Life without parents- How to cope?

Some Thoughts

As I think about the topic of "life without parents - how to cope", it is soberingly clear that there is not a simple "how-to" formula.

Factors that make a difference are the age of the person who is without parents, the reason that person is without parents, whether the person is still grieving the death of one or both parents, and the kind of relationship the person had, if any, with parents at one time.

When someone has had a great relationship and good parents losing them presents its own type of loss. On the other hand, people who have never had parents in their life have a different sense of loss.

My father died when I was 21 years old. That was an absolute shock that felt like a giant kick in the head. I was very aware that he would never get to know me as an adult and never get to see my children. Although, of course, we always move on after loss, I always felt short-changed to have lost him so young. (I was more than aware that many other people lost parents a lot younger than I was when he died, but that didn't alter my feeling short-changed.)

I had my mother until I was about 40. On the one hand, I was a little more prepared to lose her. On the other, getting used to not having her in my life may have been more difficult. After all, I had a much longer time with her in my life.

Even though I was good and mature when my mother passed away, since then I have had - somewhere in the back of my mind - the running thought that I no longer have either parent. As people do, I have gone on with my life. Still, I have to say that - on the whole - there is just a hint of sadness now that wasn't there before both of my parents died, and back when the world didn't seem a little bit broken.

While I guess I'm used to it at this point, I have to say that the way I coped after first losing each of my parents was to try not to think about them.

What about someone younger than I was? How are they to cope without parents? Over the course of my adult life I've had occasion to know several young people who faced the world without having their parents in their lives.

Some, more than others, felt enough of need for a mother figure or a father figure that they would seek out a caring adult, who could then offer some of the things a good parent offers. Surprisingly larger numbers of young people find themselves without parents in their lives for some reason. The world is full of people who have, however, found those "fill-in" adults they come to think of as parents. Sometimes an aunt or a grandparent will step in and act as parents.

Children and young teens, of course, really need someone who loves them enough to watch out for them. Older teens benefit from having a parent or two they're close to, and who offers support and guidance. Again, sometimes an aunt or grandparent can try to act as a parent. Sometimes young children are placed in foster homes in the hopes of offering them fill-in parents who will be good parents. Of course, not all foster parents are wonderful parents (many are), but children need to let their social workers know when something isn't right.

The truth is, whether we're four, fourteen, or over forty, it doesn't feel good not to have loving parents in our lives. For someone over forty, of course, there is not the issue of needing to mature. People who are grown up can live without parents. As I learned through the loss of my parents, losing a parent when one is mature feels a lot less short-changed than losing one when one is still just twenty-one. I also learned (as many other people must learn as well), that someone in his late teens or early twenties really can live without a parent. It isn't ideal, but people this age have their whole lives ahead of them, and they're just beginning to build those lives. Focusing on the building one's own life, and keeping in mind that the world is full of people who don't have ideal family situations, may be the best way for people this age to cope.

Young teens may find not having parents particularly difficult, because life for young teens is full of upheaval anyway. There's a whole lot about life at this age with which young people can be dissatisfied (or downright miserable), and not at least feeling grounded enough by having parents can be particularly difficult. People of this age really do need to have some caring adult (or several in the family) to try to "be there" for them. People this age who feel they have no "fill-in" parent should really talk to a school counselor about the situation. Sometimes there are ways to remedy the situation. At other times, a counselor may at least be able to offer support and tips for coping with a difficult situation. As with older teens and young adults, teens this age may find it helps to focus on what they want to do with their own lives, and to work toward achieving their own goals.

Since children younger than early teens are not likely to reading Hubpages I will not address the special needs of children this young.

With any negative situation in life it can help to keep in mind that most lives are not perfect. Some young people have their parents, but one or both of them is abusive or a substance abuser. People who do have very close relationships with parents can suffer more grief when they lose them. People who are young when they must face life without parents usually grow up a little faster in some ways. At the same time, people without parents may feel they have "been chosen" for unfair treatment. Trying to put the situation into perspective, and saying, "I will not let this take more from me than it already has" can help.

It is always important to focus on what you have, rather than what you don't have - and may never have. If you're young you have your whole future ahead of you. There are no words to express the vast possibilities that exist for each and every young person, provided that young person wants to find them. If you had good parents once but lost them keep in mind how fortunate you are to have had them once, and remember that you brought them joy. If you have never had parents in your life keep in mind that - whether it is ideal or not - each and every one of us is an individual and can live without parents if necessary.

If the situation of not having parents is fairly recent, tell yourself not to think about it for now. You can "process" it all later, when the loss is not so new. For now, get through the days by finding positive things to think about and by being with people who can make you laugh. (If you can't be around people who will make you laugh at least watch plenty of sitcoms that will make you laugh. Laughter helps nurture the soul, and it's far more important than many people realize.)

Speaking of nurturing the soul: Find things that are beautiful in life. This may sound shallow, but making sure you have beauty in your life nurtures the soul. That can be beautiful music, creating art, decorating a room, or enjoying a great Spring morning. The smaller pleasures in life can add up and help nurture the soul enough so that coping feels a little easier.

The thing about wondering how we will cope is this: There are times in life when we can't imagine how we will cope, or how we will get through a certain period of time; and somehow we just do. That's the thing about us, people. We're stronger than we tend to think we are.

Maybe, too, it can help to keep in mind that even people who have their parents in their life will one day, most likely, face life without them. I know there's a big difference between not having parents at forty or sixty and not having them at eight or seventeen. Still, the reality is that from the day we are born our journey is ours, alone. It isn't easy or nice to be without parents for the earlier part of that journey; but those of us who had our good parents when we were young can tell you that the job of parents is to help their children be independent enough to make the journey alone.

Finally, I don't know if anything I've said is of any help, or whether this will be, but keep in mind that none of us have been plucked from a cabbage patch. We all have parents. We are all the same in the way. Whether or not we have had good parents, or whether we have had our parents for a long enough time, are all a matter of individual situations.

Those times when a person is feeling as if other people have what s/he does not have, maybe it can help to keep in mind that not having parents in one's life does not mean not having any parents. Our parents' story - happy or tragic - is part of our story. It may not be possible to have our parents in our lives, but that doesn't mean that our parents' genes, story, and legacy are not ours. Maybe remembering this can help too.

Comments 80 comments

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 3 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Brett, thank you sharing that point about "the front line". I'm sorry to read that you not only have lost those close family members, but that each loss was of the kind that can require developing a kind of coping skills and "dealing" that some other "less complicated" losses sometimes do. I know people go through the grief/loss process differently, but I found, with losing my mother (who died after my father), that although it took longer than I would have thought for me to get back to "feeling completely like me and 'regular'", even that sense of "front lines" did go away after enough time had passed. Eventually, I did get to feel like I was back on "my regular footing" and not thinking in terms of who/what was missing from my future or past. It was a gradual thing that went on, and it wasn't as noticeable as seeing some of the other "elements" of grief drop into the background; but eventually that "front lines" thing did fade away. Four years isn't very long when it comes to losing a mother who has been in our lives through a good part of adulthood and/or as a result of something that can bring its own set of complicating factors/challenges in terms of dealing with the loss. Five years can be a transition point for people who have gone through devastating loss, as far as feeling that much more "like one's 'pre-loss' , completely 'regular', self" goes. I noticed a "big jump" for me after five years; and even though by then I thought I'd really come a long way, I noticed yet a more dramatic difference/jump once eight years had passed. Of course, it's all really a day-by-day/year-by-year thing and very gradual; but just when think we've come as far along in getting over it as we're likely to ever be, we can discover that time really does continue to heal.

Brett Winn profile image

Brett Winn 3 years ago from US

There really is something about losing both of your parents that makes you aware that YOU are now on the "front line". My Papa committed suicide when I was 18. My mother died four years ago of cancer, when I was 50. I also lost a brother when I was 22 ... he died in a house fire. I still miss them all and hope so much to see them again one day in heaven!

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 4 years ago from Massachusetts Author

mistersun, I'd agree that children need their mother. I think most mothers (and fathers too) would make sure their child had what he or she needed first. That's one reason it's so difficult for a child who is without a parent to watch out for his or her needs as parents do.

mistersun profile image

mistersun 4 years ago from Jedda

I think all children need parent, especially mother. But, I found some of mothers who are not able to behave herself be a good mother. I don't know why?

But, I have a story about a good mother.

One day I came to a village, about 15 km from my village. I came to someone's house. When I was sitting in her dining room, I heard an old woman said to another in front: "I saw some good fishes in market yesterday. Those looked so delicious. Really, I wanted to buy them, but I remember my daughter who are studying in Islamic boarding school. I can't give her money everyday to buy what she want, may be she has only a little money now. I think is better to give my money to her, than I buy delicious food."

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Jennifer, I'm sorry to read that your family has been so much, and appreciate your sharing this "angle" to the life-without-parents matter. Without knowing your family, and only being a stranger making guesses, I'm guessing there's the chance that the horror (for your mother, your sister's kids, you, others in the family) of losing your sister and her husband may have just been one of those awful events that takes an awful toll on everyone involved.

Some things that happen are so awful, it's very hard for families to "stay whole". I can't imagine the kind of grief and horror your sister's children experienced when they lost both of the parents, and I can't imagine the grief and horror your mother must have gone through to lose her daughter, her son-in-law, and the parents of her grandchildren.

Sometimes when things are just too much, everyone is having such a hard time dealing with it (and the grief can take years and years to even process, and even then people don't get over that kind of loss), they don't have much "emotional energy" left for anyone/anything but trying to get through each hour or day. You've gone through the horror and loss too, so I don't imagine you have much emotional energy left either, when it comes to the whole situation you described.

Sometimes a horrible thing like the loss of your sister and her husband will end up leading to all kinds of other big, serious, family problems. I don't know you, your mother, or the children who had such problems; but I'd hope that, in time, all of you will be able to look back, see what a huge, overwhelming, situation you were all dealing with (the loss AND the troubles that followed), and maybe decide to try to put it in the past and try to start to be a family again (even if everyone can't be as close as would be ideal).

I know what it's like to have someone give one's mother a hard time. My own mother had adopted a hard-to-place child who grew up to be a real problem (and that was when my mother was bedridden and dying). This young woman (the hard-to-place child who had grown up) had gotten off to an awful start in the first couple of years of her life, though; and I've just had to realize that she'd been so hurt and damaged as a little girl, she just didn't have the same kind of chance the rest of us (with good, loving, mothers from the start) have, when it came to growing up to be caring and empathetic. I don't stay in contact with the young woman, but I've had to come to keep in mind that she was a victim herself when she was little (as your sister's kids were when they lost their parents), and I do hope (wherever she is) that life in her grown-up life was kinder than it had been when she was a little, traumatized, girl.

Sincerest condolences on the loss of your sister and brother-in-law. It's an unspeakable loss for you all. I don't mean to minimize it with the following remark, but it's almost no wonder things turned disastrous - so many people, so much loss, everyone needing to work it all out...

jennifer 5 years ago

hey i have a sister and brother in law who died in a car accident march 2,2002 they left behind three kids 3,5,and 7 yrs old the 3 and 5 yr old was in the car but they survived so my mom took them in and she adopted them too but she really had a hard time raising these kids they was so out of control that she ended up losing them to social services because she couldn't do nothing more for them but now she only visit them through social worker supervised visit them kids have really drove my mom crazy i tried to help her but they would not listen to me they cuss me and i just couldn't have that around my 4 boys so i gave up trying to help my mom with them and my brother didn't want to help and he has no kids he just too stupid to help anybody but i will not never forgive these kids how they treated my mom because she would do anything for them but they just didn't care all they wanted to do was cause trouble so i'm glad that they ain't around my mom anything because i don't want lose my mom she my best friend and i never known my dad because he never came around i was raise by my mom and grandmother and i lost my grandmother at 15 and she was the greatest person i ever known i miss her sooo much i never mistreated her like my neice and nephew did to my mom i think they should be ashamed of how they treated her because the only reasons she took them in was to keep them together because they was gonna to separted them kids and she said no let me have them but she did have a boyfriend who help her with them but he died in 2008 of throat cancer and that just put alot of stress on my mom and she couldn't grieve for him when those kids was running all over her i felt so sorry for her but she did the best she could do for them kids and now they are separted in a foster home i hope someday they will get paid back for the pain they have cause my mom.

NJW 5 years ago

Hey Alex and Nilesh,

My story is also similar to yours, except I'm a little younger (17). My parents both died this year from completely unrelated causes. My mom passed away from lymphoma, but about three hours before she died my dad had a heart attack and I never talked to him again. I'm living with my Aunt and two younger brothers now in the same house that we used to share with our parents.

The loss of my dad was especially hard for me. I had known that my mom was going to die for several months, so while it was sad I felt like I was prepared. My dad's death came so suddenly and out of the blue that I had no way to stay grounded. Every day when I woke up I thought that the whole thing was a dream - it never was.

I used to feel like I was one of the luckiest people in the world. My life was pretty much perfect, I had good grades, an incredible family, great friends and everything that I tried worked out. Since my parents deaths it has been really difficult to find people to talk to openly. I tried talking to counselors, but I could never fully open up to them. The one thing I feel that I have learned is that life can always get worse, and that we might as well appreciate what we have while we have it.

It was beautiful reading all of these stories. It was the first time that I realized I'm not the only unluckiest person in the world. Thank You.

Alex 5 years ago

Hi Nilesh,

Your story is almost exactly like mine. 4 years ago I lost both parents within the space of 4 months. My mother died from a brain haemorhage at the age of 61 on New Year's Day, I had been out for a New Year's party at a friend's house and I feel guilty to this day that I was not with her at the time.

