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Losing a Parent While You're Still Young


Loving & Caring Thoughts

Posted On: Feb 21, 2017

Losing a Parent While You're Still Young

“Young” is a relative term. You are still young at 20, and losing your parent is devastating. Losing a mother or father at age two, five, eight, or ten is even more challenging because you're missing an essential aspect of your life, your very being, and now you've lost the chance to have your parent teach you lessons as you grow. It never gets easier to lose a parent. It's never not a big deal. It's never not heartbreaking. You will feel things that make you worry about the depth of your grief, but that's expected. This is such a hard time.

You Grieve for the Present and the Future

In many ways, a child who loses a parent grieves twice. You grieve for the loss in real-time, as it happens. Saying goodbye for the last time is one of the most painful things you can do. It's unbelievable. Literally, it's almost impossible to believe that you can never call your mother again when you need to cry, or that you and your father can no longer go fishing together. In this way, your grief follows the standard process.

However, you also grieve for everything your parent will now miss—and all the events during which you'll miss your parent. Your mother or father won't have the chance to watch you grow now. Your future children won't have a grandparent. The person who made you who you are isn't going to join you for the milestones in your life. That kills. It's visceral.

You Feel Unbalanced

You just lost one of the people who created you. Half of your lifeline is now gone. That throws you off-keel. There's something off-balance in your life, something you can't quite put your finger on right away. You know the loss is significantly affecting your life, but it's harder to pinpoint the reason behind a loss of mental stability and equilibrium. It's because of what you've lost, and whom you've lost. Part of you doesn't feel whole any longer because such an essential part of you has gone missing.

It Changes Who You Are

Even as grief fades into nostalgia, the loss of a parent brands you for life. Things may go back to your version of normal, but that doesn't mean you're okay. You change when you lose a parent. You lose something valuable and vital. Those changes aren't always visible to others, but you know they're there.

There's no way to prepare yourself for this loss, even if death is somehow expected. The most you can do is remind yourself how much your mother or father loved you, and that your parent never wanted you to feel unhappy, sad, or lost.