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How to Deal with the Passing of a Parent: 5 Thoughts That Give Me Comfort and Strength

Nothing can prepare you for the death of a parent. We know in theory that we are not immortal, however we selfishly want to have those we love to be with us forever.

Parents try to prepare you for their passing. My Dad, who transitioned on the 2nd of January, would refer to this part of his life as the “Fourth Quarter.” Even though he dropped hints that perhaps he would not be here much longer, I ignored it. Until one day, I received the sobering news that he had passed on:

Death is stressful and inherently sad. Those who remain offer hope, and I’ve found comfort in many people who have lost loved ones as well (cue Michael Jackson’s You are Not Alone).

Read on for 5 thoughts that have given me strength in the midst of dark times:

  1. There is never a good time to die.

Whether you pass at age 14 or 114, the pain will be the same. Death is simply a part of life and absolutely no one is immune. My dad died at age 75, which I found is the average lifespan of men in America (something I never bothered to Google). I thought he’d be with us at least another 15 years, but even if he had died at age 90, the sadness would still be there. I’ve come to terms that he died when it was his time, and he lived a full and good life.

2. When you see something that reminds you of them, that is their spirit communicating to you.

The other day, as I was driving, I saw a Porsche with tinted windows speed by me (my Dad was President of the Black Porsche Club of Atlanta). At various points, I also saw a white pick up truck (another one of his cars). As the poem says above, when you see something that reminds you of your loved one, that is their spirit communicating with you, telling you they are thinking of you.

3. You grieve in proportion to how much you loved.

Tears and sadness are simply a sign that you loved them. If you didn’t love them, you wouldn’t feel pain. Allow yourself to grieve as much and as long as you need.

4. Celebrate their Lives 

My Dad was a trip. He loved to dance or as he would say, Do the Watusi.” He would always try on my fur coats (and actually went semi viral wearing one). Him poking fun and being silly is how I’d like to remember him. Once the tears subside, we can smile at all the wonderful memories we created together. I have transitioned from mourning his death to celebrating the fact that he lived a beautiful and fulfilling life. Everything he wanted to do, he did.

5. You are their living legacy.

Our ancestors live on through us. With everything I do, I seek to uplift the memory of my father and will continue to honor him and make him proud.

Love & Light,

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