Losing a Parent and Coping

Lina is a 17-year-old from Franklinville, NJ. She enjoys playing guitar, traveling, and her favorite subject is TV/Video production because it’s fun to have a perspective of what it’s like inside the film business.

Five years ago, when I was only twelve years old, my father passed away. It was rather sudden since the doctors were telling us about how well he was improving and they were absolutely baffled when he took such a sudden turn and died before they could do anything to save him. He died from a lung disease called Sarcoidosis. There’s not much known about the disease so a cure is a long ways off and treatment helps those who suffer from it.
Initially, when my father passed away, I didn’t have a clue how to respond. So I did what any normal little girl would do; cry like there was no tomorrow. The stages of “grief” were all jumbled for me. I experienced anger so much that it often trumped my sadness. It was easy getting lost and caught up in those powerful motions. To put it simply, I had no clue how to deal with my father’s loss. My sister, the oldest and nineteen at the time, dealt with it in her own way. She never was one to show much emotion so I guess she dealt with it on her own. My brother, fourteen at the time, focused on sports more than anything. None of us got into trouble or anything. We didn’t rebel or do anything drastic. My mother was very open with us about everything, talking to us when we needed to talk, and just helping us deal in the best way she knew how despite having just lost her husband.
It was really my mother who pushed me through that hard time and made me realize that even though my father was gone, it didn’t mean that I had to stop living. So she put me in therapy and though I fought with the therapist more often than not, it really helped. Everybody copes in their own way when it comes to losing somebody they love. I watched my friend, who lost his father a little over a year ago, get addicted to drugs and eventually enter rehab. It made me angry to see my friend do this to himself, but then I realized it wasn’t his fault. His home life wasn’t stable before his father’s death and I can only imagine it got even rougher afterwards.
Parents or guardians are key when it comes to dealing with a loss. Friends can only help so much and I was just fortunate  I had a few who were determined to see me come through my depression. My mom made me get more involved in activities, limiting my time to really feel sorry for myself or get angry all over again for my father’s death. She made me devote my time to music, while my brother devoted himself to football. She made sure we balanced ourselves out and instead of distancing herself, she became that much more closer to us.
Even though my father’s death was devastating, I think it all happened for a reason. My family unit grew stronger as a result of it and I feel like a stronger individual. I’ll admit I miss my father more than one can imagine, but everyday it does get a little bit easier. The pain doesn’t necessarily go away, but you do learn how to deal with it. My coping strategies were just to surround myself with loved ones and do things that I loved. It was the only logical thing to do, because otherwise, I know that I could have got involved with things that would have left me worse off. It’s easy to lose yourself when, but you just have to remember, things will get better.

 

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