For estate and elder law attorneys, grief and mourning go with the territory. We work to help our clients protect the people most important to them and the assets they’ve worked a lifetime to achieve. We offer compassionate counsel and care. We must accept the simple fact, however: there exists no legal remedy for the pain of losing a loved one.
“Many people think of grief as a single instance or short time of pain or sadness in response to a loss…but grieving includes the entire emotional process of coping with a loss and it can last a long time. Normal grieving allows us to let a loved one go and keep on living in a healthy way,” explains an American Cancer Society white paper.
At Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates, we’ve seen many different ways in which adult children cope with the loss of parents. In Indiana, with its many farm communities, often parents continued to live on the family farm while at least some of the adult children have moved away and lead urban lives. “Once a patriarch of matriarch of a family has given up control or passed away,” says professional mediator Jay Folberg, adult children are often left in a position of ambiguity or, worse, contrary beliefs about their rightful role.” Feelings of mourning and grief may be interwoven with resentment towards siblings.
“Your parent is irreplaceable,” confirms the Our House Grief Support Center. “Whether you were on the best of terms or if you were experiencing challenges in your relationship, their death shakes up your family structure and profoundly affects your perception of yourself …No matter what your age, or how long you have been independent of them, you may catch yourself thinking, ‘No one will every love me or take care of me like my parent did.’”
Following the death of your parent, you may have an acute awareness about the fragility of life,” observes ourhouse-grief.org. “You may decide to change your goals, make new choices, and evaluate your priorities.”
At Geyer Law, we found offering compassionate estate planning advice assists our clients in making those new choices as they cope with the loss of a parent.