Some emotions you may experience:
- Fear – If you have thought of your parent as capable and strong, it is frightening to anticipate a role reversal — one where you are now there to care for them.
- Grief – As your parents age they will no longer be quite the robust people you once knew. This change will trigger the same grieving process that accompanies other life transitions.
Three factors influence the level of your emotional reaction:
- your usual reaction to change and loss
- your relationship with your parents
- your level of direct involvement in your parent’s life
Specific emotions you are likely to experience:
Sadness. Almost everyone feels sadness as they watch their previously healthy parent decline.
Anger and frustration. It is normal to feel impatient and angry about the changes that aging triggers.
Guilt. You may feel guilty if you live far away from your parents, or, are unable to spend sufficient time with him.
How to best cope:
- Accept that these reactions are normal. The feelings will be less troublesome if you don’t fight them.
- Control what you can and let go of the rest. You can’t change what your aging parents are experiencing. What you can do is provide help and support.
- Don’t take on more than you can handle. Consider your commitments to your work and to other family members when deciding how much of your parents care to take on. Over doing it will leave you stressed, and will put a strain on your other relationships. Worst of all, you may end up taking your frustration out on your parent, causing you intense guilt.
As your parents age you will feel a wide range of emotions. Anticipating these reactions and preparing for them will make life easier. You will then be able to focus on the happy times with them and feel good about the kind of son or daughter you have been. Please visit our blog and our range of products and gift ideas to help prepare for your parents final farewell in a unique and personal way.