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Children who have lost their parents too soon


Sheri

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Nobody seems to get it. I responded to a widows plight in an earlier post, other widows responded and members rallied around the widows and ignored my grief.

In the natural order of things, yes parents die before we do. In a marriage, I guess it's a coin toss on who goes first. BUT, when parents die before their time, adult children are stunned, lose their grounding and feel themselves orphaned way too soon. How is this less than losing a spouse?

My Dad changed my freaking diapers, he worshiped me as I did him. He was married four times. His widow hasn't visited his gravesite nor has she partaked in ordering his headstones or any other necessary end of life measures.

She can remarry and obtain a new spouse. There's not a damn thing I can do to get a new Dad. He was with me for 40 years, with her ten years. I can't stand how this board seems to elevate the grief of widows/widowers.

Yes, if your parents die at a ripe old age, it's expected. When they die early, I'll tell you, it's a greater grief for their offspring than any short term marriage.

It sickens me that I even write this post. I experienced the greatest loss of my life yet somehow I'm second rate. His widow is enjoying the proceeds of his death and is back on the market to find a new spouse.

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((((((Sheri))))))

I am so sorry you feel this way. I don't know what post you are referring to, but I do not think anyone here would ever say or do anything to make you feel bad.

I understand where you are coming from. I worry very much about my son and what he will have to go thru when I am gone.

Please, please do not feel like anyone here meant to be insensitive. Please keep posting. We really would like to help you through this journey.

Hugs - Patti B.

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Sheri,

I understand some of what you are saying and I too agree with losing my parents too soon and unable to get "new" ones. But I don't understand what you mean about this board and widows. Anyone can start a thread. We are all here for each other--whatever our loss. I am sorry that you feel let down. But hugs to you my friend...{{hugs}}

Leslie

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I can be blunt and don't mean to sound that way. My kids were 13 and 19, respectively. They didn't have 40 years. We were married 25 years. I am not out on the market looking for a new spouse. He was my soulmate...the love of my life. You need to find another way to express your anger--not by bashing others that have grief. You can't compare anybody's losses and grief--everyone is different. You may have more grief and loss from losing your dad than your stepmom or she may handle it a different way from you that looks like she cares less. She may be disfunctional, which can happen, making it impossible for her to do things that need doing.

As I said, everyone is different and handles it differently. That is where grief counseling can really help because you get to meet others that are grieving and understand everything you are going through better. Didn't mean to go on and on. Take care. We really do care about everyone here.

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Sheri,

I am so sorry you had an experience that made your grief feel inconsequential. My daughter is 39 and I worry how she would fare if she lost her Dad and I. She lives 5 hours away now and I can see she is really trying to make a life there for she and her son but we are still all very connected.

I don't believe the slight was intentional. There have been times when I've had to consider that my comments just kind of got lost in the flow of a thread. Some people have known each other longer or have felt special connections to others by virtue of common characteristic or experiences. But it's hard in those cases not to get your feelings a little hurt. You've been around a long time, and I hope you can let the care and concern of those of us responding to you now help you get past this.

But Sheri, it's very good that you came back to the site to vent on the subject. In this way others who certainly mean no harm can become more aware.

Warm regards, Judy in Key West

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Sherry. Thank you for sharing your feelings here. I do not respond to grieving posts quite often because frankly that is not where I need to be. But your post obviously struck me. I have personally never noticed a lack of support in any other forum for children of parents living and or dying from lung cancer. However, you feel how you feel for a reason and it is real for you. So I am sorry about that and I am so sorry that you lost your dad way too young. He must have been very special to you. I am glad you had here to come and vent and would encourage you to continue to do so. I have found everyone here is well intended and sometimes our perceptions are different than reality. Take good care please

Sandra

ps I would be resentful of your dad's last spouse as well. I get that. But I wouldn't belittle her grief either. You may be completely right but some people just handle grief differently.

