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.
6 thoughts on “101 Ways to Cope with Losing Elderly Parents # 5”
In a similar vein , though many years after both my parents were gone my eldest brother who had bought the original family house and raised his family there finally decided to sell up. His children had all grown up and left home. He gave myself and all my other brothers and sisters some earth out of the garden. So we all had a little of our shared home and Mu
m and Dad too. Xx
Hi Willow, that’s a lovely idea. I must say I take great pleasure from knowing that many of the shrubs in my garden originated from cuttings from Mother and Dad’s garden and it’s great to see them thriving in my sibs’ gardens too.
Yes it is a lovely way to keep parents in our thoughts gently long after they are gone.
On my father’s last Christmas with us (2012) he gave each of his daughters (we are 3) items that he knew we liked. I used to tease him about a lovely tea set that I loved and that he barely used…. When he gave it to me, he told me he had originally wanted to give it to me for my 50th birthday (this coming April) but feared he wouldn’t be here to celebrate – and he was sadly right. He gave each of my sister’s other collectibles as well. Needless to say we were all soaked in tears by the time brunch was ready…. I shall forever have a piece of him when I serve tea…