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“Love your parents and treat them with loving care… For you will only know their value when you see their empty chair…”
The effects of parental death are an understudied subject in psychology, but several studies have gradually drawn the curtains. Losing a parent or both parents is a traumatic event that may inflict psychological damage to a bereaved son or daughter.
For instance, the death of a mother shakes the identity of her young adult daughter, according to clinical psychologist Taranjir K. Bhatia PsyD. “They don’t know what being a woman is all about.” And since mothers play a crucial role in preparing their daughters towards motherhood, most motherless daughters become very insecure of their ability to raise children. In an unfortunate event of a mother’s sudden death, a young woman realizes that she no longer has anyone to learn from.
A father’s death brings grief as profound as losing a mother, and may also have long term effects on a child’s life. According to Dr. Mary Shenk from the University of Missouri, the loss of a father can result in lower adult living standards for the bereaved children that they tend to get married younger or drop out of school to find work.
The effects depend on the age of the children when their parent/s died, the nature of their parent/s’ death, their relationship with their deceased parent/s, and the support & guidance they get from other family members. Nevertheless, death should act as a reminder for us to appreciate and treat other people well, especially our parents. Nobody ever regretted loving their parents while they were still alive.