When a Son Loses His Father: Coping with Grief

Experiencing the loss of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time, but when a son loses his father, it can be particularly challenging. This relationship often represents a foundational aspect of who someone is, and the grief that comes with this loss can be overwhelming. Coping with this loss may be a long process, but it is important to take care of oneself and find ways to move forward while keeping the memories and love for the father alive.

Grief and Its Stages

Grief is a natural response to loss, and the stages of grief are often experienced differently by individuals, but usually involve shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages may come in waves and can be experienced for varying lengths of time. Coping with the loss of a father is a gradual process, and there are ways to help manage this experience.

Shock and Denial

The initial shock and denial stage is where the individual is in a state of disbelief and shock. This stage can be a defense mechanism and allows space from the full weight of reality. Individuals may feel numb and unable to fully process or accept the reality of the loss.

Anger and Bargaining

The anger and bargaining stage can entail feelings of frustration and helplessness in the face of the loss, which may have the individual searching for external or internal reasons for the event. It is common to feel anger towards oneself, others, or the situation. Individuals may also enter into a bargaining phase, attempting to turn back or change the situation that has led to the loss.


The depression phase may eventually settle in, where the reality and impact of the loss become fully realized. This stage can be overwhelming and involves feelings of sadness and despair.


The final stage of grief is acceptance where the individual comes to terms with the reality of the situation and begins to shift their focus towards the future. Accepting that the father is no longer with them can take time and patience, as it is difficult to let go of such a loved and important person in their lives.

How to Cope? Taking Care of Oneself

Coping with the loss of a father is a long process, but it is important to take care of oneself. This can be done through a variety of means, including:

  • Taking time for oneself and not forcing progress
  • Reaching out for support, be it from friends or professionals
  • Engaging with positive aspects of life and community, through activities or relationships
  • Expressing emotions, whether it be through talking or creative means such as journaling or art
  • Creating and preserving memories of the father, to hold on to their legacy and keep their presence alive
  • Embracing cultural or spiritual rituals that bring comfort or understanding

Support and Resources

Having support and resources during this difficult time is important. Resources can include:

  • Mental health professionals, such as therapists or counselors, who can offer guidance and support through the process of grief and loss
  • Grief support groups, which can connect individuals with others who have gone through similar experiences and offer a community of support
  • Religious or spiritual communities, offering support and understanding for individuals in the context of their spiritual beliefs
  • Online resources, such as forums or websites that can provide information and a sense of community in the face of grief


The loss of a father is a deeply painful experience, but it is possible to move forward while holding on to the memories and love for this important individual. Coping with this loss can involve different stages of grief, which may take varying amounts of time to experience. It is important to take care of oneself through the process, reach out for support and resources, and engage with positive aspects of life in order to move forward while keeping the father’s presence alive.


  • How long does it take to cope with the loss of a father?

    • There is no set time or timeframe for grieving, everyone experiences it differently and it isn’t something that can be rushed. The process of grief tends to occur in stages, and these stages sometimes come in waves. It’s important to take care of yourself and let the healing process happen naturally.
  • What is the best way to support a son who has lost his father?

    • Providing a listening ear and empathetic support can help ease the burden of grief. It is also important to respect the son’s unique grieving process and give them space as needed. Suggesting or providing resources for grief support may also be helpful.
  • Is it normal to feel numb and disconnected from reality after losing a father?

    • Yes, it is normal to feel numb and disconnected from reality after experiencing the loss of a father. This can often be a defense mechanism, and it is important to allow oneself to move through the grieving process at one’s own pace and in a way that feels comfortable. Seeking professional support or engaging with grief resources can be helpful during this time.
  • How can one keep their father’s memory alive?

    • One can keep their father’s memory alive by engaging with their interests or hobbies, or any personal favours that were shared; creating a memorial or tribute, such as a scrapbook or photo album; finding ways to honour their memory or legacy through charitable donations, volunteering or establishing a scholarship in their name.
  • Does everyone experience the same stages of grief?

    • No, the stages of grief can vary among individuals and some people may not experience all of them. It is important to respect each person’s unique grieving process and allow them to feel and experience their own emotions and reactions.


HelpGuide. (2021). Coping with Grief and Loss.

Mayo Clinic. (2021). Grief: Coping with reminders after a loss.

Grief.Com. (2021). Helping a grieving friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *