Going back to school after the death of a parent is tough. I went back to school two days after the burial of my mother. The day I reported to school was one of the hardest days of my life to date.
Going back to school on its own is already boring. Add to it the pain of losing a parent and it is almost unbearable.
I thought I was going to drop out of school. I am grateful that I survived the pain.
In this article, I want to give you insight about what it takes to go back to school after losing your parent. I hope some of the tips I will share here will make your return to school more bearable.
Going back to School after Death of a Parent
When to go back to School after Losing a Parent
I never thought about the best time to go back to school after the death of my mother. All I remember was my Dad asking me when I wanted to go back to school.
It was odd that my Dad asked me when I wanted to go back to school. Usually, he would tell me when I was going back to school and there would be no negotiation.
After my mother’s funeral, I decided to go back to school two days later. I never thought about it. I gave an answer without much thinking.
The best time to go back to school is a few days after the funeral of your parent. There is not much that you will be doing if you choose to stay at home.
Also, getting busy after the death of your parent will help you heal faster. Idling at home will make your recovery journey hard.
Keeping up with School Activities
Returning to school shortly after the death of your parent will ensure that you don’t miss much in the school curriculum.
The last thing you want to experience is returning to school and having a huge workload to catch up. Catching up with the other students is tough on its own. Add on it the grief of having lost a parent and you will want to give up school completely.
When I went home for my mother’s funeral, I was in the middle of an examination. I missed a number of papers. When I returned to school, I tried sitting for the papers I missed but I gave up.
I didn’t know whether to attend classes with my classmates or to go sit for the exams I had missed. At the same time I had notes to copy and assignments to do.
All that while struggling to come to terms with the fact that my mom was gone forever. It was tough!
Therefore, the sooner you can go back to school after losing your parent, the better.
Finding a Grief Counselor
When you go back to school after the death of your parent, make sure you visit the guidance and counseling office. If the office is not aware that you were bereaved, make sure you notify them.
The journey of grief is tough. Times will come when you will feel like giving up school. It is during such times that the counselors will help you forge on with life.
Before I went home for my mother’s funeral, the guidance and counseling office was notified of the death of my mother.
Read Also: How to Help Dad after your Mom’s Death
When I went back to school, I had sessions with the counselor several days per week. The sessions encouraged me to keep pushing through the pain.
On several occasions, I missed class because I was overwhelmed by emotions. I would go to the counselor’s office and cry from there.
It is important for you to have a counselor when you go back to school after the death of your parent.
What to Expect from Other Students in School after Death of a Parent
Most of your classmates may know that you were bereaved but they won’t take it seriously. This can be a big pain point for you but it is something you have to prepare yourself to face.
You may desire to be treated gently but your classmates will treat you the way they are used to treating you.
Expect little grace from your classmates.
Your fellow students also will underestimate the time it takes to heal from the loss of your parent. To them, after the burial, they don’t expect you to be reacting to the loss of your parent.
But in reality, you will still get emotional several months after the burial. Make sure that when you get overwhelmed you have a place where you can go and release your emotions.
It is unhealthy for you to hold back the emotions. The more you release them the quicker you heal.
Balancing Mourning and Concentrating in Class
When you report back to school after attending the funeral of your parent, you may want to continue mourning as you did while at home.
Unfortunately, school is not a good environment for grieving. Apart from other students not treating you as someone bereaved, you will be required to carry on with your studies as if nothing happened.
If you fail to study for your examinations, you will not receive sympathy marks.
There is a tendency to think a lot about the death of your parent when you report back to school. But you must put a limit to how much time you will spend mourning your loved one.
Spend too much time thinking about your deceased parent and you will find yourself falling behind in class.
Some teachers may sympathize with you and give you a grace period to recover. Others may not show you any sympathy.
Therefore, it will be great if you can collect yourself and pay attention to what the teacher is saying while you are in class.
Once you get out of class, you can go to the playing ground and think about your late parent. The balance is important.
On the flip side, completely ignoring the urge to mourn your parent while in school will delay your healing process.
It is the tears you cry and the emotions you express that will speed up your healing.
Get a good balance of the two.
Going back to School after Death of a Parent: Conclusion
It is unfortunate if you have to go back to school after the death of your parent. But then you must face the challenges that come with losing a parent when you are in school.
Don’t spend too much of your time at home. If possible, only spend a few days at home after the burial of your mother and get back to school.
The earlier you go back to school, the less catch up you will have to do. While at school, make sure you balance how much time you spend mourning and how much time you spend reading.
All the best!