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(((Sheri))),

Grief and loss are painful to all of us who have to experience it. Whether it be a friend, parents, siblings , spouse, etc. it makes no difference to me. Loss is loss and one person's pain or situation can't be compared to another's . I do think , however , that people in similar situations tend to identify with people in the same .. I know I do. It doesn't mean that I lack compassion or caring for others who are grieving in their way due to their own losses and set of circumstances.

I just want to say, I guess I am one of the widows who often responds to other widows posts. It's because I can identify with them. It's not because I think my loss as a widow is any greater than anyone else's . I can't speak for anyone else, but when I post , I don't always read all the responses from others, but I am posting to the person who originally wrote the thread. Lastly, I would like to say that if anything I might have said or not said was taken that I thought my grief was greater because it is a widow's grief please forgive me because I don't feel that way at all.

Lastly, but most importantly, I would like to send you a big hug. I'm so very sorry you are going through so much pain of your own. Losing people we love and who are important in our lives just plain sucks.

Hugs,

Sue

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I can't stand how this board seems to elevate the grief of widows/widowers.

I don't know which post or what happened to make you feel this way and if another member(s) here made you feel this way, I'm very sorry.

That's not what we are about here. I think if you ask others who have been here during our almost 6 years online, most members are here to support each other, no matter what their personal experience is. And if anyone is not here for that reason, this isn't the place for them.

As a daughter who lost both her parents way too soon, I understand a lot of your anger and greif. No we can't go get a new parent and their love of us and our love for them was completely unconditionall- whereas I know my love for my spouse is conditional to respect, fidelity, and the effort put in to be one half of a productive couple and parents to our children--Does that mean I loved my parents more than my spouse? I don't think I could ever measure it that way because it's a different love, a different relationship and a different set of circumstances. I'm lucky in that all those relationships were/are good ones, whereas some people may not have close relationships with their parents or have experienced multiple marraiges- so the same loss- the experience- for them wouldn't be the same as it would be for me- doesn't mean they hurt any less than I do.

No one can negate another persons' loss and I would hope that that isn't done here by anyone intentionally. Each loss and each relationship is as individual as the person is.

I can't begin to imagine what it was like for my mom to lose a spouse after 35 years (when I have only been married for 17- and much of that time had my parents to lean on and depend on too) My parents only had each other for 35 years. She was crippled emotionally without my dad.

I can't begin to fully understand the loss of a spouse like that or the loss of a child...and I wouldn't even pretend to try--what I do understand is my own loss, and that's the most devestating and personal to me. Just like your loss is the most devestating and personal to you.

It's that understanding that I take to the table when another member here is hurting and in need of support- it doesn't matter whom they've lost. We have grief and lung cancer in common and can support and encourage each other thru the difficult times.

There are times that I hurt for someone after reading their post, but may not reply because I don't have the experience or the wisdom to share- it's not because I don't care. There are times that I have posted a post and other's have not replied.

I don't take that personally. Each of us deals with our grief in different ways.

I want to let you know that I'm so sorry for your loss and that this board does not cater to any particular group of people, we are here for everyone touched by lung cancer.

I'm sorry about your dad's wife and what you are going thru with her ontop of your loss. None of it is fair.

We really are here for you. I'm sorry you are hurting so much right now.

I hope for gentler days ahead for you.

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Hi Sheri.

I am certainly someone who understands. So please don't feel alone.

Re: widows and the board. I'm not going to invalidate the way you feel at all. Because I don't walk in your shoes (I think they would be too small). However, I know I've often felt bad I can't support some of the widows the way many of them have been able to comfort me (because they have been children of parnets).

I do think widow/widower grief is way different than child of a deceased parent grief, at least that is how it appears (not in a good way or a bad way, just different).

That said, (and Sheri correct me if I am out of line, but I don't think I am) I don't think Sheri is saying widows here "have it easy" or can move on and intend to to a new spouse, or that they are reaping benefits. I think those commnets were specific to her observation of her father's wife.

