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Parents dying, how do you cope?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by princessdiaries, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Sorry for such a miserable topic but I am thinking about this a lot at the moment.
    I understand that the natural order of things is that parents will die first (we hope anyway), I lost my mum in my teens and seemed to get over it quite quickly because she'd been very ill and I wanted things to get back to normal so pushed myself towards that because I thought that would make things okay, I don't think I ever really 'grieved' in the usual sense of the word. I'm OK now, mostly, it was a long time ago after all.
    But what I do feel in some ways is cheated, I wasn't even 18 when she died and she missed all the landmarks of birthdays, weddings, babies, uni, jobs, and sometimes I do just feel so alone with it all.
    Is this normal, and will it just be something that's forever there or does there come a point where it's 'normal' to have lost one or both parents so it's not something that saddens you? My dad is ill, and I lost all four grandparents before my mum died so it's not like I have a big extended family, I can see myself being th eonly one left and it scares me.
  2. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I've still got both my parents, but my Dad is in a nursing home with advanced Alzheimer's and doesn't recognise me.
    However, I doubt it ever feels 'normal' to lose one or both parents, but I guess it's something you accept more easily should your parents die at a ripe old age rather than prematurely. I think losing a parent(s) will always cause sadness, but hopefully there will also be many happy memories.
    I can, however, fully understand why you feels sadness at special times, such as weddings and especially the birth of a child when you yourself have lost your Mum [​IMG]
  3. Thanks, Belle [​IMG] x
  4. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    My dad went when he was 54 and I was 23. I am now 55, it makes you think. My mother will be 83 this year, enjoys bad health, and will probably outlive all of us.
  5. Its amazing this post is here today. I have been feeling so sad today thinking of my mum and dad. I lost them both within 6 months of each other. Dad was 54 and Mum 52 - I was 24.
    I still miss them terribly. They never saw either of my children and I needed them so much when I was going through problems with my eldest son recently. I knew that if my Dad had been around he would have known what to do - would have given me some wise advice..which I desperately needed it.
    I don't know that I have ever really come to terms with losing them.

  6. I really feel for all of you who have lost parents, particularly at a young age. OP, it must have been terrible for you and I can't imagine the hole that you must feel has always been there since.
    I'm 34 and my parents are 60 and 67. Last year my Dad had two strokes so it brought home to me that they aren't around forever. Luckily he is doing well now but I count my blessings. As I'm single too, my parents are my world and I love them so much I just can't imagine life without either of them. I realise I am so lucky to have them both and that they are supportive. My heart goes out to those who have lost as it just isn't fair.
    OP, perhaps some of your low mood and problems with depression could be related to unexpressed grief perhaps? Hard to know for sure of course. It was brave to post about it though, sorry to not have much advice xxx
  7. desperately needed...sorry - didn't use edit button!

  8. My beloved Dad died when I was still at school. I idolised him. I was a really 'Daddy's girl' and his passing felt like the I'd been cut adrift from my life as well as losing a parent. He'd been ill for a few years before and though the signs and signals were there, as a teenager some of the subleties can seem very remote. Mum found it difficult after he died and though my relationship with her had its challenges she was a brilliant mother. She died when I was in my mid-30s, having been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease, which was contributary though not the direct cause.
    Losing, or the thought of losing a parent is heartbreaking and affects us more than those who have not experienced such a loss realise.
  9. Is the reason you're giving this so much thought at the moment because you're generally hacked off about so many other things, and now your father's ill? Yes it is hard to lose a parent at a young age but you weren't actually a child. It's hard to lose a parent at any age.
    I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but it sounds like one more example of how something that happens to most people has been turned into something that a spiteful fate has manipulated just for you.
  10. ...too late for the edit...
    Special times and painful times will have even more poignancy as they are not there to seek comfort or advice from. We learn to cope, adjust, but the landscape of life will be permanently changed.
  11. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Hmmm......my Dad 'died' to me when he was diagnosed with Alzheimers. When he finally passes away it will be a relief. We were never particularly close. I love him becasue he's my Dad, but I don't really like him. I hope that makes sense. I shall feel a loss when he goes.
    When my Mum goes I will be heartbroken. She is 80 this year and pretty fit but I can see age taking its toll on her. I dread the day she becomes ill and I may face losing her.
    I am sure I fully realise how I will feel when my Mum goes and that it will be even worse than I think it will be (if that makes sense?). I'm not sure how I'll feel when my Dad goes but it won't be nearly as painful.
  12. *subtleties
  13. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I lost my Dad when I was a child - it really brought it home when I got married that he wasn't there and that I would never know if he approved of my husband or not. He never got to see me graduate university and he will never see his grandchild.
    My Mum is still very much alive but she is older (I was born very late in life to both of my parents) and I'm very aware that she may not be around for all that much longer as she's been in quite poor health recently. Her first grandchild will be born in November and I just pray that she will be here to see them.
  14. Yes, it does make sense and will reflect the reality for many I am sure.
  15. Maisied, your post made me well up; it must have been awful for you. I'm quite a Daddy's girl too and that must have been heartbreaking for you. ((Maisied)) and everyone xx
  16. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I always longed to be a Daddy's girl......but it never happened [​IMG]
  17. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    Mine is on the same way out, I think I am grieving bit by bit. When it happens I am not really expecting to be upset by his death. We shall see.
  18. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Yes Lurk. With Alzheimers the person dies long before the body gives up the fight. It is a cruel and prolonged death......cruelest of all to those left living.
  19. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    It is eating my mother's life.

  20. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I know. It almost destroyed my Mum when she was Dad's carer, and now she is just wracked with guilt for putting him in a home, even though she could no longer cope. So cruel. So unfair.

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