When a Parent Dies: How to Cope

The recent loss of Andre 3000 and Bruno Mars' mothers reminds us of the need to grieve in a healthy way. 

Posted: 06/03/2013 12:30 PM EDT

The loss of a parent is a horrible thing for anyone to endure.

The world learned recently that rapper, actor and entertainer Andre 3000, originally from the group OutKast, is dealing with the loss of his mother.

Having both old and young family members die at different parts of my life always sent me into a state of reflection. The universal thing that I found after each loss is that a healing process has already begun and I just needed to find the tools to help it along.

Here are a few things to help you deal with the loss of a parent:

Time. People say that time heals everything. I feel that time doesn't actually heal the pain completely, but it definitely can help lessen the pain of losing a parent. For months after losing my dad, I would break down in tears at the drop of a hat. Anything that reminded me of him would cause tears. Eventually, as time passed, those moments of despair weren't as frequent. So time does help.

Let Yourself Break Down. When faced with the loss of a parent, there is nothing more natural than to shed tears. Sometimes it may take a few days for the reality of your loss to hit you. You may be very busy dealing with the funeral and all of the arrangements that go with it, but when things settle down and you finally have time to realize that you have indeed lost your parent, most people will break down. I have found that this is something my body needed to do when dealing with the loss of my parent. Go ahead and cry or scream. It will make you feel a little better.

Read more about coping with a parents' death at BlackDoctor.Org.

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(Photos from left: Michael Buckner/Getty Images, Maury Phillips/WireImage)

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