My father couldn't handle her passing, I could only handle it because he was still there and after 3 months I started feeling more normal. My father had been undergoing hospital treatment for cancer but had been given the all clear. Just after his last treatment, he fell unwell and was rushed to hospital. He had caught an infection whilst in the hospital and although he was strong and tried to fight it, after 3 weeks he passed away also.

I was 30, my brothers 28 and 26 (they were both still at university). We have no other family in the UK and we had to organise 2 funerals in a short space of time. I dealt with it by just pretending everything was normal, went back to my work, carried on as if nothing had happened. Then 3 years down the line I had a big breakdown and am only really getting to sort out everything now.

I also feel like the unluckiest person in the world, my situation made worse by a bad financial situation due to taxes owing on the estate and legal issues due to my parents not having a will. I really did not need any of this to have to deal with, I had only just got married, had a young baby and life was supposed to be getting better and happier.

However I will pull through this, have overcome the feelings of suicide and now try and look positively at every day.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Nilesh, I'm sorry to see that you lost your parents so recently. It really IS very recent, and I know there's nothing I can say that would at all help you feel even a little better right now. What anyone who has lost his parents will tell you (and this is true) is that it does take a long time to even start to feel a little better, and even when you do you always miss them (sometimes, more than other times). What's true, though (and what may be hard to believe right now), is that you will - little by little - start to feel a little more and more used to the loss. You'll actually one day discover the you're pretty much OK. No doubt about it, it takes a long time; and you don't see a lot of progress in the first couple of years.

Most parents would tell you they want their sons or daughters to find happiness in this world because they had the love their parents had to share. Parents don't want their sons or daughters living in too much grief for too long over the fact that they (the parents) could not have lived here (in this life) with their children longer.

Everyone handles grief differently, and I know there are people who would think my way of handling the loss of my parents wasn't "the best"; but I found the only thing that helped at all was just not to let myself think about them too soon after they'd passed away. I told myself, "I'll think about him/her another time, when I more able to deal with it. S/he would tell me to do what I need to do to get through this." And so, if I got in one of those "moods" when I'd start thinking about one of them I'll tell myself, "Don't do this right now. You can think about, and process, all this stuff later, when it's a little easier to deal with."

In the months/years that followed, I'd let myself think about one "issue" or another for a little while, until I got myself so upset it felt like I couldn't stand it. Then, I'd tell myself to stop. I had processed enough for the moment.

For me, the shock, grief, horror, and sadness of the loss of someone as close to us as a parent was just way too much to process all at once. It just worked for me to let some of the stuff that comes with recent loss (within a year or even two) die down some before I began trying to "mentally process" whatever issues there were that I needed to think out. Once the newness of the loss had worn off some it was far easier to think about things, make some peace with some things, and "manage" the loss and grief more easily.

Everyone in the world who has lost a beloved parent (or someone else very close) knows exactly how you feel, and knows exactly how we all go through our days as if we're fine - only to have those private moment of "awfulness" and sadness.

You have the disadvantage of any issues associated with not being nearby where your home was; so I don't imagine that helps. If you find it all gets to feel "too much" for you, maybe there's a counselor who works with people who are going through "long-distance" grief in a country other than their own? Maybe talking to someone familiar with both the issues of grief and also any issues associated with being in a country other than your own (and being separated from people like siblings) might help a little bit.

It may be hard for you to believe this right now, but you won't have this kind of pain in your life forever. You won't notice it happening, but each passing day moves you just a little bit farther away from the days when the losses were new and fresh.

Sincerest best wishes and condolences.

Nilesh 5 years ago

I am one of the most unlucky person in the world. In Jan 2010 I came to USA (to study) at the age of 26. I had complete family:me, my brother (24 yrs), sisters and parents. Within a year (Jan 2011) I lost both of my parents. My mother died in March 2010, just after two months I came to US. I couldn't go home to see her ( after her death). I felt like I lost my heart. My father was my idol. He lived the life of simplicity and honesty. In Dec 2010, I had video chat with him on SKYPE for two hours, he was so happy and after two days I heard that he was no more. I did go home this time but it was too late due to my flight cancellation. I couldn't see his face as well for the last time ( after his death). The moment when they said me goodbye at the bus-stop became "GOODBYE" for ever. That was the last time I saw them personally. A year ago I used to think I am the luckiest person in the world. I was inspired by my parents. I wanted to do something for them but they didn't give me that chance. I couldn't do anything for them. They were my source of motivations and passions in my life. All of my sisters are married. Me and my brother are unmarried. My brother lives in the capital city. So after their death, my house ( back there) is locked. Everyone thinks I am normal and doing good. Nobody knows that I cry every night for hours. I just want to talk to them ( parents)and want to say I love them so much. I tried to find a substitute for my parents which was obviously impossible. Being abroad, losing both of parents at the age of 27 and having no motivation to live, I don't know what to do...I can't write more....crying... crying ..pain for ever in my life.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Preston, first, I'm so sorry to read that you've lost your mother so recently, and such a young age (for both you and your mother). Second, thank you for sharing your own experience and advice with others here. Your comment (especially the first part of it) is a beautiful written tribute to the mother who seemed to work so hard to make sure you had what she thought you should have (and, of course, to make sure you knew she loved you).

It's still so, so, soon after your loss; I imagine you may not have even thought about this kind of things yet (and I don't want to be "yet one more person who says the same old thing"); but because you're still so young to have gone through this particular set of circumstances, I wonder if you may find that talking with a professional might be a good idea (even if you don't feel like you need that). Either way, I hope you have someone reliable and trustworthy and maybe a little older than you are who can "be there" to try be the right kind of emotional support for you over the time you're processing what has gone on. My remark about how young you are is not, at all, intended to sound condescending or to suggest that someone your age isn't mature in so many ways. It's just that it is, in fact, a young age. As I mentioned somewhere else on here, I have found, in my own life (and I was a very mature young person) that processing things as a middle-aged person has been a lot less complicated for me than processing the loss of, say, my father when I was 21.

With regard to your comment about it "being the most miserable thing imaginable", I can certainly imagine it must be. No. I can't imagine what you must be going through. That's the thing. No matter what any of us goes through, it's pretty hard to find anyone else who understands, exactly, what we are going through. That's why it's important (especially since it was someone as important to you as your mother was to you, and since you are as young as you are) that you have someone sensible and solid, and more experienced with all this stuff, to talk to.

I'll give you an example of why I think a counselor could possibly be helpful (especially if you tell them this is what you want from them): When I was 20 my girlfriend was killed in an accident we were in. I didn't think I needed any counseling. I was sure I was strong and sensible and had the right perspective. I got through it fine. I really did. A couple of decades later, though, when I had kids who were my friend's age, I started to see the loss of someone that age from a whole different perspective; and I had a kind of secondary grief set in for a few months. I thought, at the time, "I wish someone had told me I might run into this kind of thing all these years later." With that second run of secondary grief, I got through it and processed it too; but I was kind of taken aback by it when it first showed up. I was asking myself, "What's your problem? Why are you even thinking about any of this all these years later?" I'm not, in any way, comparing the death of a friend with the death of a mother. My main point is that if I could have that kind of thing show up decades later, I wouldn't be surprised if something similar could happen for you (when you're seeing life through the eyes of someone older). I'm just wondering if a counselor might be able to tell you what kind of things might crop up for you between now and any time in the future. If they don't volunteer that kind of information, ask. (if, of course, you were to talk to anyone)

I'm sure you don't need me to say your mother was battling a problem so many other people, and one that goes way beyond what she could have controlled. I don't know... Maybe there's some comfort in knowing that whatever she was using may have given her some relief from something else that plagued her. Maybe there's comfort in knowing she's at peace now. I imagine she'd hope you find comfort in knowing how much she loved you (you obviously know that); and if she was at all like me (and most mothers are alike in a lot of ways), she would want you to know that nothing else in life, no matter how difficult, can ever take away from the kind of "whole-ness" and happiness mothers have just because their children are in their lives.

A mother's life may be far from perfect, but it's probably hard for anyone who doesn't have kids (or grown kids) to know how little an imperfect life seems to matter to a mother when measured againt the fact that her children are in her life. I didn't know your troubled mother, but I'm guessing there's a really good chance you were the absolute light in one of those "otherwise imperfect" lives. I hope you can find comfort in thinking about the complete and utter joy that one's child brings to one's life, no matter how difficult one's life may be.

You can't imagine it now, but you'll feel different as time passes. I know what you mean about loving SO much. The price of that is that hurts so much to lose someone, but with time, we come around to feeling warmed by the fact that they were in our lives - rather than feeling so shocked and lost because they're not. Double-edged sword that such love can be, we're still so much better off for having had someone so special in our lives; rather than not.

Your mother was fighting a private battle with drugs, and the awful thing is that she was fighting a battle that can be nearly impossible for people to win. It was her battle, though; and it was separate from her relationship with you and love for you.

Feeling like you want to call someone is what just about everyone does so soon after losing them.

I hope you can find a few thoughts you find particularly comforting and keep thinking of them whenever you start thinking of the most upsetting stuff. Maybe, too, keep in mind that finding your own life and happiness is one of the best ways you could honor your mother's love for you.

I wish there were something more useful or helpful that I could say, but I know there aren't words that are going to make you feel any better right now.

Speaking only from a mother's viewpoint, I can tell you that even with my kids in their twenties and one just over thirty, the last thing I would ever want would be for any of them to "give me the life they think I deserve". I'm still wishing I could give them the kind of life I think they deserve. (They've had a fine enough life, that's for sure; but there's a whole lot more I wish I could just make sure they had - even now, even though they have their educations, etc.) I've always wanted my kids to know I love them, and I've wanted mutual respect between us; but one of the great things about how a mother loves her child is that she always wants to be the one who "provides the kind of life someone deserves". It seems to me that, one way or another, you've found yourself with things in life that your mother must have wanted for you. Whatever she didn't directly provide, she apparently gave you what you need to know how to provide it for yourself. She must have found some tremendous pride and peace in seeing what you've become, and in knowing you got that private-school education. One day you'll sort out all the thoughts, regrets, questions, and whatever else you go through in the short term; and you'll find you've made peace with it all. Again, condolences on losing such a young mother.

Preston 5 years ago

It was so unexpected and seems so unreal. She had been good for so long, and had been going to sober meetings for years. She died of a drug overdose, all alone in her apartment. The worst thing is that I went over there a couple hours before she passed... she hadn't answered my calls or texts in a day. I went over before work and she was sleeping. I know she was breathing, and she coughed. two hours later, I got a phone call that the ambulance was there and that she wasn't breathing.

It is by far the most miserable thing imaginable. I didn't know I could feel like this. If I didn't love life SO much, I wouldn't want to continue without her. I have so much going for me, and each and every day, the only thing I have wanted to do is call her and talk to her. and I cant.

Preston 5 years ago

My mom died on March 18th... just a couple weeks ago. two days before my 21st birthday. She was 47 years old. My father left us for nothing when I was about 7 years old. My mom was unemployed, didn't have a high school education, and unfortunately, both parents had drug problems.

Somehow, she overcame every single thing that ever happened and was the greatest person and mother anyone could ever ask for. Not that I had an easy life by any means, but my life is a lot better than anyone could have expected if they knew all the circumstances. She started her own cleaning business, where she would go to work for 8 hours, and make fifty dollars that she would turn around and spend on me.

In 21 years, she never ONCE bought herself new clothes, a new purse, or anything except food. NOT ONCE! instead, she would buy me an xbox game I wanted, or not fill her tank of gas so that I could go on a field trip.

even though we lived on horrible sides of town, and moved every couple months, she managed to get me into private schools and always put me first.

I graduated high school and am now an insurance agent for State Farm Insurance, in one of the biggest offices in the country. She meant so much for me and is the only reason I am successful whatsoever.

It breaks my heart that I couldn't give her the rest of the life that she deserved... She must have been miserable and I know she was stressed and worried each and every single day.

I dont know what to do anymore... I dont know where to go. I have plenty of people who are here for me and support me, but that does nothing for me. My entire life it was just my mom and I. I feel like I lost both parents on the same day since she was the only one I had.

Fortunately this loss is only emotional for me since I was already financially taken care of, and as tough as it is to say... it makes it easier that I dont have to help support her and help her not worry (although I did decide to take her dogs, she loved them as much as me.) I would give it all back in a heart beat. All she ever did was love me and want to spend time with me, and all I ever did was try and find other things to do. There are so many regrets that I have, and that ill never be able to change.

My advice for anyone who is going through losing a parent due to a terminal illness... PLEASE be there. Whether its taking time off school or work. Regardless, please do it. Work and school will always be there, but you will never be able to get that time with your parent(s) back. I would give everything to have her back.

There is so much more to it, as im sure there is with each and every story on here. I dont know why I felt like I had to post this, but I wanted to.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Rachel, thank you for taking the time to share your own experiences here. I'm sorry to know it's been so recent since you lost your father. You're not a whole lot older than my daughter, so seeing all the loss you've been through makes me think of how you're still so young to have had so much loss and sadness.

On the one hand, I know exactly what you mean about how awful it is to watch a parent's health deteriorate in terminal illness. On the other, when I watched that with my mother, I was just about 40 and far more able to process it (no matter how horror-filled it was) than I was when I lost my father at 21.

