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Diaz: Dealing with Sudden Loss of a Parent

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In the wake of Cameron Diaz's father's unexpected death, a social worker offers tips on how to cope.


Yesterday, TMZ reported that Cameron Diaz's dad, just 58, died from complications of pneumonia. When a young and seemingly healthy parent dies suddenly, a child's world is turned upside down in an instant.

Mom•Logic spoke with clinical social worker Devra Renner, MSW, for tips on coping with the sudden death of a loved one.

1. Remember: There's no right or wrong way to grieve. Grief is unique to every person, and that means every person grieves differently. Some people cry, some people get angry, some people shut down. Just let yourself have your feelings without trying to stifle them.

2. Tune out the stupid things people say. When someone dies suddenly, people often say things that unintentionally hurt instead of help. Prepare yourself for hearing things like, "He's in a better place," or "He's more comfortable now," or "At least he had a full life." (That may be true--but it doesn't take away the pain that he's gone.) Try your hardest to focus on the sentiments that comfort rather than irritate you.

3. Take care of yourself. After losing a loved one, it's very easy to neglect yourself. You need to make sure you're eating, drinking and resting enough during the grieving process. (And, if you're crying a lot, it's very easy to get dehydrated.) If you are too distraught to even think about things like that right now, ask someone close to you to bring you food or periodically check in.

The death of a parent is devastating. Our thoughts go out to Cameron during this difficult time.

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Agatha April 16, 2008, 3:15 PM

You’re in our thoughts, Cameron!

ang April 18, 2008, 7:04 PM

so sorry to all the family i lost my dad 4 weeks ago to pneumonia he was being treated for TB when it wasnt my dad was also 58 so young its heart breaking love to all the diaz family x

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