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  • Writer's pictureDavid Linaker

Grief and the Parent Trap

The death of the parent who was of the same sex as you and with whom you may have had a difficult relationship can throw you into a paralysing turmoil of emotions. I help you navigate your way through the storm of complex feelings.

The bond with a parent of the same sex, often referred to as same-sex parent bonding, plays a crucial role in your development. It serves as a primary source of identification and provides a model for roles and behaviours. This bond contributes to the formation of a strong sense of identity, self-esteem, and understanding of your place in the world. It can influence interpersonal relationships, as individuals often learn about intimacy, communication, and attitudes to societal roles from their same-sex parent.


A poor same-sex parent bond can have various effects on you. It may contribute to challenges in forming healthy relationships, impacting self-esteem, and influencing your understanding of your place in the world leaving you feeling uncertain and vulnerable.


All this can obviously have a negative effect on your sense of self as an adult and can be especially difficult to navigate when that parent dies.


The death of a parent, even when they have lived a long life, can be devastating. It’s natural to feel a range of emotions after the loss of any person close to you, even if the bond was not strong. However, when a same-sex parent dies after years of a difficult and damaging relationship, the feelings of guilt, shame and disorientation can feel paralysing.


Recognising and processing these emotions is part of the grieving process, but it’s important to understand that your feelings are valid.


My work with you involves providing support and guidance to help you to who navigate the complexities of grief and loss. I help you to process your emotions, develop coping strategies, and find ways to honour and remember your loved ones, even where relationships were strained and difficult. I offer practical tools and provide a safe space for full and honest expression. My clients find that this can be beneficial in them to cope with loss, their complex feelings about it, and to move forward in their lives in a new, free and authentic way.

Here are some tips if you are struggling:

  • Try to remember a particular time when you were impacted by your poor same-sex parent bond as a child. Imagine yourself talking to that child with kindness, compassion and reassurance. What might you say?

  • Make a commitment not to hand on any difficult feelings and emotions that you might have inherited from your parent to future generations. This can stop with you!

  • Practice really solid a regular self-care routines. These are vital to parenting yourself into a truly authentic person.

If you'd like to work with me, just pop me message 👇

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