When a narcissistic parent dies, many who write about this topic assume all victims have the same experience when their narcissistic parent dies. This is incredibly WRONG!
Many who lose a narcissistic parent are relieved that their parent is gone. They are finally free from the abuse, & the joy over that overrides any other emotion.
Others who lose a narcissistic parent are devastated. Their parent’s death symbolizes the loss of all hope for things to be better. Even if they accepted there was no hope for the relationship, death finalizes that. It squashes any potential, no matter how small, for things to be better. That can be devastating.
Still others experience numbness when their narcissistic parent dies. They have grieved for their parent so much while he or she was alive that when that parent dies, they have nothing left to give emotionally.
Having lost both of my narcissistic parents as well as spoken to many others who lost theirs, I have learned something valuable that I believe can help anyone in this position.
Anything is normal after a narcissistic parent dies.
Whether you miss your parent or not. Whether you are overwhelmed or not. Even if you go totally numb to the loss. It’s all normal! There’s no one size fits all way for people to grieve such a death. Everyone processes this situation differently. In fact, even if you have two narcissistic parents, you may grieve them both differently. I did. When my father died in October, 2017, I barely shed a tear for him even to this day. I had grieved a lot for him while he was still alive, so I really had very little left to feel when he died.
Almost exactly eighteen months later in April, 2019, my mother died. Her death devastated me. It truly shook me to my core. I was in shock for quite some time after her passing. When the shock began to wear off, I experienced the gamut of emotions. There was a lot of anger, sadness, confusion & relief.
And you know something? Even though I experienced vastly different emotions after each parent died, what I experienced was normal!
The relationship a person has with each of their parents is unique. Even if both parents are narcissists, they are still unique individuals which means the relationship with each parent is also unique.
Not to mention, in most cases when two narcissists marry, one is an overt narcissist while the other is covert. That simple fact alone changes the dynamic of any relationship due to how each type of narcissist treats their victim.
If you have lost a narcissistic parent or even two narcissistic parents, chances are you will feel like you’re going crazy. You aren’t! Whatever you feel is normal. Yes, it feels otherwise but the situation is abnormal. You can’t expect to feel normal in an abnormal situation. Accept your feelings without judgment, & process them however works best for you. Journal, cry, write angry letters, talk to a non-judgmental friend or therapist.
If someone you know has lost a narcissistic parent or two, don’t make any assumptions. Even if you have been in a similar situation, your friend may not feel as you do.
Also, don’t assume someone misses their parents or hates their parent. Remember, everyone is different. Make no assumptions. Just listen to your friend without judgment & with an open mind. Make sure this person knows you are there, you love them, you won’t criticize whatever they are feeling & you are willing to help them if at all possible.
Whether you are in the position of having lost a narcissistic parent or are supporting someone who has, the best thing you can do is to pray. Let God guide you in how to cope or how to help. You need this from Him & He will be glad to help!