Blending After the Death of a Parent
Blended families evolve from loss; either the death of a parent or a parent’s divorce/separation.
When a parent re partners their excitement in finding someone new, can take the focus off the loss they have gone through. The new relationship provides a fresh opportunity to experience happiness once again in the context of a family environment albeit this time, a blended family.
Children on the other hand, seldom experience the same level of anticipation and excitement, in fact sometimes the complete opposite! While their parent is going though the 'honeymoon' stage of a new relationship where sparks fly and thoughts of their new loved one are filled with hope and delight, a child may still be deeply missing and grieving the deceased parent.
Here the focus is on those who have re-partnered with children after the death of a spouse/partner. The following tips are for those with children/stepchildren whose parent has died:
Talk openly about the death; it helps children understand that grief is natural
Accept and respect their feelings and allow them to express emotion
Encourage them to ask questions; do not worry about having all the answers but focus on letting them know that you care. Questions help children understand and adjust.
Give them permission to grieve over time; loss is something we journey and learn to live with rather than 'get over'.
Check out my blog by clicking below to contribute your experience or learn from the experiences of other parents whose husband/wife or partner has died.