Lost both of my parents by the time I was 19

Discussion in 'Loss of Both Parents' started by Kaitlin, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Kaitlin

    Kaitlin New Member


    I am new to this group, and feel slightly like I am not sure how to start this, or where to even end it. But I feel like I have to make a move, just for my own sake.

    My mother had a long battle with pill addiction. It was something I knew very young in my life. She was a great mom to me when she was sober. I was definitely a momma's girl. I was probably seven when I first grasped the concept that there was something odd about my mom. It was a moment that is burned in to my brain. Understanding that she had an addiction to something so powerful that she was putting it before me. My dad had to try to explain it to me, when there was no more hiding it. It was heart breaking. Anyway, when I was sixteen, she was fifty-two, things seemed to possibly be getting better. She stopped smoking cigarettes, and I hadn't seen her act up with pills in quite a while. She randomly got really ill, it seemed like a cold at first, but it got worse- to the point she couldn't speak or move. It all happened in a matter of hours. I had to call 911. It was traumatic for a number of reasons, but the main one is that when we were waiting for the paramedics she had signaled to me to sit next to her, but I was so terrified I couldn't even move from where I was. I can see the look on her face still. I was paralyzed and in shock and it was the last time I had the chance to sit next to my mother. She ended up dying 10 days or so later, dying of multiple organ failure. That was late 2007.

    My dad had estranged from my mother when I was fairly young but played a huge part in both of our lives up til the end. He was like my savior, always coming to rescue me. It was awful for him- he didn't want to take me away from my mom, "a girl needs her mother"... and I didn't want to leave her for good anyhow. After my mom died, he ended up moving back into my childhood home. We grieved differently, me being seventeen then and him being almost seventy. But we stayed close and we had a strong relationship. He had already beat esophageal cancer once. And he kept it away for 16 years. It came back and he got so weak so fast he didn't take the radiation well. We spent a lot of time together. Knowing it was almost the end. We talked, we laughed, we cried. I had moved in with my boyfriend (still with) quite some time before the cancer came back. He had moved back to his home in the country where he'd lived up til my mom's passing. After about 8 months knowing he had cancer again, I had come home from running errands one day when I get told very gently from my partner that my dad had died. This was early 2010.

    I have handled both their losses differently, and I have different qualms about both. Things that I haven't been able to settle. But I feel that I have done pretty well. I have no brothers or sisters and all of my grandparents died quite some time ago, and no real other family. It's the weirdest feeling, feeling like - although I am with someone I am not complete without- I am all alone. My blood, my history, the people that made me me, are gone. It's strange though, because it's taken me a decade to really feel a whole new level of grief. It's a familiar feeling of acceptance, but now I am really feeling the pain of having no one in my life that knows my history. No one that lives in my hometown to connect me to it, just memories- that only I share. It's strange how it took me this long and I am not sure why quite yet. But the yearning for my parents is strong, and although I am thankful for not being in those terribly blurry first years of grieving- the yearning for them now is so much clearer to me than it ever was before. The loss is so great. It's something I wasn't really expecting.
  2. griefic

    griefic Administrator Staff Member

    Kaitlin, thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm sorry for your losses and all that you've had to go through. I think you've articulated beautifully one of the great challenges of grief. When we lose people we love, we don't "just" lose them, we also lose all of these connections, both to our future and our past. It can make us feel rather untethered...with nothing grounding us or holding us in place. If it helps, I can tell you that feeling losses in a deeper sense, even years later, is actually very common. As we grow and age, our perspective and understanding of the world changes with it, and there's nothing wrong with simply wishing you had your parents here, even if you do have a kind and supportive partner. I don't believe that we ever get over these types of losses, and I think the best we can do is adapt and adjust and take a look at our life in this moment and figure out how to make the best of it and the most of it with the circumstances we have been given. It sounds like you are already doing that, and I hope reaching out and finding people to talk to is something that can continue to help you move forward in the right direction. I'm glad you've found us, we're here to help~
    Kaitlin likes this.