They held our hands when we learnt to walk our first steps. They were the first role models and there is no one who can be like them.
When a parent leaves us, we lose a part of us, especially, our time as children and young adults. They are the people who raised us and taught us the values we live by today. They taught us what it means to protect our own and be loyal to our family. Our parents were our first role models, who set us down the right path in life. We looked up to them for a major chunk of our life and then became responsible adults because of everything we learned from them.
So, when a parent is gone, a part of our heart leaves with them. We are left with memories and regrets. There will always be so many things that we would miss about them, but find it hard to put it into words. However, putting it into words can be a step towards healing from the grief.
To start with, here are some things we might miss when a parent is no more:
They were a storehouse of advice, which we didn't take seriously for many years. We thought that experience would teach us better. But the thing is, our parents probably had the same experiences as us and they have a thing or two to teach us about the world. They teach us about understanding people better, so we are not hurt later. The older we grow, we know that they were right, and their advice good. When they are gone, we are bound to miss having their mature advice.
Whether the house exists or not, a childhood home will no longer be home when the people who made it home are no longer there. Our parents made us feel safe and comfortable. The million memories we made in our home will still be there with us, and we might even be able to relive them with a family of our own. However, the unique moments we shared with our parents will only be remembered by us. The parents who created that lovable experience will no longer be around.
For years, they spoiled us with gifts. Then, as an adult, we wanted to do the same for our aging parents because we wanted them to know how much we loved them. We know we are so grateful to them that no material thing can be enough to show it, but we tried. Taking things they needed or buying them things like expensive cashmere and perfumes filled our hearts as much as it did theirs. When they are no longer there to give back to, there will always be regrets that we could have done more for them.
Even when we have a family of our own with grown-up children and grandchildren, we will miss being the child of our parents. Because of them, there was an innocent joy to holidays when we children. We looked forward to being spoiled and taken care of. The beautiful gifts, the dressing-up, and the tasty food were all things we looked forward to all year. With them gone, we see not only missing seats at the table but also an empty place in our hearts.
They raised us and our siblings for years and in our eyes, they were flawless. It felt like they were doing everything right and when we became parents, we couldn't wait to be that perfect. We went to them when we were at a loss at how to deal with our children. However, there is nobody anymore who can tell us, patiently, how to course-correct with our children. Whether it was about babies, toddlers, teenagers or young adult children, our parents just knew what to do.
The family traditions of cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving or picking a Christmas tree together or volunteering at our community kitchen together, won't be the same without them anymore. We'll miss heading to the same family-run Italian restaurant in town with our parents for their anniversary and birthdays. It might seem like a thing of the past, but we might now be making new memories and traditions with our own family. The traditions we shared with our parents will become a part of our children's life, another kind of memory to cherish.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.