My soul felt smothered.

I prayed as a herd of emotion tore through me. I cried realizing today was my mom's birthday. They say it gets easier; I say it gets quieter, but it never truly goes away. The loss of a parent is one of the most emotionally taxing experiences a person can go through. It is a universal part of the human experience, yet it is often a journey that we must navigate in a deeply personal way.

The bond between parents and their children is foundational; it shapes us from our earliest moments and influences us throughout our lives. When that bond is severed by death, the pain can be profound.

The relationship with our parents is our first with love, trust, and security. They are often our first teachers, supporters, and protectors. For many. This loss signifies not only the end of a cherished relationship but also a stark reminder of our own mortality. It is a rite of passage that unfortunately everyone must face, often leaving a void that can never be fully filled.

The grieving process is individualized and can manifest in a range of emotions, including sadness, anger, guilt, and confusion. How did I get here? Who brought me to this party and why did they leave me? People may find themselves grappling with unresolved issues or regrets, or they may feel an overwhelming sense of longing for just one more moment with their loved ones. Memories may flood in unexpectedly, triggered by sights, sounds, or smells that evoke the past. (I miss my Mom bread pudding)

It's important to acknowledge that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Some may find solace in traditions, while others may seek support from friends, or family. Grief can also be cyclical, often described as coming in waves; you might feel like you're improving one day, only to be knocked down by a wave of emotion the next.

One of the most challenging aspects of losing parents is the change in identity it can bring. You are no longer someone's son or daughter in the present tense, which can leave you feeling untethered. For those who have spent years caring for elderly or sick parents, the loss may also come with a complex mix of relief and guilt, adding another layer to the grieving process.

As you navigate this difficult time, self-care becomes paramount. It's important to give yourself permission to feel whatever you're feeling without judgment. Engaging in activities that bring you comfort, such as reading, walking, or listening to music, can be part of a healthy grieving process.

In time, many find ways to honor their parents' lives through various means—perhaps by living in a way that embodies their values, continuing a tradition they held dear, these acts can serve as a living memorial to the love and lessons they gave.

The loss of one's parents is a profound and life-changing event. It is a testament to the depth of the human heart and the strength of the bonds that tie us together. In grieving, we not only honor those we have lost but also acknowledge the indelible mark they have left on our lives.

With time, the sharpness of the pain may dull, allowing the warmth of cherished memories to provide a measure of comfort and peace. I honor my parents with this article. Thanks Mom and Dad for bringing me here and giving me the strength and courage to be left alone.

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