Losing a parent at such a young age, would have sent me into a tail spin, since I was unusually close with both, but also way too attached to them. I suppose it would depend on the child. Whatever the case might be, even if the parent, were abusive, unloving etc, it would have to impact the cild, and be very traumatizing. However, I think it might make them more independant than most, if his/her age. Again, it would entirely depend on the situation, support system, and where the child was then going to live, with who, etc. I will tell you that as an adult, close to middle age, I lost both of my parents, coincidentally with in 4 months of each other. (they had been amicably divorced for many, many years, living 3000 miles apart, before you start thinking beautiful romance) And helplessly watched one of them suffer terribly just before. Gut wrenching as it all was, I have come out of it with a far greater sensativety, as well, now I allow myself to truely feel. Something that I had never done. Also a lot of other things. So if we continue to go on, & want to live, we will grow, each in their own individual way, but there will always be growth.