Both parents died 18 days apart

Discussion in 'Loss of Both Parents' started by KimAW, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. KimAW

    KimAW New Member

    I am new to this site, and am looking for ways to process my grief in a healthy way. I lost both of my parents last summer (2020). My father, age 90, had been on dialysis for nearly 7 years, but was growing weaker and it was clear his body was longer tolerating the dialysis well. He was in and out of the hospital a few times over the summer, but then went in on a Friday evening with atrial fibrillation, and died peacefully on Sunday morning. My mom, age 88, had some mild dementia, osteoporosis, and also had a pacemaker, but nothing that appeared to be imminently life-threatening. She died suddenly 18 days later, apparently of heart failure. While it is possible that her pacemaker failed, we just all came to the conclusion that she died of abroken heart after their 70-year marriage. The dementia and the isolation from the covid restrictions at the time made it all so unbearablefor her and I know she just didn’t want to live without him. I was somewhat prepared for my father’s death and had done a lot of anticipatorygrieving. However, my mother’s death was a complete shock and I was nowhere near ready to say goodbye to her. They lived 500 milesfrom me, so I didn’t see them every day, but had been in close daily contact for the previous year or so. I barely had time to begin grieving myfather’s death after returning home from the funeral when I got the call about Mom. We turned around and went back immediately forher funeral, and then my brother and I had only a week to clean out their apartment and dispose of their belongings. That was almost as hard assaying goodbye to them. It wasn’t a house that we had lived in, but it did represent “home” to me in some ways. It was awful to have to go through all theirclothes and personal belongings so quickly without having time to process. I am coming upon the first anniversary of their deaths, and I find I still have so much to work through, but it has gotten somewhat easier. When I returned from their funerals, I had to jump into the school year —I’m an elementary music teacher—which was a crazy year due to the pandemic. I taught from home most of the year and it was very stressful, but also kept me busy. It meant that I didn’t spend as much time grieving as I probably needed. It’s not that i haven’t dealt with it all, but I find there are days when it still overwhelms me. I am on here to find others who have similar experiences and to figure out what I need to do to move forward. I am very fortunate to have a partner who is an experienced grief counselor, and she is very supportive, but I feel like I need others to talk to as well. Thanks for listening.