You're right about things eventually getting better than they feel right now, but it sure is a long road. Still, we don't notice it happening, but with each inch along that road, we move closer and closer to that day when we start feeling normal and "regular" again. Especially when someone has his whole life ahead of him (as you do, for the most part), there are more and more happy things that happen that start showing up and help filling some of the void that loss and grief leaves.

Much of what you've been through (with all the loss, not just that of your Dad) will turn out to have made you a wiser, stronger, person in so many ways. The price for that kind of wisdom and strength, though, is often that carefree and youthful feeling of being invincible and of believing that everything happens to someone else, not us. There are times now (decades after a couple of tragedies that took place when I was 20/21) when I think of how I've been a "grown up" so much longer than a lot of other people my age have been (if they've ever even had to "grow up" quite so much at all). When I think of it, I feel kind of bad that I was launched so prematurely into more "grown-up" thinking. Oddly, though, I also realize that I've managed to stay very much the very same, silly, goofy, kid I was when I was four or five - so I guess I was only launched into that premature maturity in SOME ways. More importantly, I've also come to realize that it can be the wisdom we gain from loss and grief that is precisely the reason we choose to so safeguard that happier, more carefree, person we once were. I guess, at least in my case, it's been a matter of thinking, "This awful stuff has already taken enough away from me and my life. I won't allow it to take more - and I certainly won't allow it to take away the person I was before it all happened."

I would guess that the light that guides your soul is there, the same as always. Maybe it's just hidden a little by all the clouds of grief you have right now. Those clouds will lift, and you'll probably come to realize that whatever light you gained from your loved ones' presence was something they leave with you forever.

It's still so soon after losing your father (and with his being sick for so long, you didn't have a whole lot of chance to live life without that horror and sadness).

Something you may want to do when you feel like it might be too start looking up your whole family's ancestry. My niece started doing that, and I've discovered what Rosie O'Donnell also seemed to discover when she was featured on the genealogy TV show (she lost her mother as a child). What people seem to find when looking into the ancestry is that a "continuity of family story" becomes evident for the person, himself (with the parent occupying only x spot for x long in the story). People who lose a parent often feel as if their whole foundation has been pulled out from under them. Seeing tangible evidence that one's family story goes back beyond parents, and remains, regardless of parents not being alive, can help a person see his own existence within a broader context and on a broader foundation.

It's not a miracle cure for grief, of course; but I (like Rosie O'Donnell) did find some comfort in seeing that my parents' story extended well back beyond their own birth and didn't end with their passing. It also showed me that what I had once seen as my "foundation" was actually only one kind of foundation, and that are deeper, different, kind of foundation was there, and remained, as always. Anyway, it's just a thought.

Rachel enderwood 5 years ago

I can very much relate with this article. I lost my mother as a young child ( I was born in 1984 and she died the next year in 1985 of an unexplained reaction to a thyroid medication due to a history with having heart murmer as a kid). It Is now known some of those medications shouldn't be taken because they can trigger difficulties for ppl with previous heart problems. Needless to say, it was random, devestating to my father and I now know the tragedy around me had a very large subconscious effect on me. My mother did not get to finish imprinting on me as an infant and though infantile amnesia causes me to have no memory of it, I can feel the sadness and confusion felt by my father, his parents, and my mothers family that happened around me. My father and his parents raised me, my moms family was distant. My grandpa died when I was 6 of heart problems, so we were hit with a double dose of death in a 5 year span. My dad and grandma became my parents. We were very very close and had a very close family with my dads brother and his wife. My grandma moved to b close to my uncle and his wife when I was 17 and my dad remarried when I had just turned 19. Unfortunately, after I has turned 23, my grandmothers health rapidly declined and I saw her slowly go through the proccess of death. She was my rock and my platonic soul mate, she told me" wherever you are, wherever I go, you will always be my little girl and I love you more than I could ever put into words", the very last time I laid in her arms in her hospital bed. I remember feeling sick walking out the door knowing I will never see her again. She died a week or two later. The week following her funeral, my dad was diagnosed with a rare cancer called multiple myeloma, bone marrow cancer. He was given 3 to 5 years to live. I spent the next almost 3 years going through his journey, taking care of him, taking him to treatments, caretaking for him while my stepmom worked, etc. He has been my best friend and the person I love most in the world. We have had a strong connection all my life. I could tell him anything, he would do the same, we have always taken care of each other. He had a vine marrow transplant and it worked for a year. The cancer came back slowly, with a vengeance. Unfortunately, he passed away at the very end of last November in 2010. 1 day before my birthday. I turned 26. I helped care for him in his last days, every minute he was awake and every second possible the last few days when he began to go in a coma. The miracle of love is strong and mysterious. He remained responsive to me through noises until the very end. His last words to me were" I love you, you love me, you are my energy, no one will ever love you more than I do and I always will". He hung on even when his vitals decreased and I ended up having to tell him goodbye and leave the house before he could let go and pass on. I kissed him on the head for the last time , told him how much I love him and to please let go and find peace and walked out. That was the

hardest thing I have ever had to do. He died a few hours later. I cannot talk about all of the horrible things I saw happen to him as the cancer took over And tore him apart but his wife, stepdaughters, my aunt n uncle, his cousins, myself, we all felt helpless watching this happen

to a man we dearly love. I had to do things to care for him and watch him go through things that absolutely killed my heart. The worst was seeing his body and cognition break down. It is a cruel thing, death. I've had a sideline season ticket witnessing of death since I was a baby. Never did I think it would take every member of my immediate family away.

This article was helpful and just what I was looking for to aid me in my grieving. It is good to know others out there are on a similar journey as I am. I feel as if my heart is completely broken in to a million pieces and have been slowly going along in the grieving proccess because my dads death is the most painful thing I have ever had to face. It's painful even to think about or proccess. This will be a long proccess because every time I think about it, I feel as if my heart is being ripped out all over again. You are right, when you think about how your parent will never see your children or know you as an adult, it kills you inside. The worst is just anticipating how life will be without the one I love the most in my life. My life is forever changed, the sun doesn't shine quite as bright and I walk around with a deeply broken heart. I feel like the light that guides my soul is gone with the deaths of my dad and grandma. I know it logically will get better and life goes on but this monumental loss will change your life forever. My heart and sincerest prayers are with all my kindred spirits wHo have lost their parent or parents

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 5 years ago from Massachusetts Author

phill, I'm so, so, sorry to know your father has this to go through (and you and the rest of your family has to go through it with him). I know exactly how you feel. I was 21 when my father died, and my mother went through awful, awful, stuff for the fifteen months before she died. I've made my own mental peace with the idea that there may be God, and that people go through such awful things, by coming to believe that any God that exists "operates" on a "big-picture" kind of scale, or else on a spiritual-only kind of thing, and isn't always able to intervene in the Natural order of life, disease, etc.

Some people get through awful things believing that "everything happens for a reason". That can help, I guess.

Religious people think completely differently, of course - but I'm not one of them, and I need more "personalized" processing of the kind of thing you raised.

I guess I had to make some peace with things like tragedy and disease by telling myself these things aren't part of a plan. They're part of what can go wrong in an otherwise good plan (life/Nature), by virtue of the fact that life brings with it variations, change, and things going awry.

With regard to the matter of staying in university, I think the news you've received is so new, it's just too soon for you to expect yourself to know, exactly, which way to decide. A little more time, and your heart, will probably help you decide. Again, I'm sorry to know anyone must go through this kind of thing.

phill 5 years ago

im 20 soon to be 21 and my father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer literally last weekend, he had been givien 6-12 months to live, i am currently in university and am at a dilema to pull out and spend all my time with him that he has left but he wants me to stay on. i am by no means a devout worshiper of any god but yet i still cannot understand why these things happen to people who have done nothing but enhance the community and donate alot of time and income to good causes. if there is a god i dont see why people such as this need to be put through such ordeals.

aleighw 5 years ago

I lost my dad when I was 8, my mom when I was 15. I'm 23 now, and it still hurts. I don't think you ever get over losing a loved one, you just learn to deal with it better. I will say, it's important to deal with the pain in the beginning rather than numb it or ignore it. My twin took the wrong path to deal with our loss and now we barely speak. I just wanted to say, if there is anyone out there who feels helpless or that you're alone... you aren't alone..and while the pain never goes away, it does get better. There will come a day when you'll go an entire day without thinking about it. Your life might be changed forever, but it does go on.

Ajitesh Sharma 6 years ago

for parents children are thous life but for children parents are the ones,who give them life.

arraiyan profile image

arraiyan 6 years ago from Philippines

I absolutely agree! :) God bless you.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

arraiyan, thank you for the kind words. Yes - I'm sure that people like me, who have the advantage of the kind of parents I had, usually do have an advantage when it comes to at least some ability to be strong.

arraiyan profile image

arraiyan 6 years ago from Philippines

I am really joyful to hear that you have survived that so hard kind of trial. I am also happy we share the same thoughts about our forbears. Indeed, losing a parent is a hard journey to survive and so I salute you for having surpassed the sadness the said scenario had to bring. Well on a positive note, you grew up with your parents. You experienced their unconditional love. undying support, and so on and so forth... (All the wonderful experiences a parent may render you) I verily believe that it is also the love of your parents and your memories with them that enabled you to overcome the sadness, loneliness, and all those really negative emotions brought up by their leaving. In addition, God has indeed guided you in that saddening journey. I hope you appreciate Him the way He appreciates and loves you. :) You are a strong person Lisa HW. I'm sure you've been making your parents really happy and proud that they had someone as loving as you :) More power to you. God bless you always. Thank you for replying :>

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

arraiyan, thank you for sharing in the discussion here. I was like you - blessed with the kind of parents everyone ought to have. Neither is living now, but the odd irony is that the thing that makes having lost them the hardest (being close to them and thinking of them the way you think of your own parents) is also the thing that gave me what I needed to be able to get through losing them and still keep "being me" and living as they would have wanted me to.

When I saw someone young and without their parents asking this question I didn't have a clue as to how to even try to answer it, because I know that people who don't have good parents, and people who lose good parents when they're still teens and children often must bring the emotional (and other) consequences of that into adulthood.

Like you, I've always been thankful for the parents I had (I still only had my father until I was just 21; and it would have been nicer to have my mother into her 80's or beyond, but only had her here until I was in my early 40's).

On a more positive note, though, I've heard that children and teens can be OK if they have one really capable, loving, strong, parent (or person who takes on that parenting role). The world is full of people who grew up having only one good, solid, loving parent and are generally OK and happy.

arraiyan profile image

arraiyan 6 years ago from Philippines

It is indeed hard to live without our forbears. It is as sad as it feels really joyful and merry to have our loving parents around. That is why if I would be asked this question... I'd have to answer: IMPOSSIBLE :) I am a huge fan of my parents. They are very loving, kind, understanding, forgiving, they're technically perfect. It's just me that makes them human -- imperfect. I really am thankful that God has blessed me with such warm-loving parents. They fuel up my desire to continue the drive I have towards life :> God bless you guys!

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Sally, thank you again for sharing here. One of the things I enjoy about writing online is that it sometimes gives me the chance to get into a "real conversation" with people (especially other women). We women, in some ways (not all) more than men, have so many "colors" when it comes to things like issues associated with being a person, mothering, or any number of other things.

The one thing that struck me when reading your comments was your remark about my surmising that your mother didn't teach you much about being a mother. Where my guesses about your mother came in, I wasn't really saying I assumed/guessed your mother didn't teach you much about it. Instead, I was under the impression she may not have had the chance (or the time on Earth to develop the inclination to talk about her own experience, from an emotional/growth standpoint, as a mother). I suppose that's not really "here nor there" here at this point, I guess.

I know what you mean about having someone (a partner, a friend, whoever) with whom there is that "port-in-the-storm" element in a the relationship. On the one hand, that's, in so many ways, what a relationship should be. On the other hand, a relationship shouldn't be based only on that. I have a close friend with whom the relatioship is very much that "port-in-the-storm" thing, and although neither of us says it often, we seem to make it a point to set that "port" element aside as much as possible, because I think we both know that a healthier thing for both of us is to focus on the other aspects of life and the friendship. I'm speaking only for myself (and my friend) now, but sometimes it's easy for two people (as a "team") to stay in the "port" and kind of drag their feet about leaving. The following comment isn't directed at you (or me and my friend) for that matter; and it's only a "general thought", but sometimes "teams of two" do need to consciously pick up, take each other's hand, and say, "OK. The storm is over. Let's head out now." Or, maybe, if the storm is still going on; those people can know, as the team they are, that they're strong enough to weather that storm as a team, even without looking for a port. Again, just "general thoughts" that may not at all apply.

This is going to seem really odd, but I found, to me, that your comments, which tied to motherhood and femininity, kind of stood out. I know, of course, that being a mother involves that half of the all human beings for whom femininity is generally a lifetime, running, thread (in other words, women :) ); but as a mother and a woman, I've never really even associated the two. (Even though I'm serious about that remark about myself, I wish typing could show that I see/share the humor in it too. :) )

I do know one thing: Even though your situation is your own, individual, one; you aren't alone in your thoughts/conflict (if you'd call it that) about becoming a mother/not becoming a mother (especially for women in your age range). I think one thing that may contribute to that kind of "conflict" (again, if it called be that) for a lot of women (not just you) can sometimes be the messages "the world" today sends women of all ages, about being a woman, femininity, and even being a mother. On top of those messages being given to girls/women, there's the matter of women living life longer (into their late thirties and early forties) and just being used to the life they've built. It's a bigger adjustment to imagine a major life/role change at 40 than at 25 (when we're still more in the "emotional/mental/philosophy-developing stage"). At 24, our lives are very much in a "just starting to build" stage. At 40, we've already built a good "chunk" of our lives and identities. I guess one question someone in a situation similar to yours might ask is whether the "becoming-a-mother" issue is really associated with the loss, or if, instead (or at least to some degree), it's substantially related to the issues associated with thinking about becoming a mother (or never becoming one) around your age. Just as it was particularly hard for me to get used to living without my own mother after 40 years of living with her in my life, I can imagine that thinking about a change as major as "suddenly" becoming a mother around 40 would be a far biggest adjustment (for a lot of women, anyway) than becoming a mother at 25. I think, if women aren't mothers (or don't know it's inevitable) by their early 30's, a new kind of looking at their life and self may kick in.

