The death of a parent can be one of the most devastating of losses, no matter what your age. Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley talk with Dr. Cori Bussolari and Antonio Sausys about this unique loss and how to heal the mind, body and spirit. Dr. Bussolari specializes in grief and loss, especially when it comes to losing your parents. Sausys is a yoga instructor who discovered how physical symptoms pop up during grief, and how yoga/meditation can be a great tool to heal. Dr. Heidi Horsley has known Dr. Bussolari for several years, meeting her during the first day of Dr. Horsley’s doctoral program.
Dr. Bussolari was introduced to parental loss at a young age. Her father was diagnosed with heart disease when she was very young, and he died when she was just 14. Her mother died four years later of cancer, although Dr. Bussolari feels her mother really died of a broken heart. Orphaned as a teenager, Dr. Bussolari was naturally drawn to the grief field when she was in college. She’s spent her entire life studying grief and helping others through the process.
The Importance of Self-Care
As a teen who loses a parent, “Everyone’s telling you what to do,” says Dr. Bussolari. However, all you really want to do is whatever makes you feel better. As a teen or child, this can mean dangerous or self-destructive habits. For Sausys, he found his own strength in yoga. When he lost his mother, who he was very close to, Sausys found out just how strongly physical symptoms can emerge during grief. He was surprised by how little he was feeling after this loss, although the pain would come in the morning. He would “switch it off” which ended up backfiring.