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Do’s and Don’ts for After a Parent Dies


When your mom or dad passes away, you may not know what to do next.

Between the practical arrangements that must be made and the emotional toll that grief can take, the death of a parent can be hard to navigate.

To help make the days following such a significant loss a little bit easier for you, we’ve put together a list of do’s and don’ts.


What to Do After Your Mom or Dad Dies


Do Reach Out for Help

There are people and resources available to help you navigate this time. Consider reaching out to a support group or therapist that specializes in grief. They will be able to offer guidance throughout your entire healing journey in healthy, tangible ways.


Don’t Rush into Any Major Decisions

Emotions are heightened after loss, especially when you’re facing the death of a family member. Because of this, it’s best to take any major decision making slowly. How you feel now may not be the way you feel six months from now.

If you do have to make big decisions—including any about your late Loved One’s aftercare—, consult with other family members and friends who have personal experience with the matter. They’ll be able to help you know what’s best for you, while reassuring you that the decision you make is the right one.


Do Memorialize Them

Memorials are often the first step in the healing process. They allow you to say goodbye to the person you loved so much, while finding a way to keep their memory with you. Many people will choose to hold a traditional funeral or celebration of life service for extended family and friends to attend, while others will choose to personalize Jewelry that reminds them of their late parent and that they can wear for the days, weeks, and years moving forward.


Don’t Forget That You’re Not Alone


After your mom or dad is gone, it’s easy to feel alone—but that isn’t true. There are people who care about you and want to help. Friends who have also lost a parent can be a comforting shoulder to lean on as you face your own loss, while bigger communities like those at church or work can help support you as you find your new normal.


Do Take Time to Heal

Remember that grief has no timeline and is different for everyone. What one person needs to heal from the loss of a parent may be completely different from what you need to feel better. That’s okay. Do your best not to compare your unique journey to the journey of anyone else.


Losing a Parent is Hard, Try to Find Comfort in Their Memory

The death of your mom or dad will be one of the biggest losses you face in your lifetime.

When the grief feels unsurmountable, try to remember that there is comfort to be found in the memories you shared with your mom or dad.

Think about all those road trips you took every summer that meant so much to you growing up or the Sunday brunches you shared as friends in recent years. As you prioritize the positive, you’ll remember that your Loved One is still with you.


One day, when you’re ready, the tears will turn into smiles.