This whole issue of mothers, femininity, messages women are sent, later motherhood, etc. is something I've thought about for a long time. I've been a little short on subjects to write about for awhile now, so I'm going to write a Hub about this subject. (I don't know how useful or worthy of reading it will be; but either way, I'll post within the next two or three days and post a link to it in a comment box on here.

I don't take for granted that anyone who reads here will automatically want to be bothered reading the new Hub, so I'll just end the comments here by mentioning this:

I became a mother when I started to adopt a baby who happened to come into my life. I was single and had no children yet. I was in my twenties and knew I planned to have a family "anyway"; so when this little boy showed up, I "knew" I could be the kind of mother he needed (after being born to a mother who really shouldn't have become a mother at all - and I mean "really"). I guess, it was "mothering instinct" that made me want to "make sure he'd have a great childhood and the kind of love that all children deserve". Still, I hadn't thought about my "identity as a mother" at all. So, the only thing that made me different from someone who wasn't so "automatic" to adopt in her twenties may have been nothing more than the simple knowledge and instinct to protect and love a child who needed it.

Five years after adopting my eldest son I had another son. Three years later I had their baby sister.

The one thing I know (and think may be similar with a lot of mothers) is that I never really saw myself as a mother. I just saw myself as "me" - until "suddenly" I found myself a mother and faced with the natural inclination, but also responsibility, to put these little people's needs ahead of my own - and feel happy, capable, loving, and whole by doing that.

In the movie, "Heartburn," Meryl Streep (the lead character) commented that when you have a baby it's like a whole other person you didn't know you had in you comes out. I think, there's no doubt about it, that if become a mother and have that person come out and kind of stand alongside the "main you", it's nice to discover she's there. Then again, if a woman never has that person come out, I don't think all women notice all that much (and I think a lot of women don't necessarily even want that "other person" to come out, because they feel whole and happy as things are).

I know that for me, as someone who was sure I wanted to have children and ready to have (or adopt) them, that "whole other person" did come out, and when "she" did, it was a matter of nothing more than aspects of my character that hadn't yet had the reason to show up. Maybe, though, that "whole other person" who shows up for some women (or men) brings out aspects of character that aren't what they should be. My point is, I'm not even sure that, even if the "whole other person" idea is accurate (and I think it often is) that "whole other person" is someone any of us would prefer to come out. When we want children and are ready for them (even though most of us can even imagine being a mother before we become one), when that "whole other person" shows up we're amazed that she has.

I guess a lot fewer words could have said what I'm trying to say: Children bring out the best in us, but they may bring out the worst in us. If we have a lot of "best" to offer them, great. If we have a lot of "worst" and if it's too much to overcome when the situation would call for it, things aren't all that great for either the mother (or father) or children.

When all is said and done, I think we all kn

Sally 6 years ago

Thanks for the time and energy it must have taken to send all those responses :-) Much of what you say rings true, i have had some counselling, when my partners mum died and he was not coping, I realised there were things coming up about my fathers death and more importantly the relationship with my mother, which as you summised was almost ended at the same time, so there has been a lot to grieve and I haven't often known what the losses were and at the right time :-) Result is often that I am not open to my true needs and feelings and often process things way after the sell by date, counselling helped me stay in the present AND look back at the past and get things straight. You are correct to point out that my partners losses and mine are not OUR relationship, sadly I think that perhaps he does see me as a port in a storm and vice versa whilst I have tried to move our relationship forward and after reading your words was able to be honest about current loss/fear of missing out feelings with regard to marriage and children and that my partner is not really on the same page as me and how hard it is for me to let go of him and along with that the past really. I have tried to separate the two and know they are two different things, my past does influence my future, in challenging ways but also in positive. I remember 5 yrs ago before the loss of my mother being very clear who I was as a women, my femininity and role in mothering. Again, your perception that my mother didn't teach me much about mothering, or at least I didn't share my own growing values and beliefs with her. It seemed no one has encourgaged me to marry or have children but now lots of people are mentioning it - it is challenging to think it might be too late or that this needs to prompt me evaluating my relationship, which would be another loss. So loss is a theme and it is in life I guess, letting go of things and welcoming the new. I think I have been guarded and not really let anything in since my mums death, as you say it is not long, I do feel a corner has been turned though. Again, thankyou for the posts, the future can be family like without my original family, I have felt that before and also offered my role as women/nurturer in many aspects of life and enjoy that. The current heart tug is to be honest about my dilemma about having children, being 40 and not finding myself in a relationship that feels right for that and the fear that I will miss out again, on the more emotional, feminine roles in life, as it feels that is what I missed most about my own mother being absent, I had to learn to mother myself and I guess the gift in all that is that I could be a mother. Timing, they say, is everything and I do hope my life will start to fall into place as the BIG questions and decisions have felt pretty weighting these last few years :-) My sister also wants children, she is now 42 and has had four miscarriages. It seems a little warped to have spent so long developing ourselves to be strong and know ourselves, be ready for motherhood, lose our mother and both stumble with regards to bringing forth new life. Anyway, thank you for your kindness and I will keep reading your suggestions.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Sally, continued...

Again, this is just wild guessing; but I suspect that you feel as vulnerable as you do because you're still in the throws of grief. It probably isn't the same level/kind of grief you were in a couple of years ago, but three years is soon.

I was talking to my cousin once (she's a year or so older than I). None of "the aunts" or grandparents are alive now. She and I are (as she joked, "The Reigning Generation now" in the family. To me, it feels as if there was a time when my parents and all the aunts and uncles were at the top of a mountain while all the kids were climbing up behind them. Now, they've disappeared from that mountain top, and here I stand, with a bunch of younger generation climbing up after me; and wondering how on Earth a kid like me ended up here. :) It's fine. I feel up to the role. It just feels kind of odd.

When our mother died, it felt to me like my older sister and younger brother and I were like "three, lost, orphans". We're all capable, strong, responsible, people; and we're close. Still, we were still that same old "us" - "Mum and Dad's kids."

I think there's a chance that how you feel about the dreams you once had is about feeling unhappy/grieving, maybe even having some depression (even it's mild). When we're not happy we don't care about dreams or anything else. Maybe we just instinctively need to first process what needs to be processed before we get to "higher thinking". I you're not familiar with it, look up Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The person who in in grief is not feeling safe and secure, and that has to be addressed before moving on to "higher thinking" (actualization).

I wonder, too, if not having children yet is the thing that may be contributing to an overall sense of "lack of fulfillment" or happiness. I'm not suggesting that children can magically make someone happy if he has "deeper" issues; but for some people, it is children who DO make them feel more fulfilled and whole they can could imagine. I think, though, a person has to have children with the idea of what they can offer the children; and never with the idea that the children will offer them anything.

I don't know if you feel like reading, and I'm not "pushing" my writing. I don't even know if there's anything in it you'd relate to. I have, though, written quite a bit about losing people (having them die) or dealing with grief. I don't know if any of these links are anything you'd relate to, but I do know I've written with candor about how grieving can feel (or at least how it felt to me). The only reason I'm posting the links below is that you said you've been looking online. Again, I have no idea if you even want to bother reading any of these; or if, even if you did, there'd be anything you could relate to, or anything useful, in any of them. In any case, it takes nothing to post a few links to more "cheerful" ( LOL )"death/grief" Hubs.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

People often say that no matter how old we are when we lose that last surviving parent, we feel like orphans. My mother used to say how mothers always feel the same toward their kids, no matter how old their kids get. She'd say, though, "It isn't the same with kids. They feel different about their mothers." Well, she didn't know adult life with her mother in it. Yes, we feel different in some ways once we're grown, but as someone who had her mother as an adult, I learned that we don't feel all that differently about how parents. My sister has said the same thing. My mother didn't know how a grown-up feels about her mother, because she was 23 when her mother died.

I suppose the difference between my having felt like that "same little girl" and your feeling that way would be that I have children. When you have children (as long as you're a "regular" mother) you just get knocked into being a grown up. Mothers need to be strong for their kids (who lost their beloved grandmother), so that "strong self" is the one who "runs the show" (mentally/emotionally, but also "externally"). That "little girl" is there, but I found that as a mother, I had to put her in the background and be that grown-up mother for my own three children (and some other young family members). That fueled my sense of feeling like a grown-up too; but I think, really, if I hadn't felt the responsibility and role of needing to be solid and strong for my kids, maybe I wouldn't have put that little girl in the background in my mind either.

Another point might be that I knew how my mother and father felt about me (not only because of what they did and said, but because I was a mother, myself). I knew they'd want me to live my normal life because I know I wouldn't want my own kids to live their lives feeling "damaged" because of loss. (They're grown now, by the way.)

Since you lost your father so young, you didn't have the chance to "digest" how he felt about he would have felt about you in your adult life. If you weren't always close to your mother, maybe you didn't get that "sureness" about how she would certainly want you to just let yourself be happy (if/when at all possible) after she was gone.

Continuing on just one more box before wrapping up...

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Sally (continued)...

I'd had so much longer to live a "more whole" life with my mother in it, and so much longer to grow closer to her in so many ways; losing her was just so different from losing my father.

I guess the only real point I have about this is that I definitely saw the two losses as two separate things. Yes it was the "double whammy" of having lost both parents; but for me, I'd been so close to both of them (and they'd been close to each) that I don't think there was any "confusing" the two very distinct losses of two very different kinds and people.

I'm wondering if you didn't have the chance to have a "more mature" relationship with your father (even if only during the teen years), so maybe the loss of your father is something you more associate with what was lost from your life (like being short-changed), rather than having lost someone you'd grown close to as an adult. I felt absolutely equally close to both my parents, and this isn't going to come out the way I mean it to; but, for me, my father's role in my adult life hadn't been as "important" as my mother's role in my adult life. That made for a very different kind of loss. There wasn't any "confusing" of the two and "lumping them together as 'me, the person who has had two big losses'". There was, instead, "Dad's death when I was 21," and "Mum's death when I was 40 or so and had my 3 kids."

My husband lost both his parents after we were married. For me, as badly as I felt about my children's grandparents dying, I didn't "blend" my husband's loss of his parents with my own.

This is pure guessing (again), but it seems to me you almost focus more on loss through death than on the actual different people who died. That can something we do. I know, because I've done it with "blending" the loss of my mother with some other major losses in my life; and kind of tending to see myself as "someone who has had a lot of loss" (and I have). Still, when I think of how those losses (individually or collectively) have affected me, I have to say I'm careful to sort out each one as an individual thing. In my case, I was SO close to my mother I don't think I could ever have a tendency to "blend" her death with any other loss. I'm wondering, though, if you had "strains" in the relationship for awhile, whether it was enough to create enough distance that you wouldn't separate the loss of your mother with the loss of your father (or the loss of your boyfriend's parents). (??) Just a thought (and, of course, a wild stab in the dark).

Continuing in the next comment box below...

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Sally, I'm sorry to know you're going through this and sorry, of course, to hear that you've lost your mother so recently. I'm kind of uncomfortable even trying to offer thoughts here, because, to me, all the "complicating factors" you've mention; and your doubt about motherhood, all seem to indicate you could really benefit by finding a therapist who can help you sort all this. It almost seems to me as if you're kind of "blending" all the different bad things and doubts, and does just strike me that someone who specializes in trying to help people who have been through a lot of loss might be able to help. Maybe even a few appointments is all it would take for someone to be able to help you sort out the different issues.

Having said that, I (as a "plain, old, human being" rather than a therapist) wouldn't feel right not at least trying to offer what I think may, if nothing else, be whatever I think I've experienced, observed, about loss (especially loss of a mother). So, just keep in mind that I'm only offering observations and guesses here, and they aren't based on anything other than personal experience (or things people I know have said about their own situations).

First, it's only been three years since you lost your mother. I don't think too many people have loss of their mother "all worked out and over with" at three years. It's a gradual process, and you feel better as each year passes; but it isn't "over and done" in three years (at least not if a person loved their mother).

When we lose someone close (like a mother) we DO feel like we're little kids again (at least in some ways), because we're either in such grief we feel "threatened" and out-of-control; or else there may be issues to be resolved. I lost my father when I was 21, and it was sudden. He was 62. There was a whole set of things to process, associated with his relative youth, mine, things associated with his fairly sudden quick passing, etc. etc. I processed it, and it was a giant kick in the head for someone that young. Then I just kept moving on (because we have no choice). The first thing I thought of when I learned he'd died was that he'd never see my children. Then, though, when my mother died there was a whole different set of issues. I'd lived a longer adult life with her in it. She was bedridden and suffering for over a year before she died. I had to strong for my kids I had at that time. While both my grandmothers had died before I was born; my father never talked about dealing with his mother's dying. My mother and her sisters, however, often talked about how they still missed their mother. My point is, that with each person, each relationship, and each death; there are differences (even if there are also similarities) when it comes to the loss and processing it.

