experiencing grief because her father passed somewhat unexpectedly but is not allowing herself to fully feel it.

Sarah’s Key Insights and Ahas:

  • She prepared for her father’s passing for years.
  • She feels he was ripped away from her.
  • Control is a coping strategy for her.
  • Her father never wanted to be a burden.
  • She didn’t want her father to suffer.
  • She blames herself when she doesn’t get the results she wants.

How to Get Over It and On With It:

  • Release her need for control.
  • Honor the love she felt for her father by fully allowing herself to grieve.
  • Tell people she needs time to grieve and be open to their support.
  • When she drops into grief, play the song she and her father connected with.


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Anything too much, too fast, too soon is trauma. Click To Tweet There are different ways we express our grief, depending on our relationship and how open our heart is. Click To Tweet Often, it is in the falling apart that cracks our heart open to fully grieve and truly feel what we need to feel. Click To Tweet

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