5 Crucial Things to Consider Telling Your Parents Before They Pass
- September 7, 2021
While saying goodbye to loved ones is never easy, very few things can be compared to the pain and sorrow that come with the passing of our most cherished and life-long guardians, our parents. Woefully, this is a time that we must all go through at some point and we can never fully be prepared for the feelings that we will be faced with.
We understand that not all of us had the same experiences growing up and that not all families possess the same dynamics. We all come from different backgrounds with our own unique upbringings and circumstances and while some may look back fondly on those days, others may have memories of dysfunctional childhoods beset by distress and perhaps, even trauma. Also, we all differ in the relationships and communication that we have with our parents. Still, no matter what our upbringing entailed or the relationships that we may now have with our parents, saying goodbye to those who gave us life is a universal experience and it should be approached with love, an open heart, compassion and sincerity.
There are certain key things you should consider telling your parents when the time has come to say goodbye to them to convey how much they have meant to you, to heal any existing tension and to hopefully find peace and closure at the end of this emotionally charged chapter. We have compiled a list of 5 of the most important things below you should consider telling parents before they pass to help you say your goodbyes.
1. Express Your Gratitude and Say Thank You to Your Parents
It is not unusual for most of us to think we’ve shown enough gratitude and appreciation to our parents. We may often feel that accepting their many gifts and emotional support is enough of a thank you. However, it’s almost impossible to show enough gratitude to those who have granted us the gift of life and have dedicated their entire lives toward our well-being and joy.
Consider expressing your gratitude to your parents at this time as a reminder to them that you are grateful for everything they have done for you, that you appreciate their love and sacrifices and to convey everything they have meant to you. Even if you may feel as if you can’t find anything to thank your parents for, we encourage you to find gratitude in your heart even if it is for something as simple and basic as granting you the gift of life. While leading with gratitude no matter your circumstances can help make saying goodbye to your parents a little easier and offer comfort to a heavy heart, there is also a poignant power to offering loved ones a clean slate as they embark on this closing chapter of life. Never underestimate the meaning of a sincere and compassionate thank you.
2. Accept Their Apology or Grant Them Your Forgiveness
While supporting a loved one who is terminal is always wrought with a mix of difficult emotions, it can be even more painful if you reach this point while still holding grudges or if you have existing, open emotional wounds. It’s not an easy thing to be human. We are expected and guaranteed to make some mistakes in life and possibly hurt others in some way or another, including those we love. Just like any other people walking around on this earth, our parents are also only human and can also make mistakes. Although it is not easy by any means, we encourage you to let go of any grudges or resentment you may be carrying against them and consider granting your parents forgiveness for any wrongdoings they have caused you, before it’s too late.
Understand that granting forgiveness does not necessarily absolve someone of their wrongdoings, but it can allow you and your loved ones to find emotional peace and also ultimately enjoy and make the most of the time you have left together.
3. Express To Them How Much They Will Be Missed
We might think that it’s obvious that our parents know they will be missed after they pass. However, explicitly expressing to them how much they have meant to you in your life opens a door to creating or strengthening a powerful and enduring emotional connection and bond. Conveying to your parents how their passing is of immense grief and sorrow for you will make them feel appreciated and loved, as well as ensure that their hearts are as full as possible, knowing the impact they have left on those who loved them the most, their children.
4. Speak with Them About Their Family Lines and Ask Them to Help You Create Your Family Tree
This is a good segway into discussing how you can further celebrate how much your parents have meant to you as well as pay tribute to their life and memory by asking them to help you create your family tree. Building a family tree and speaking to your parents about your lineage and their family lines helps to establish and pay homage to their legacy, help you draw out the continuation of their family lines, and offer your pieces of family history that will be of profound value to you and your future generations. It is a good idea to consider speaking to your parents and asking them questions about your genealogy and lineage before they pass as you don’t want to lose out on this chance to deepen your bond with them in this way while you still have time together and to obtain these precious piece of your family information and history.
5. Tell Them How Much You Love Them
While such a simple sentiment, we often take for granted the depth of meaning behind those three little words. Saying “I love you” is one of the most beautiful and meaningful gifts we can offer those we love. If you ask anyone out there, the one thing people often wish they could say to their parents if they had one last chance to see them, is “I love you.”
As many of us go through a rebellious phase at some points in our childhoods and may still have tense relationships with our parents into adulthood, our parents may have often heard how much we disliked them or even worse how we feel our lives would be better off without them. You may even think that you’ve already said “I love you,” enough times to them, as well. The truth is you can never convey to someone how much you love them too many times. And you don’t want to miss out on your last opportunity to do so. Saying “I love you” this one last time before they pass will help heal existing tension and any emotional wounds you may still have as well offer you and your parents comfort during a difficult time.
Saying Goodbye to Those We Love
As you prepare yourself to say goodbye to your parents and try to find the right words to express how much you love them and your gratitude for all they have done for you, we want to remind you that ultimately simply being there for them at this time is the most important thing you can do. Beyond anything you can say, your presence and support will be the ultimate gift you can grant them on their final days. If being present with your parents in person is not an option for you, you can always consider writing a letter to express your love and how much they have meant to you.
Lastly, understand that losing our parents is one of the most emotionally challenging experiences we can face and it is not only ok, but it is to be expected to be grieving and in need of additional help and assistance at a time like this. We encourage you to seek help and support and find some comfort in the many resources available and designed to help you cope during this time. We hope that this guide will have been able to offer you some guidance to help make the process of saying goodbye to your parents a little easier, and that it helps you cherish the remaining time you have left with them.