Even losing my father at 21, I also felt short-changed that I didn't have him into adulthood; so even if though I got used to (and over) losing him, I brought that feeling short-changed with me to this day. I don't think about it often, but it's there.

My point is that we can have loss of the person, but we can also have other losses that resulted from losing the person. My daughter just recently got engaged, so I've been talking about weddings. More than 30 years after my father died, it hit me as I was saying to someone that I'd chosen a small, informal, wedding because I knew my father wouldn't be there and thought, "So why bother." All these years later, I'm long over the death of my father; but when I was talking about why I chose that informal (but nice) wedding, I felt the tears start to well up. That's because those tears weren't about the actual death of my father. I'm long over that. They were about thinking of how that feeling short-changed has, somewhere in the back of my mind, been with me all these years.

On the other hand, it was, I think, harder to get past losing my mother; because I'd had her in my day-to-day life so many years longer than I'd had my father. She was a "fixture", not just from childhood, but after my sister and I had children and husbands, and even after one grandchild had her own baby. The whole loss of my mother was very different. There were a whole lot of awful circumstances before and around her passing (that I won't go into), but processing that loss was just more complicated and "messy". I was close to her, so it wasn't that. Strange it sounds, I just found my father's death "simple" and "clean" (heart attack), with the only real issue the short-changed thing.

I'm going to continue this in another comment box because of space.

Sally 6 years ago

I have been searching the internet to read about others experiences of losing a mother. I lost my mother really suddenly 3 years ago, she was 64 and I was 37. It has proved more difficult to process than I ever thought possible. Something to do with not processing the loss of my father when I was 12 (he was 39), my mother someone changing then as well and she, me and my sister all beginning to live separate lives. We loved each other dearly but didn't talk about my father and I think that kept us "apart" somehow. Losing her kicked in a huge amount of feeling for so many losses, in the past and for the future. I had just met a man whom I thought I might settle with and have children, it was a new thought then, I had strived to be independent and not attach to too much until then (another sign of protection from the loss of my dad so young I think) WIthin the first yr of meeting, he lost his mother, he had lost his father 10 yrs before, then 2 years later my mother died. I have been confused about motherhood ever since, the natural time and courage seems to have evaporated with the passing of my mum & subsequent processing. I am now 40 and confused, I feel more like a little girl and daughter than I do a mother and independent women! I feel sad about this and confused about what the right thing to aim for in my life is. It is a strange sense of vulnerability to have no parents and it has rendered me feeling powerless at times and questioning any of my achievements thus far. I am sure it is the sense of mortality, my age and the life transitions meant to occur. I do feel that losing my dad pre adolescence and now my mother pre hitting 40 and still being un-married and childless has proved really really hard and messed about my natural development in some way. Some days I feel that all I am doing is to understand loss, life and death and someone missing out on ALL the aspects of family that make up so much of life and would make me feel better. But if you have none of your original family around and none of your own, the world somehow becomes so huge, the options and choices you have become limitless and for me it has meant I am almost overwhelmed about which way to go, to move forward. I can only do it in small ways, I love the small things in life, I am appreciative, happy with things that others aren't. I dont take things for granted but I am sad that somehow my "big" dreams have lost their dreamlike quality, I feel a little tainted by reality, by loss and slightly apprehensive to dive back into attaching and creating huge things in my life, children would be a huge thing. I am mixed about this, I am not sure I can do that with so many thoughts of what they and I would be missing with no family around and despite friends saying you make up for it in other ways - it is tiring and sometimes difficult to do that. Family is so called as they are the familiars and it takes years sometimes to feel that way about anything. I feel very sad to have lost that mainly, the just knowing me. My mum, however far apart we were physically or emotionally, she did, in the end, know me. The essence which will never ever change and I miss that ease, that comfort of her being out there, somewhere.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

slibobay, thank you for your kind words. I can't guarantee we don't come from that Cabbage Patch. I actually did "find" my first son (he's adopted). He was actually of the first generation of little kids to have a boy Cabbage Patch doll, complete with adoption papers. Of course, when those dolls came out there were even things like waiting lists, a black market, and a lot of other things "just like real adoptions". LOL

This has nothing to do with this Hub, but since I've always thought it's a mildy funny story... My son was very little, and his Cabbage Patch doll came with the name of "Gaspar". My son had trouble remembering that "odd" name, so he started calling the doll, "Oil-bar". ("gas"/"oil" - I guess when you're a little kid it makes a certain amount of sense. :) )

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sligobay 6 years ago from east of the equator

This was a very loving and cosiderate article which I am glad that I took the time to read. Are you really sure that we weren't all plucked from a cabbage patch? that's where my Mom said she found me! Cheers.

kandicep 6 years ago

Hello everyone... I've really enjoyed reading everyones posts.

This may sound weird, but I could use a mom in my life and I've actually considered taking applications in to find one(:

Hey if not, I'm a great friend who is loyal and kind... Hope to hear from anyone who needs a good person to add to their life. I'm sure someone has felt the same way I do at one point in their life?

Everyone needs a constant stable friend or trusted rock they can lean on for love and never-ending acceptance.... I know I do (:

(And husbands don't count) hehe

Mine is a perfect hubby, but not the cute one I can call at 2 in the morning with hubby troubles! LoL

Thanks for listening and discussing about a sensitive subject (:

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Lyser, thank you for sharing your own situation and thoughts here. I know just what you mean about not really dealing with losing your mother. I was around 40 when I lost my mother, and I'm not sure I ever really allowed myself to "confront" it head on. I just kind of, as you said, let it hang there in the back of my mind too. As time went on, eventually, I guess, it wasn't looming quite so large as it had been earlier.

I'm not sure we really CAN deal with it (process it, the way we process the death of someone not as close as a mother). My sister and I will say how it's always there in so many ways. It just doesn't feel as "big" as it once did.

It's interesting to me that you mention your mother not seeing your children. You know, I was 21 when my father died. The absolutely first thing I thought of when we were called (too late) to the hospital and the nurse said, "He's gone," was, "He'll never see my children." He did get to see my sister's first child until her daughter was two, but she had two more children. I have three. Not only have I always felt my children (and my father) were short-changed; but even thought 21 is not 8 or 9, I always felt short-changed too. He never got to know me as a "full-fledged" adult.

I guess, when it comes down to it, so many of us (who are close to parents) have similar thoughts when we lose our parents - and having lost my mother around 40, I've seen that, in ways, it's a little different to lose a mother/parent that old, as opposed to at 21. Then again, though, I was so used to life with my mother for so much longer, the different element with that loss was that it was harder to adjust to life without her in it when she passed away. Losing my father was shock, and it was a huge, huge, "kick in the head" that my siblings and I never expect (he was 62). Still, I adjusted to adult life without him soon and have lived more adult life without him now than with him. This is a small (and almost bizarre) consolation; but I never knew either of my grandmothers. I didn't have what my kids had with two grandmothers and one grandfather (their father's father). The one thing I often think of is that I didn't have to go through losing two beloved grandmothers (and a grandfather), the way my mother's grandchildren did.

In a way, (and maybe this is just because I've been through more loss than some people) I'm kind of glad I didn't have to go through losing two grandmothers, as well as losing both grandfathers. (We sometimes have a "lame" way of looking for silver linings, don't we? )

It's still very soon for you, and you had two huge and awful losses. Hang in. Take it a day a time. Even though you may feel (at least on an "intellectual level") that 3 years is a long time; while it's certainly longer than 1 year or 2, it's still more recent than you probably realize right now.

Thank you again for sharing with others here. It may help them feel a little less alone.

Lyser 6 years ago

Reading things like this article and other people's comments seems to help. My mom died from colon cancer when I was 23 and my Dad died from lung cancer when I was 25. I miss them both terribly, but probably my mom more than anyone. My kids and I both lived with her. It was by choice, I could have had my own place, but I was close to her and hated the idea of living alone. Its been 3 years, but I've honestly never dealt with it. I didn't cry much when it happened and I've kind of just gone about life as I normally would with it hanging in the back of my mind. When my dad died a year and half later, it made me feel quite empty. I wasn't terribly close to him as I had spent a portion of my late childhood and early teens without him around, but I know he loved me and I would take road trips every couple months to visit him. The thought of not having parents at such a young age is very lonely. I have a wonderful husband, who before getting married, was a priceless presence through both of these deaths. I would have been truly lost without him I think. He was the perfect distraction. My dad got to see our new baby twice before he passed, but I feel the absolute saddest about my mom never getting to see and meet him. She adored and spoiled (in a good way) my two oldest their whole lives she there for. She left them with such wonderful memories of her. I feel like our little guy and any future children we have, are robbed of that. And that she was robbed.

Sometimes thinking that almost everyone will have to lose their parents at some point and that that is just a part of life helps. But it does and always will seem quite unfair to have it have to happen so young.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

dave (continued from previous comment box)...

I know that with my own "horror story" (that has made a mess in my life) just having some of the people around at the time acknowledge it would help with some of my anger. Maybe it's that way for you and/or your sister (and maybe your brother) too. What I need (and what I assume some other people with their own "horror stories" may sometimes need too, which is the only reason I'm bringing up my own anger here) is for some of those people to first acknolwedge what went on "out loud" to me. Then, though, I need one or two to believe me when I say some issue I'm going through today was directly caused by those long-ago actions. What makes me more angry is when people tend to second-guess me and say, "Oh, you can't blame x on that." What I realize is that until someone acknowledges an consequences in my life in a way that "matches" what I know, myself; and until someone just, plain, respects what I say when I say some problem was caused by one of those "ancient history" things; I feel like people around me are denying reality - which leaves me essentially alone to deal with my anger. The longer I'm alone, dealing with it; and the longer I go without getting those simple words from at least one or two other people; the angrier I get because I feel as if people are willing to "let my emotions rot" rather than face what's uncomfortable for them or face the fact that they don't have a clue about what I've gone through.

I don't know if any of these thoughts is at all useful to you, but I've asked myself what it would take to move on from the anger, and what I said is above is one of the things I keep coming up with. (In my case, there are situations that can never be fixed and people who have died; but those aren't really even in the issue. What's the issue is that people who were around at the time, and are still around, won't acknowledge the reality I've experienced.)

Your sister's situation with the grandfather is a separate one, but I wonder if she needs that kind of acknowledgment in order to be ready to be able to try to mend some old fences too.

Something that happens even in close families (I have a very close family and know many people who do) is that as kids grow up cousins and aunts and uncles often do become more distant. Sometimes it's because kids, themselves, get older and kind of do their own thing. Sometimes it's because extended family just kind of assumes the grown nephew or cousin has grown up and there's no real need to remain in a "previous generation" role for him. In the meantime, someone like you, who didn't have that "standard" kind of relationship with someone like a mother in a "previous generation"/parental role when you still needed her, may still have some need for that kind of relationship (particularly if you're still, say, in your twenties). Or, the other side of it is that you may see the distance that has grown between your extended family members and you as something that happened as a result of strains in the family, when, maybe, it's just the same kind of thing that happens in a lot of families. Then, too, if drugs entered the picture that can be something that ends up creating distance that otherwise wouldn't have been created.

One thing that does happen when, say, three siblings like you and your siblings go through something as kids (or even just in normal, uneventful, life) each sibling can experience things differently. Also, earlier roles as younger, older, middle, or only can get brought into adulthood or can impact a person's way of dealing with things and related to the other siblings. Your brother may seem more OK than you feel, but he could be someone who is dealing with everything from his own experiences (as we all are), so maybe it's more that than the cultural thing that makes you feel like you can't relate to him as well as you'd like to. You may be seeing him as "all grown up" (which is what he is), but he may still be seeing you as "the older one". Maybe he's particularly aware of you taking more of the "brunt" of your mother's death, so that may make him see you even more as the "older one".

I don't know if any of these thoughts at all apply in your situation, but maybe this kind of stuff is stuff you could talk to someone about and see if they have their own take on it.

In situations like yours (or anyone's, for that matter) it can seem as if family members each took a section of a book (and maybe read the table of contents) and formed who they are/what they think based on that. Communicating is what helps people share their "section of the book", and if enough people put enough of those sections together, eventually everyone can see that the family does share that one "book". It's just that nobody can see the whole book if everyone else doesn't share what he ran into in his own section.

Stay strong. You've got quite a lot to be dealing with and processing there. I hope that in time you can make some peace with it. One other thing: If you're in your twenties or even early thirties, part of what may make things still particularly difficult is that what happened with your mother wasn't all that long ago (even if it was years ago). Also, though, people can take until mid-thirties before they've kind of worked out some of the things that still need to be worked out in one's twenties (or again, early thirties). So, in many ways, time is on your side (no matter how old you are).

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

dave, thank you for sharing with others who have been left without parents (especially, as with the person who requested this Hub, those who lose parents younger than is "standard"). They (like you) so often do have difficulties that result from being left without one or both parents too young. It seems to me you've had that added, big, complications that made not having your mother so young an even bigger challenge.

On the one hand, some people don't like to hear depressing stories. On the other, a good friend or a relative who wants to be supportive (but maybe one who doesn't have his own close experience with the same situation, like your brother does) usually has no problem listening if someone needs to talk. I know there are times when the same person may also hope the person who needs to talk will talk about other things too; but I know that when someone has something they need to talk about, their "depressing" story doesn't really depress me because the situation is theirs - not mine. (I have my depressing story that I try not to inflict on other people, but sometimes a person just has to talk about what's bothering him.) Other times, it's just as important (I think) for people with "depressing stories" to also try to focus on the happier (or at least "neutral" things), just as a way to let the mind have something that isn't so draining.

