Parents play a very important role in a child’s life. They are the source of wisdom and examples during the formative years of the children. Parents are expected to take good care of their children until they grow old, but sometimes fate intervenes and death occurs in the family. Parent’s death triggers a child to feel being left alone. Thus, they struggle for acceptance and deny the fact that they can no longer be with their parents.
The study aimed to determine and discover the effects of parental death in terms of emotional, physiological, social and physical and how these children cope up with it.
Under the case analysis, quantitative data was gathered through the questionnaire. Another kind of data used in this study is qualitative data which was gathered through the case study, participant observation method and the interview technique. These data gathered led the researcher to make a conclusion regarding the study which will then result to a proposed program as an output of the study.
Based on the data gathered, the researcher has come up with the following:
1. Parental loss:
(1.1) The first respondent got indirect information because what happen to her father was not revealed to her right then.
(1.2) The second respondent got informed directly about the death of his mother.
2. Effects of parental loss:
(2.1) Emotional: The respondents experienced intense grief and sadness, anger, blaming, denial, depression, anxiety, rebellion, and guilt.
(2.2) Physiological: The respondent had preoccupation of thoughts about the death of the significant people in their life.
(2.3) Social: One of the subjects has a strange relationship with her mother, she blames her mother. She became less active in school and experienced withdrawal from her peers. She was attention-seeking and her academic performance declined. The second respondent also experienced social withdrawal and that the death of his mother led him to become more mature thus, he can no longer relate to his classmates.
(2.4) Physical: The respondent’s physical reaction included inability to sleep, loss of appetite, stomach upset, and fatigue.
3. Coping or defense mechanism:
(3.1) Denial: It was found out that the respondents in this study chose denial as their coping mechanism for the loss of a love one.
(3.2) Acceptance: The respondents in the study went through a lot of struggles as they experienced the loss but later on accepted the reality that they have to move on and let go of the memories of the deceased person.
A Step of Moving On – The proposed program is composed of three modules namely Let’s Talk Awhile, Role-playing, and Spend Time with Me. The program is designed to meet the needs of the children and for the immediate family to accept reality and be able to move on with their life.
After a thorough investigation and assessment, the researcher concludes the following:
When a child experiences a sudden death of a parent, the child undergoes stages of grief and coping. This includes shock, the stage where children have a hard time dealing with the fact that their parents have died.
Children show signs of physical, emotional, physiological, and social disturbances which include inability to sleep, anxieties, social withdrawal, and preoccupation of thoughts about the death of his or her parents.
The last stage is gradual reawakening where children gradually readjust their lives and learn to live and enjoy most aspects of life without the deceased parent. The respondents in this study have not yet reached this stage.
Based on the findings and conclusions made, the researcher advances the following recommendations:
- The researcher highly recommends the implementation of the proposed Recovery Program which could help them cope up with their situations and for them to understand and realize the real essence of life and the great role of death in the life cycle in maintaining the balance of mankind.
- That the child should learn how to be open to other family members in order to avoid gap.
- A great deal of support must be given to the affected child by his immediate family in order to handle the loss easily.
- The guidance counselor should monitor children who are experiencing parental death in order to help them develop a positive view in life in order to move on.
- That the public, who also once experienced death of parents, offer their full support and help the immediate family of the child.