Dealing with parents dating after death
Renewed grief on these occasions is known as an anniversary reaction, and while these reactions can re-occur for years, they are most common for the first three to 24 months.These types of anniversary reactions are even more pronounced in children.The loss affects adult personality development, a sense of security, and relationships with the surviving parent and significant others.Loss of a parent at an early age has been shown to lead to long-term psychological damage in children, especially when the parent lost is the mother. Worden, and the Harvard Child Bereavement Study (HCBS), children have four “tasks” of mourning they must accomplish in order to process the death of a parent: In a 1999 study in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence entitled “Children's Psychological Distress Following the Death of a Parent,” girls were more likely to experience depressive symptoms after the loss of a parent than boys.When death occurs at a decisive time in the adult’s life, such as at a time of a wedding, a graduation, birth of a child, or other pivotal moments, accepting and dealing with this loss can be even more difficult.For example, if the adult is struggling with health issues themselves, the parent’s death raises questions of his or her own mortality.Adolescent grief is an area of continuing interest and research.
These factors include the current and past relationship with the parent, and the individual’s age at the time of the parent’s death. When a parent dies, whether through old age, unexpectedly, or from disease, children are left with a range of emotions ranging from emptiness and loneliness to guilt and anger.
Pressures like this can delay the grieving process.