I wonder if there's a way you could address the cultural-difference matter separately, by maybe finding a friend or two in a similar situation. Maybe that wouldn't have to be someone who's Italian. People from other countries probably have similar issues with not feeling "completely American" in a country full of people who do. If you can't find any new friends (and maybe you've already done this), I wonder if talking about this issue with someone like a counselor would at least give you a person to "vent to" (and maybe someone who could offer some tips or helpful thoughts of some kind).

It's nice that you have your brother, but maybe he's so much younger than you his "view" of the situation didn't include as much "information" as yours did. Maybe that's what makes it difficult for him to be able to be the right kind of support (if that's the case).

My own "horror story" is completely different from yours (and not in any way as complicated or extreme), but I've learned one thing about having anger that's difficult to deal with; and that's that I need a few things to be able to move on from that particular kind of anger. The kind of anger I'm talking about is the kind that comes when one's life is messed up by someone else's behavior or actions. Even when there's no fixing it, what I've found I need is to have someone who was around and/or involved at the time those actions were taking place, to just acknowledge who was responsible and how big a "disaster" the person/people created in my life. The trouble is that when someone does something big and awful (for example, your sister's victimization) everyone who feels they had some responsibility in it, or everyone who knows they can't do anything about it, tends to run away from whatever it was (maybe because they feel so guilty in their own way; or maybe because they don't realize how much anger victims can have when nobody seems to address whatever was done head on). Something else is that it's human nature for people to want to forgive someone else or make excuses for them, and maybe sometimes people even see that whoever did something awful had so many problems they can't be blamed for it. THEN, when the person who suffers from those actions wants to confront it and get some acknolwedgement, those "sympathizers" (even if they don't really "sympathize" on the actions, but only as seeing the "victimizer" as a troubled human being, rather than "evil"), those "seeming sympathizers", or "head-in-the-sand-ers" get uncomfortable and tend to think, "Move on" or "That was ancient history."

Sometimes, too, even people whose lives have been messed up because of someone else's actions can have trouble separating their feelings about "sort of understanding" what someone else did and their feelings related to how they, themselves, experienced the consequences of that person's actions.

Another problem is that other people (no matter how close they've been in our lives) haven't "ridden around on our shoulders" and also been able to read our minds each day or each year between the time something happened and the present. We (the ones who live with the consequences) may see exactly how one thing led to another, and how we took some action or made some decision ourselves, as a way of getting through one day or one moment or another. Other people can't see how the thing that happened a long time ago led to a next thing and a next thing after that, bringing us to where we are today.

(I'm going to continue in a separate comment/response box below; because I'm not sure how much space is left.)

dave 6 years ago

ya it's hard no matter how you slice mother committed suicide when i was brother was 4 and my sister was 9....she jumped off the building with all of us home and i found father was american and she was italian...he decided it was too much for him and moved us to the US.....none of us had been here before so it was a huge culture shock, my brother didn't even speak was hard on my dad so our relationship growing up wasn't always good....his family sort of alienated us for reasons i don't know....i keep in touch with my family in italy but they're so far away that i at times prefer not to call them because it just makes me miss them and that really depresses me....i got invloved with drugs and other things to cope and i still battle with them....i've managed to do well for myself finacially thru whatever miracle dad died 2 years ago battling i got older our relationship has gotten better but there was always underlying friction....this thing that life has throne me and my sblings has completely warped my sense of human relationships....i can't keep a relationship....i got married and have a 6 year wife left me and i know its not her fault but i still hold family in italy calls us but it's not the same as having them here...i don't talk to my sister thru reason not our my dad was dying it came out that my grandfather had molested her and she told us she didn't want to speak to any of us no more...this is terrible for her and for me...when i was down in the dumps when we first came here i would always think of my grandfather as a pillar of strength, even after he i don't even have that,just anger when i think about it....everything has been turned upside down....luckily my brother lives with me now and he is more adjusted since he was very little when all this happened with my dads family doesn't call us to see how we're doing...i haven't heard from any of them except my uncle and a couple of which i just met...i don't completley feel italian or american....i basically really have no one for emotional brother is basically american so i can't relate to him for this sort of thing, culrural thing is what i mean....he doesn't even speak it anymore....i love going to italy but i hate leaving so i don't go a point is that it never gets better and you just have to move on....thanks for letting me share...i never talk about these things....people don't like hearing depressing stories....but for it's not a story, its reality that i deal with everyday....i hope all of you that share having no parents and family are doing well and have support

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

jeanie, thank you for sharing your thoughts here. You're right - people most often do find ways to get through it and move on.

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jeanie.stecher 6 years ago from Seattle

I too experience the same way. It was definitely hard losing someone whom I could say my mother and my best friend. It took me a long time to recover and move on with my life. But in the end you still need to and have to be strong. After all everything that happened has a purpose. And thanks for my relatives and friend who always there for me during those times. Just be strong. God is with us no matter what.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

roi, I can't give any advice about what you should do, but I do know that, so often, one friend just doesn't know how the other feels about one thing or another; or else, especially when someone has lost someone (like parents), your friend may not know if you'd prefer she "just be regular" (as if you didn't lose your parents), or if there's something she should say or do to that would let you know she acknowledges your situation.

From your side of things, maybe you don't really know how it is for here (any more than she knows how it is for you). If your friend is close, talking about how each of you feels about what the other wants him/her to be doing can sometimes help friends understand each other better.

It sounds to me like because she has family she's close to, she has more people (her family and you) to spend time with. She probably loves spending time with all of the people she's close to. Maybe you shouldn't break away from her, but maybe it would help you if you also found a few other friends to spend time with too. I just get the feeling your problem in the friendship may just be that you have "uneven" available "friend time".

People are just so different. I know that at times in my life when I've lost someone close and have a friend who still has that "equal" person in her life, I've always wanted my friends to know that I didn't want them treating me any differently than they otherwise would (just because they had, say, their mother alive and I didn't). I wanted to feel normal, and I wouldn't have wanted friends to have to watch their words just because I didn't have my mother any longer. What always worked for me (when I'd had a loss) was to have that chance to just kind of be treated normally, rather than have friends act like they needed to watch what they said. Maybe your friend thinks she's doing the right thing by not treating you as if you're "different".

Maybe I'm wrong about her "just knowing how to act" in view of your situation; but maybe if you both had a calm conversation about your different situations, it might help you understand any difficulties she has trying to divide up her time between a bunch of people she cares about.

I do know, with friends, if one wants more time together or more support than the other can give, sometimes it does strain a friendship. People only have so much time and support to give sometimes. I don't know how old you are, but if you're young (twenties or under) it may be far more difficult for you than your friend realizes. I just wonder if maybe the kind of support you could use might come from someone older, or else maybe a counselor who understands exactly what issues are involved for a young person without family. How much support a person needs can depend on how young that person is; and the trouble is that young people have other young people for friends (and sometimes those other young people just don't know how to be as supportive as their friend needs).

If it were me, I think I'd stay friends with my close friend; but maybe look for a couple of other friends to break up any alone time I had because my friend was busy with family.

I wish I could be more helpful because I know you're in a really difficult situation. I do think, though, there's a chance your friend just doesn't know what she should be saying or not saying. She doesn't know what it's like to be you. When I was in my teens I had a very close friend who never said a word about her father. Finally, one day I just out-and-out said that I'd noticed she never mentioned her father and wondered if he was around. She simply told me, "He's not in my life, and I don't talk about him." (My father was a big part of my life, and I would often talk about him to her.) She told me she was OK with my talking about my father but just wanted me to understand that she wasn't about to talk about hers. I understood and respected her wishes. She thought a lot of my father and understood why I would talk about him. We just had to talk openly about the difference in both of our lives and what we talked about. If I'd had to pretend my father wasn't a big part of my life, and be careful never to mention him, I don't think we could have been as good and honest friends as we were.

roi 6 years ago

I lost both parents.I donot have any close family with me. I thought I had a strong network of friends, few but good. I am now facing my best friend telling me how pity she feels for me and asking me questions that really hurt me as they are very tactless. She does not do anything to alleviate my pain but put more anguish in my life as she never told me anything about their parents and now she tells me when she is going to visit them, what she is doing with them , their plans and a couple of times they cancelled our meetings telling me they have decided to go and see their parents. I starting to feel resentful as she asked me for my Christmas period and after knowing that I was on my own she kept on telling me the marvellous moments she had with her family. She never phoned those days. I considered her like my close family but she never invite me to have lunch with her family like before, I phoned her and she said I have just 10 minutes for you because I have to eat with my mother and rest of the family...I do not know what to do. Do I keep her friendship whatever she wants to share with me or break for free and meet new people who I can feel more supported? please help!!!

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

lareth, I imagine it has been difficult. I know this may seem like a corny thing to say, and I imagine you've had a whole lot of challenges; but sometimes, when it comes down to it, knowing we have only ourselves to count on makes us stronger and wiser people in a lot of ways.

Based only on your comment here, it seems to me you could use a some more emotional support than you're getting now. Are there any groups (like social groups in your area) you could join, where you could meet people (even if only to get together and have light talk)? Have you considered talking to someone at any agency or someone like a counselor who may be able to offer you a little support or ideas about how to make life less grueling?

A lot of the times when people feel they don't have anything in common with others, it's only because what they don't have in common tends to stand out more than what they do have in common. Most of us have a lot of things in common, just because we're people, no matter how we different we may feel we are from a lot of other people.

I'm guessing, if your life has been as difficult as your comments makes it seem it has, you've already "made something of yourself", as far as the person you are goes. You're probably a whole lot stronger and independent than a lot of people are, and you probably know a whole lot more about how things can go in this world than a lot of other people do.

This is kind of a separate thing, but have you thought about, maybe, signing up with HubPages and writing - just as a way of being part of this online community? There are lots of supportive people here, and you could write about whatever you feel like writing about (maybe you could write about your own experiences, or else if there's something you're interested in (anything) you could write Hubs about that?

If I understand you post correctly, you're someone who has a disability? Maybe you could write Hubs about living with a disability, and feel like you're helping readers understand disabilities a little more than they may?

Writing on a site like this one wouldn't make a huge difference in your life, but it's a pleasant way to spend some free time (and there's always the chance that you could start picking up some earnings once you got going). (If not HubPages, then maybe some other writing site - although HubPages is a nice site, which is why I enjoy writing here.)

The reason I'm suggesting you think about doing a little writing is, I guess, because my thinking is that when life is particularly grueling, sometimes one of the best things you can do is find something that lets you escape your day-to-day worries/stress and get your mind on something less draining.

Please overlook it if any of my suggestions don't really "work" for you. It's just that I've had my own grueling times (even if I do have close family), and I know how much a person can need to do a little socializing, have a "hobby", or just find ways to make each day a little less grueling.

lareth 6 years ago

I'm finding it hard living as I am now.

I lost my home and whole family at about the age of 9, but not to any accident. It was "an accident waiting to happen".

I have got this urge now to make something of myself, but it's hard with no people to go for advice, and no one to count on but myself.

Living life without anyone is a grueling task.. And it makes relationships very difficult as well, as half the time I don't know what it's like to have a normal life so ireally have nothing incommon with anyone.

Parents are the most important thing in a persons life. After health for me personally, but people with disabilities can overcome them with support of friends and/or family.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Peggy W, sorry to know you've lost your mother recently enough that you're still in the process of getting over it (as much as any of us really gets over it).

My mother outlived my father by 23 years. What my sister and I discovered was that the "big thing" with my father's death was that he died so young, and we were "robbed" over so many years with him. With my mother, the "big thing" was that, because she'd be in our adult life for so long, it was, in ways, harder to get used to not having her.

I guess, no matter what the circumstances, there's always something that poses one set of "issues" or another when it comes to losing someone close.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I'm still getting over the loss of my mother who outlived my father by almost 30 years. Linking this to what will be my latest hub. You offer some really good advise. Thanks!

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Nosipho, thank you for sharing your own situation with readers here. I don't imagine life is very easy for you, at 19. One of the biggest things so many parents worry about is being around to be able to make sure sons and daughters get the education they want/need.

Still, even though as it isn't easy not to have parents around at your age, people usually find that as they get farther into adulthood, the disadvantages of not having parents don't seem to matter quite as much. Hopefully, you and your brother have a special relationship that helps makes things a little easier.

Nosipho Mnukwa 6 years ago

i'm 19 i dnt have parents and i dnt affort my studies i live with my 24 year old brother,, he is working a part time job.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Rachel, thank you for sharing more of your own experience here. My mother and her sisters used to talk about their own mother, who had been gone for years, too.

Maybe as your mother got older she started to see similarities between her own situation and her mother's (at her age); so maybe it brought up a whole new set of things to be thinking about.

Rachel 6 years ago

YW again! Yes, it is hard to lose parents and loved ones, esp., if you were close to the ones that passed on, like I was with my dad. It'll be 7 yrs on June 6, 2003 and I can't believe it been that long already and yet I still miss him lots. With my mom, I'm only so glad that we got to forgive each other of not getting along much her last couple years with us. It'll be 3 yrs on July 30, 2007 since she passed away. I loved them both a lot though and thank God for the way they raised me n my 7 siblings. I know I'll never stop missing them as I watched my mom miss her mom who had died when my mom was only 20, leaving her to care for her younger siblings and to top it all off, she had me and my older sister already back in 1962 when I was an infant. Her last years she started to really miss her even after 40+ yrs. She'd talk about her n start crying and I'd hurt for her. Now I know how she felt without a mom or parents. She had moved on but I couldn't understand why in her last years she started to really miss my grandmother. I think she was missing my dad too much, too and that resulted in her leaving so soon, 4 yrs after my dad's passing...God bless you all and keep us in your prayers as I do for all every day!!!

