It is the responsibility of your Dad to heal on his own after the death of your mother. Healing is a personal journey that everyone undertakes on his own.
You can play a role in helping your Dad heal but healing remains a personal responsibility. When you choose to help your Dad to heal, you need to know your boundaries.
It is only by working within your boundaries that you will be of help in the healing journey of your Dad. Going out of your boundaries to help your Dad heal after the death of your mom can hinder your own healing.
You have to get the balance of your own personal healing journey and Dad’s healing journey right. A little mess and you will end up having two people who can’t move on after the death of a loved one.
Here are the guidelines you are to follow when helping your Dad heal after the death of your mother:
1. Ask Dad Questions
Before you start helping your Dad to heal from the loss of your mother, ask him what kind of help he needs. Let him specify how you can be of help to him.
Your Dad may be struggling after the loss of your mother but he doesn’t want to be a burden to you. In such a case, even if you want to help, your Dad won’t allow you.
Helping your Dad without asking him may cause you to misinterpret his healing journey.
Maybe all your Dad wants is for someone to listen to him as he talks about your late mom. Giving Dad words of encouragement in such a case will do little to him.
Your Dad may be in need of help which he knows you can’t provide as his child. If your Dad sees that you cannot bear the burden that he has, he may choose to remain silent about it.
The point here is that you ask your Dad how you can help him. Even if it seems obvious that your Dad is devastated, you cannot guess the help to administer to him. You must be sure it is the help he needs.
2. Weigh Dad’s Requests
If your Dad specifies the kind of help that he needs from you, weigh it to see if you can deliver it. Since you are also on a healing journey, it is wise to only offer help to your Dad that won’t affect your own healing.
Don’t neglect your own healing journey in favor of helping your Dad.
While in the grieving period, it is highly unlikely that you will have much to offer to your Dad.
If you agree to help your Dad in a given way and soon realize that it is weighing heavily on you, politely notify your Dad that you will stop offering that kind of help.
Chances are that the kind of help that your Dad needs is beyond what you can offer. Don’t feel guilty if you cannot help your dad to heal after mom’s death.
Naturally, it is the responsibility of the father to comfort his children after the loss of their mother. It is only in rare circumstances that a child can help his Dad recover after mom’s death.
3. Involve Outsiders in Helping your Dad
If you have noticed that your Dad really needs help to heal from Mom’s death yet you are not able to offer the help, ask an outsider to help your Dad in the healing journey.
Actually, if you are in a position to get an outsider to help your Dad right from the start, do it. If you can afford a grief therapist for your Dad, get one.
A professional will handle your Dad in a better way and with less chances of messing up than you. But remember to ask your Dad about his opinion in you getting an outsider to help him.
In therapy, unless the person who needs help is willing to be helped, those who think they are helping him do useless work.
Unless your Dad is open to being helped to heal after your mom’s death by an outsider, it will be a waste of time for you to get an outsider to help your Dad.
Relatives can talk to your Dad too. In fact, relatives should be among the first people you go to when you need someone to help your Dad heal after losing your mom.
Read Also: My Mom Died and I want to Talk to Her
If your Dad has brothers, let them come and talk to him. It is easier for his brothers to console him than you.
His brothers are in a better position to understand most of the things that he is going through than you.
4. Give Dad Time to Heal
Maybe your Dad is in the normal mourning period and you should not worry about him. Maybe you don’t like seeing your Dad grieving but that doesn’t mean that your Dad needs help to heal.
I know it may be bothering you seeing your Dad downcast after your mom’s death but that is your responsibility and not his.
Allow your Dad time to mourn your mom. Allow your Dad to grieve in the way he knows how to.
Maybe what your Dad wants is time alone. If that is the case, allow him the alone time so that he heals faster.
Just because your Dad looks sad several months after your mom’s death doesn’t mean that he is not healing.
Healing takes time and different people heal in different ways.
This is why I began by recommending asking your Dad if he needs any help to heal. Children can easily misunderstand their grieving Dad.
You may actually be the one who needs help more than your Dad to heal from the loss of your mother.
Therefore, don’t rush the process of offering your Dad help. Take it slow and make sure that any action you are taking is the right action for you to take at that given time.
It sounds unnatural for a child to help his father to heal after the loss of mom. But exceptions do exist. I don’t know much about your case but you need to approach it with care.
Read Also: My Mom Died. Where is she now?
Make sure that you are part of the minority of children who help their Dad’s heal after mom’s death before offering your Dad help.
The safest way out is to hire a therapist or get a relative to help your Dad if he really needs someone to help him recover from the loss of your mom.
Most importantly, spend time working on your own healing. It may be your own grief that is manifesting and you think your Dad needs help.
In case of any disagreements with your dad about his situation, assume what he is saying is right. If you are sure you are right, get an outsider to help your dad and not you.
All the best!