I think that the seeds for coping with the loss of elderly parents are sown way back before frailty or death occur and this generally happens in a subconscious way. For me, one of the many things that softens the sadness is seeing the blossoming of shrubs and flowers that I planted with my parents in happy times.
A typical example of this is the camellia which is currently in full bloom in my back garden and which Father and I planted together after a trip to our local garden centre and a drive round by Dunmore East where we stopped off for coffee and a chat.
Seeing the camellia now brings me back to a time when Father was in the great health and is completely dissociated with any of the more difficult memories of his declining years.
So seize all the opportunities you can when your parents are well to plant these memories and, if that time has passed, identify a few things or thoughts that relate to those earlier times as they can be very sustaining when pangs of sadness strike.
I’d love to hear what items or thoughts are ‘special’ for YOU in this context.