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Rachel, that one thought about what our parents or someone else we've lost would want us to do is, I think, one of the most important thoughts to keep in mind.

Thank you for sharing your own experience and thoughts here.

Rachel 6 years ago

YW, I came across your page and I was drawn to it instantly knowing that I'd understand what others are going through, having gone through and experienced losing my parents as well as 2 brothers as young men. It just makes life a little more lonelier, but that with time it passes and you never stop missing your loved ones who aren't with you anymore. Life goes on and that's what our parents would want us to, at least I know mine would.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Rachel, thank you for sharing your own thoughts here. I think how you feel about having lost your parents is pretty much how most people feel (at least the ones who were close to their parents). Being angry with God is pretty much something a whole lot people feel too. It's not for me to guess about what God thinks or doesn't think; but I find it hard to believe a God who gave people the capacity to love and feel so awful when they lose them would not understand the anger that so often comes with it.

Sincerest best wishes that your prayers are answered.

Rachel 6 years ago

I feel for those that have lost their parents, esp., at a young age. I had mine until I was in my 40's. My dad passed away in 2003 from his illness. I was holding his hand when he breathed his last breath. It felt like I was a little girl again not wanting my dad to leave me, but he had to go, his suffering was what I did not want to see anymore. I still miss him to this day. My mom died from a couple days of illness, doctor sent her home too early and she died suddenly. I was the one to take her to the hospital and care for her, her last few days on earth. I know God kept me close to them all these years because I was considered the one stuck closer to home around my parents! He knew they'd need someone to be there for them in their last days. I still miss them very much, esp., on holidays, and our family circle is not the same anymore. I still have some sadness but it's a lot better than when I first lost them and I used to be mad about why others still have their parents. My dad was 63 when he passed away and my mom 65, so they weren't too old!! It was the saddest times of my life, wishing God would've allowed us to have for a while longer. I think I'm still angry with God, but I pray that He forgive me and help me to accept my situations as I feel so alone and am missing them even more with my husband incarcerated. I pray that God will have mercy on me and my family and turn our situation around!! When you lose parents you take things one day at a time! things get better with time but you never stop missing your loved ones!!

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts Author

JSC, sincerest best wishes that what you're dealing with does eventually pass, at least to some extent, with time. I'm not deluding myself into believing I can say anything that will help you, but just because you are 18, I'm fairly certain a little more time may help you find some way to sort it all out and find a way to live "more comfortably" (if that's the right phrase) with all the awful loss that has gone on. There's no doubt it will always be a part of who you are, but I do wonder if/think that with some more time from now on, as compared to time before you ever reached 18, you may not feel as acutely "fragile" as you may now feel.

I'm not comparing my own experiences with loss and grief with yours, as a child; but I've had my runs of having so much horror and loss happen I didn't think I could deal with yet one more thing. Somehow, though, when one more thing happened I did deal with it, as I had before. Others who have been "whacked" with an unimaginable string of losses usually say the same thing.

You're right. Take it a day at a time. Those people you were so close to would not want you living in fear of more dying, because for everyone who has an untimely death there are "zillions" of others who live to be a hundred. What has always worked for me is to ask if I want what took away someone close to me to take yet more out of my life, and my answer has always been "no". With all your loss, though, and with being so young to go through it all; it really might make sense (if you haven't done this already) to find some capable professional who might be able to help you sort out a few things. Try to keep in mind that a lot of people go through horrible strings of losses of close people over a period of time, and then life calms down and nothing awful happens again for a long, long, time.

I know there's nothing I can say to make you feel more sure right now; but if I may try one more thought: Try to keep in mind that your relationship with those people is part of what defines your life and you - not just losing them and going through all that loss. If we didn't have the people we have loved it wouldn't feel so awful to lose them; so try to keep in mind that their life and who they were are part of what defines you and your life, and try to build up a sense of "self" and sureness" from what you had, not who you no longer have. Again, sincerest wishes that you feel better sooner, rather than later. For now, if you can't always be strong, that will have to do. You're entitled to some not staying strong.

JSC 7 years ago

Thanks Lisa but that was only half of my story. Since the age of 3(now im 18) i have been to over 10 funerals all of which the people were extremely close to me. After my parents died my brothers and I were sent to live with my grandparents but a month later my grandmother died from lung cancer. I have lost soooo many people including all my grandparents but 1 and my aunt on my dads side. My family is big but each person who has died had a major impact on my life. Im so scared now to lose anyone else because I dont think I can handle it anymore. Its like people tell me everyday how strong I am but I cant continue to be strong. Everyday I pray that nooone else that is close to me dies. Life is really hard because the people who died were healthy for the most part. Im tryin to take one day at a time and jus remember the good times I have shared with them. I thank you for trying to help me.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts Author

JSC, I'm so sorry to hear such an awful story. There's no doubt about it that it's unfair. In a way I'm reluctant to even try to offer some thoughts here, because I know that your situation isn't one that I'm really worthy of trying to offer something helpful on. As a mother, myself, I do feel some need to make a few comments; because I just hate to think of someone living with what you've had to live with. I can only draw on my own life experiences in trying to offer some thoughts, but please understand that I'm not comparing my own experiences to yours.

I know what you mean about that fear of losing someone close, like your aunt. I was in a car accident in which my closest girlfriend was killed, and a few months later my father died. I was just under 21 at the time, and I was left with that awareness that people can just be "taken" from us at any time. I had to learn to tell myself that "the rest of the world" lives with close friends and family members for long, long, lives without losing them until the time is more in keeping with what's normal. I had to also learn to tell myself that there was no point in worrying about something that might never happen. I just decided it wasn't a way to live a life, and if I lost someone else I'd deal with it. Something else is that my mother was sick when I was six years old. She got better, but I was left worrying about her dying throughout my whole childhood and early adulthood. It turned out I was over 40 when she eventually did die a 76, and I've always thought how I spent all those years with that worry in the back of my head - and I had her until I was old enough to be able to deal with losing her (as much as anyone can ever deal with losing a parent). Getting back to my own accident (and even my mother's illness), sometimes we have to ask ourselves if we want some "monster" (like such an event) to take yet more away from us than it already has.

One of my children now grown) is an adopted child, and the other two (also grown) are children I had myself. I know, first-hand, that my relationship with all three is every bit the same. So, while, on the one hand, I know your aunt is your aunt; and I have no doubt you're very close to her; on the other hand, (and I don't want to seem to be "playing down" the loss of your parents) I would hope you know that, in so many ways, you have had what so many other people have as children (that relationship with someone who has been, essentially, your mother, or mother-figure).

If I could travel back in time to when my own children were three, and if I ask what I'd want for them if I died, first I'd be sickened at the idea that I'd have to leave them without me, but I'd hope there was someone who would take very good care of them and love them and help them get through it. If I thought that one day they wouldn't really remember me I would't prefer that, of course, but I think I'd almost rather that than picture them longing for me throughout their childhood and later. I'd hope they knew how much I loved them, and how they made me my life so worth living, and I'd so much want them to get used to the loss and be able to know they had a right to find happiness and feel happiness. I would't want them to feel as if happiness wasn't meant for them. As a mother, one of the worst things in the world is to know that your child isn't happy. That's all any mother (or father) wants; and even though nobody can expect someone who isn't happy to "just be happy", if there's any way at all for you to know what having you and your brothers meant to your parents, and to know how much they would have wanted you to find some "mental peace" in knowing how whole and complete each child makes a parent's life, maybe it would feel a little more ok that you don't remember them the way you wish you did.

Again, as a mother myself, I think I'd rather my young children not remember me as well, rather than remember me really well and continue to miss me.

While I can't put myself in your place (because I had my two parents until I was grown; although I have to say that the longer I lived life with each of them, the harder it was, in ways, to get used to living life without them), I've had something happen in my life that involves losing years with someone that I should have had. I was an adult when it happened, but I still live with anger and sadness at knowing I can't get back what I "should have had". I'd feel better if I could, say, find whoever/whatever is responsible and, say, bash their head in; but there isn't any way to do such a thing (and, even if a person could be blamed, that's, of course, a ridiculous and unacceptable thing to imagine doing). What that means, though, is that I have no outlet for my anger. What I've learned, too, is that the longer we go with sadness "filling our head" I guess the brain chemicals we "get going" kind of put us under yet more influence of those "sadness chemicals". I think the answer is to find things to think about that add happier things to what's in our heads, because as happier thoughts enter our heads they eventually start to seem to push back the "gray" thoughts and make us feel a little brighter. This thing I've mentioned that I've been dealing with is something that I've recently, more and more, considered seeking professional advice about; because my usual positive thinking is having trouble shaking it. Because I know how challenging my own "issue" has been for me, even as someone well into middle age; I'm wondering if maybe you might want to consider talking to someone about your own difficulties dealing with your situation. You're young, needless to say. Also, people your age are often prone to some sadness associated, I guess, with the loss of childhood and sometimes the uncertainty of life as an adult. So, besides the thing with losing your parents, you're kind of at an age for some "feeling down" anyway. Maybe, too, as you get close to leaving your teens, there's some issue with being hit with the reality that your childhood has past, and it was what it was? Maybe you're actually dealing with coming to terms with the reality of what you now see you won't get to have with your parents?

Just some thoughts. I have no idea if any of them apply, or if they're at all helpful; but I know, as a mother, if you were my daughter I would so hope you could figure out what it will take to iron out the hurt, even if that means seeing someone with experience helping people in situations like yours. Knowing what I know about being your age and about having things in a childhood that weren't how they were "supposed to be", I have a feeling that what you're dealing with now is processing your loss from the standpoint of being where you are now,rather than processing it from where you were then. If your brothers are older than you they may have gone through something similar around your age. If they're younger they may have it ahead of them, if I'm correct in what I think could be going on.

This link is to a blog (sort of) that I have up because I wanted to send a message about drunk driving. My own accident story, and dealing with the loss of my young friend even decades later are covered in the stories I have on there. It's a pretty depressing blog, but there aren't really any "gory details". It's all about processing the loss over the course of my adult lifetime. Again, I'm not comparing your accident or your loss with my own; but I'm wondering if there may be something in what I've written that may ring some bell with you even if our experiences were extremely different. The seventh paragraph down in the first story is what I mostly have in mind, because I addressed what I think of as "secondary grief" (in my case, decades later).

Well, again, I don't know if anything I've said here is of any help; but your situation certainly seemed worth trying to help. People so often say, "You're young. You're in the best years of life, and you have your whole future ahead of you." In ways, that's, of course, true; but I think it takes all of us, no matter what loss or issues we have or haven't had

JSC 7 years ago

Wen I was three I lost both of my parents in a car accident. The bad thing about it is that my brothers and I were in the car. I am 18 right now and I am fortunate to have been raised by my aunt but I feel worse as I get older. I can't help but think about all the memories that I never had. I can't remember anything about them and that hurts the worse. And my biggest fear is losing my aunt who is like a mother. I feel like life is unfair to me but I try my best not to give up. It seems to be getting harder and harder

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts Author

catherine, thank you for sharing your story here. I'm sorry to read about such loss. Your comments have inspired me to write a Hub that addresses the issue of children without parents from a more "formal" perspective than this Hub (which I wrote in response to someone's individual request) is. I need to put together some research, of course.

I think when someone dies young and when the "key survivors" are young there can be that element of the loss seeming to "grow" (even though grief may or may not) as we get older. Not to compare this with the loss of the a father, but I was in an accident that killed my 20-old girlfriend. The whole thing was awful and seemed like a giant loss (and all that), and then I went on to "get past it". When I got old enough to have my own kids turn 20 I started to see how young 20 really is, and then I started to go over all the things my friend didn't get to go on and have in life. It's as if, as time goes on, we get to really see (and not just imagine) what a person (or we) missed.

catherine 7 years ago

I have been without a father since I was 4 he died in an auto accident due to weather and maybe his habit of drinking and anger. I am 41 now and I think the loss depresses me more now than ever before. My father was only 37 he left behind my brother who was 12 and my sister at age 7 and my mother was 35. I don't know how she dealt with everything but she did She took us everywhere and gave us everything she possible could and gave up her life for us kids she never remarried and is now 72 she is in poor health but she still is my rock. Looking back I had a wonderful childhood besides my brother and sister hating me and telling me things like "dads dead dummy" and "I wish you would have died instead of dad". I just remember being at the funeral home sitting in the front and looking at the man in the casket and saying "look mom its Frankinstein" his neck was broken so I am thinking he must have been swollen and bruised badly. My mother has told me stories about what happen and my brother has told me a different story and then my cousin told me something else but anyhow I guess it doesn't matter what really happened he is gone and I am just having such a hard time. I didn't really know him or really miss him until I looked at my own son at the age 4 and thought OMG this is how old I was and then again at 7 and again at 12 and when I turned 37 I really didn't leave the house I was afraid I would die just like my father I hate the fog and I hate fathers Day and I hate how spoiled my girlfriends are by their fathers and how they complain about their fathers I just want to slap them and tell them you are lucky you have a dad and lucky your dad helps you I guess I am jealous I MISS MY DAD MORE NOW THEN EVER!!!! I prayed to God to please let it all be a bad dream and I prayed and prayed to please let him come to me in my dreams so I can see him and hear his voice and have him hold me and tell me "everything will be alright" or " its ok sweetheart I LOVE YOU" and finally about a year or so ago he did... he came to me in my dream and we spent the whole day together it was like heaven I saw him and we hung out I got to hear his voice and see his smile and hold his hand so anyhow I could go on and on about how I wish I had my father. I go through stages and then I get so mad at him for leaving me and why did he go and do what he did that night I think to myself how selfish he was going out and leaving me and my mother while he supposedly went to help some woman and her son Oh well I guess I forgive him but this is one time when time doesn't heal the older I get the more I miss him and when I see a father holding their baby girl I have to fight back tears all I ever wanted was my father to protect me and be there for me to help me when things get tough I love my mother and thank God for her I feel so sorry for her she has been alone for 37 years he has been gone as many years as he lived and the hurt and loss never goes away for me it just get worse all I ever wanted was my father. I have always wanted a father and I think I have always searched to be loved by a man and every relationship I have had with a man has failed who knows why but anyhow a just happened to think People without Parents what a great web site it would be if people without Parents or parents without people in their lives could connect and here it is I read the stories and I feel the pain I am so sorry for everyones loss. God does exist I know it!!! so just keep praying and your loved ones will come to you in your dreams they are still here with us you just have to let them come through they will help you on your path and teach you lessons so keep the faith. Peace to all!!!

amna 7 years ago

hi.....this web is totally in to my life and awesome..........

reeltaulk 7 years ago

ok will do.....sorry I totally forgot I responded to this. I must have forgotten. I don't think about issues as such, just gets your mind all twisted from the hate that surrounds it, but I will make the effort to write a hub about it.....ciao

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts Author

reeltaulk, thanks for contributing your thoughts. :) If you write that Hub, and if you would like, feel free to contact me; and I'll put a link on this Hub to yours.

This Hub was written in response to a request; and at the time I couldn't just ignore the request. While I could write from the perspective of now living without living parents, I could not write from the perspective of not growing up with wonderful parents. I had my wonderful father until I was 21, and I was fortunate enough to have my loving mother until I was 41. So, I think it would be a great idea to write that Hub you mentioned (and let me know if you want me to link to it from here).

reeltaulk 7 years ago

Parents that abandon their children are the worst individuals ever!!! I have absolutely no respect for them, neither do I believe they should be fortunate to have any children after the fact. i will write a hub concerning this matter from my own experience. i feel for all the children that have been abandoned due to selfish and irresponsible parents. My heart goes out to you especially if you are not strong enough to deal with the reality of having no one in your life while you experience this experience called life! ciao

vonda g. nelson

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts Author

jabyrd82, thanks.

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jabyrd82 7 years ago from Farmington,New Mexico

Thanks for sharing!! Your parents are very proud im sure!!! You dont know what you have till its gone most the time:-)

SarahMichelle 7 years ago

Nice hub. Sometimes we live without a parent - or parts of a parent anyway - when they are not deceased. You still have to grieve and let yourself feel.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Grammagil, thanks for sharing. The number of people who grow up without parents (or at least without having them in their lives very much) can seem overwhelming. My children's grandmother grew up in an orphanage with her four siblings because their parents died in the flu epidemic at the beginning of the century. When she became a mother herself she was so aware of giving her children a "regular" childhood. She ended up having 6 beautiful grandchildren. I do think it's important to focus on what we have rather than what we don't have. Just about everybody doesn't have something in his life, (unfortunately).

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Grammagill 7 years ago from Florida

Lisa I have really enjoyed reading this. My father left my mother before I was born. And then my mother gave my brother and myself to my grandmother when I was four years old. She remarried and started another family. The hurt never goes away. I write poetry, and it helps putting my thoughts down on paper. Growing up without parents has made me a stronger person. And also a very independent person. My heart goes out to everyone that has had loving parents, and they have lost them, at any age.

shwetha 7 years ago

good thing

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Sona, sorry I didn't mention this earlier.  I believe HubPages prohibits posting links to our own material in our Hubs, and I don't know your e.mail address to send it.  I'm honored that you're looking for it and don't really know why you had trouble accessing it. 

If you're still interested in finding the article, I just posted that one and a few others on my "Lisa's Collection" blog.  If you go to my profile, here, on HubPages (just click on my name or else select "profile"), then scroll down to the second link, "Lisa's Collection" - click on that, and you'll get a page of a few articles that you may find "apply" to your situation.  I don't know if they'll be helpful, but I did just post them all on that page for you. 

Not that you want to be bothered with this, and not that it will be particularly entertaining or "fun"; but I created a different blog (Lisa Light) with the idea of trying to add just light stuff and entertainment.  I'm honestly not trying to "push" the blog.  I just thought, because it has silly/light music on it, a bunch of pleasant entertainment videos (at the bottom) and some comedy videos (farther down at the bottom); you may find something a little cheerful to brighten your day.  The writing is either just silliness or else on the lighter side.  I'm not even suggesting reading any of it.  It's just the light, happy, music and videos that I think are pleasant and nice, that I thought you may enjoy. 

Anyway, thank you again for requesting the link.  Again, I think I know how you feel.  Sorry I didn't post this earlier; but it took a little while for me to add the stuff to the blog, so you can access it (at least I hope). 

Not to discourage you from reading what I think is a seriously thought-out, personal, Hub about my own bad experiences; but before you read it, thinking there will be a message about there always being good that comes out of bad (and then being disappointed), I want to say upfront that the Hub doesn't offer such a clear message as that.   

Sona 7 years ago

Hi Lisa,

Thanks again for your rompt reply.You are such a sweet person.I think you forgot to send me the link. sona

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Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Sona, sorry to know that you feel miserable. As the person who has tried to find the words to help some people feel better as such times, I know that sometimes words just don't do the trick. Even so, I'm putting the link you asked about, and a few others, below. I don't really know why there were problems accessing it.

Not that I think anything I've written can be of any help to anyone at all, but I'm also posting another link - just in case there's even a shred of any helpful ideas in it.

None of us likes to think of others feeling miserable in this life, so I sincerely hope you find some way to find ways to get through this rough time, just while time has the chance to do the job of healing. Thoughts go out to you.

sona 7 years ago

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for your prompt reply and sorry to get back to you so late.I could nto access your article "Does something good always come from something bad" (under "life" on my Hub profile).Could you plese send me the link so that I can click on to it and get to it straight

Thanks for your message.I still feel miserable and as you say time would be the best healer I guess.


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Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Sona, although I have not been in your exact circumstances, I know exactly how you feel (and most people who have had a few awful losses do too). What you say is so much exactly what so many people feel - including the the thing about not praying.

I was 21 when my father died (at 62), and my brother was only in his teens. I had my mother until she was 77 (1995 - we have something in common). I was middle aged when my mother died, and it was all those years ago; but even though I'm used to it, it is not easy. It hasn't been long at all for your father. I have found (I hate to say this) that it seems to take about 5 years to really start to feel normal after such a loss. It gets better with each year, but I don't even think you start to feel better until you get closer to at least the second year.

Not that I think it will help, but in August 2008 I wrote my own version of "how to deal with grief. It's on a blog aimed at people older than you are, but it isn't written just for older people. If you were to click on my profile, find the link for "No Senior Coffee", you would see it. (I had been through so much I thought I had picked up a little "expertise" that I could share.)

What you say about giving up praying is what a lot of people say too. The way I see it, if God exists He'll understand why you're angry at Him. If He doesn't exist, then - nobody needs to understand. Most people generally believe that even if God exists, He doesn't do things like stop the person who hit your father (as if that person were a puppet on strings). The other day I just wrote a Hub (in answer to a request), "Does something good always come from something bad" (under "life" on my Hub profile). I don't know if any of my "ponderings" would be of any use to you. I'm not trying to push my writing, and I doubt have much to say that will help. Still, I know how things can get; and - I don't know - I suppose, maybe, I think some of my personal "muddling through" and figuring out coping skills may useful to someone.

In any case, it will get better. It's really too soon for you to expect to feel any more "ok" after losing your father; and the fact that it was accident makes it that much more complicated. Losing a mother is always a big, complicated, thing too. On top of it, losing the parent you went through losing the other parent with (and got used to having as your one remaining parent), has its own set of "issues" too.

I am sorry to know that you have this situation. It may sound corny and over-simplified, but sometimes all you can do is try to keep yourself thinking about other people/things, and kind of "tucking away" thoughts of all the sadness/loss - at least until enough time has passed to be able to "drag them out" and process them, when they're "older".

Sona 7 years ago


I lost my mother just 6 months after my wedding ,in 1995 when I was JUST 21.My mother was only 47 and died suddenly .My sisters were in their teens then.My father turned out to be strong and stood by our sides .He got my sisters married .My youngest sister got married in 2006 and my father was left behind alone.All of us are now abroad.We were sad but made sure we visited him during our vacations and spent maximum time we could, with him.On Nov 5th 2008 ,I got a call from neighbour that he had met with an accident while crossing the road .Two boys on a two wheeler had knocked him down .It was hit and run case.Luckily a known person recognised my father at the site and informed us and got him admitted to a hospital.We all reached in a day .He had to undergo a brain surgery due to head injury.He was in coma for 40 days .In between he did gain consciousness for 4 days and looked at us but we still dont know if he recognised us .On 13th Dec he breathed his last .He was 68.

Life has been miserable since then.People tell me to keep faith in god and feel what he has done is the best for us .It is unacceptable to think that god has done something so bad and that can be good for us.How good can one feel about the fact that one does not have both parents at 35 ,and my sisters are just 32 and 30. I have stopped praying!!!!I feel If everything has to happen according to destiny then why pray? Every morning I get up thinking I have no parents.I miss them terribly. When I hear friends talking about their parents I feel more hurt and just feel like yelling at God.Dont know if he even exists!

FL 8 years ago

Good article. So many people in their lives have suffered without parents. Many of us need a reminder to stay in piece. Unfortunately, some people weren't able to bring their parents to great joy in their lives, because they died at a young age, just like my grandparents. We just have to trust in god to believe to feel better and remember that we were lucky to have good parents.

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Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts Author

Kiran, it's funny you should say that. One of my three children happens to have been adopted from infancy. I think the same as you do. :)

kiran kumaria 8 years ago

Nice article. Without parents life is difficult but there is always a way out for happiness - smile and have faith on god that you will succeed in life as your parent's blessings are always with you. Love every person as everybody need love and care in life. I personally feel every individual must adopt atleast one child and make his/ her life full of colours.

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    Sally - One Other Thing About "Tainted"

    After I finished with my long response, above, I recalled your use of the word, "tainted". I don't know if I'm interpreting your use of it correctly or not; but it occurs to me that, in a way, that may be what was behind my choice not to "bother" having a big wedding after I'd lost my father. I didn't get married until six years after losing him, but I did kind of think, "Well, my whole family is wrecked. Why bother trying to have a 'normal' wedding if he isn't going to be there?" Ironically, perhaps, my mother did the opposite. Her mother died one week before my mother's wedding was planned. She wasn't planning a big wedding anyway, but she said she just thought, "Well, why should we cancel getting married as we planned?" (Her mother had been sick for a long time, so it wasn't like my grandmother's passing was a big shock or something nobody had "factored in".)

    So, oddly, maybe, with a mother who had died a week before the wedding; my mother chose to go ahead with her plans. I, on the other hand, decided not to go with that big wedding years after losing my father. I think what the thing may have been was that my mother was in such grief she made her choice to go with that chance to do something that might be a source of joy and a new life as a result of that. I, on the other hand, was feeling the "after-effects" on my life, rather than the acute grief. My sister was born nine months after my mother got married, and started a whole new phase of life for my mother. (More aiming for the happiness, rather than letting sadness take more from her than it already had.)

    I do wonder if you just feel like your "whole life" has already been broken so "why bother". It's something to think about, maybe. The thing is, though, people bring children into the world (or adopt them into families) all the time without grandparents or aunts and uncles. I never knew my grandmothers, and I just took it for granted. It was all I knew. Maybe when I was in my twenties (after losing both my father and my best friend within months, around 21), I DID feel that my life was broken.

    By the time I got married at 27, I did feel like my "parent picture" was broken, as far as considering a big wedding went. I didn't, though, feel like my whole life was broken. Because I had come from such close, loving, parents (and extended family) ; I felt that my life was more than whole. It was "just that not everyone is still here any longer". I guess I felt that all the love I had to give to children had been given to me by my two parents. It was their legacy - and legacies are left by people who are no longer here. When I adopted my eldest son I left his first name as his birth mother had named him. I shortened it because it didn't match our family's ethnicity, and I didn't want him to feel "different" from us. Naturally, he got my husbands name as his last name. I got to give him (my first son) my father's name as his middle name. I saw his whole name as a way of tying together his birth, his mother and father (me and my husband), and the grandfather he'd never get to know (but who was at least half responsible for my being able to be the kind of parent I knew I could be). My son (who didn't share my genes) would, in his own way, be my father's legacy too. Later I'd go on to have another son and a daughter - all beautiful legacies of the two parents responsible for my ability to love and respect these beautiful little people.

    I guess my point is that we, and our families, aren't "broken" just because everyone isn't here any longer. There's a whole lot more to families, wholeness, and selves than who passes away before whoever else.

    For whatever all these words I've written on all the Hubs (and other stuff) I've written are worth; my mother and father are in each and every one of these words. When I'm no longer hear, maybe my future grandchildren will one day read some of the what I've written; and they will become a part of my parents' legacy, as well as my own.

    We may feel "tainted" or broken after losing parents; but - once the grief is processed and over - we can realize that we're not broken because our parents no longer here. Instead, we can find that we are all the more whole because they once were.

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