However, you may feel that you don't see the same support around children of pareents as you do of widows here. I just think things ebb and flow and right now (I am sorry for this) it just seems like a lot of widows and widowers around lately than children of parents...When I first got here, it mostly seemed like grieving kids with the widows in the minority. which I think just happens to be what it is.

I hope I said stuff that makes sense. I'm here and so is everyone else only wanting to be a comfort.

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You guys are awesome, once agian I'm in tears. I apologize if I offended anyone, that was not my intent. I reacted impulsively and used this forum as a platform to scream "Dammit, I hurt too!"

Sunday I had a complete meltdown, called the two friends (one, an ex-boyfriend) I have who have lost a parent. They guided me and made me laugh. That night I dreamed of my Dad and his Father who we lost in 2000. I was crying to my Dad that as a person who lost their own Dad he is the only person who truly knew how I felt. Dad assured me that he was very much alive and Grandpa's long red hair was his way of rebelling. My Grandpa always looked like Hitler, receeding greased black hairline, mustache and all.

Yes, Dad is my soulmate. I've lost partners through break-ups, but there hasn't been a relationship lost that is equivalent to losing him. My Dad and I were completely dependent on each other. We always knew whatever life experience we were currently in, we could always depend on each other.

Again, I didn't mean to diminish anyone elses grief. As been said , we all grieve differently and I believe that is a reflection of the love we felt for those who we have lost.

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(((Sheri))),

Yes, the meltdowns... they happen to all of us at some point in time , I think. It's like sometimes we just feel we can't cope another minute , but somehow we find the strength to pick ourselves up and go again....until the next meltdown that is. It's really rough when the person we are closest to is no longer there. Sometimes, we just don't realize how dependent we are to others until we no longer have them. Keep in touch and know that we do understand and we care.

Hugs,

Sue

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Dear Sheri -

Yes - I get your pain. All too well...because my daughter lost her father at the young age of 27. She misses him terribly and isn't anywhere near "over his death".

I suspect she never will. Her dad was her best friend, her confidant, her rock. When he died, she lost the one person in her life that understood her inside out.

You are SO right about the fact that widows can get a new husband, but you can never get a new dad. My daughter stated that fact to me when I started dating. But what was I to say or do? I simply hugged her and hung on. I hurt for the loss of my husband, but I also hurt for the loss of my children's father. They still needed him. Our four grandchildren still needed him. Watching my daughter and son grieve, each in their own way has broken my heart as much as my own grief.

I lost my dad too...but I had him until I was almost 56 years old. In his aging process he slipped away from us slowly. Somehow, through the aging process, you can and do accept it differently. Not that I don't grieve my father, but I know it isn't like it would have been if I lost him at 27 or at 40.

Anger is a real part of grief and depression. When I was depressed I could get upset and angry and have a melt down over the most trifling of things.

You are normal. You are hurting. And many times in that hurt, you just lash out. I think everyone here knows and understands that.

Hugs ((((((((((((((((((((((((((Sheri))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Shannon

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Sheri,

I normally don't frequent this forum, but felt compelled to answer your post. My dad didn't die of cancer, but he died suddenly of a heart attack, when I was 36 years old.

I was a daddy's girl also, my mother never quite figured me out, but my dad and I were on the same wave length. The last time I saw my dad was Thanksgiving and we were sitting around the table sharing stories of childhood. My mother was saying how when my dad went to work starting from when I could walk until I went to kindergarten, I would stand at the window- all you could see was my knuckles on the windowsill trying to stay on tiptoes, so that I could watch as he drove down the street. The minute he turned the corner, I was so bereft watching him go that I would cry for a half hour. He was my whole world from the beginning.

After my dad died, I tried to help my mother, who I always struggled to have a relationship with. For days after he died, she told the story of how he died, over and over. I knew that she felt the need to tell it, but he was MY father, I didn't want to hear the little things - the things that happen when someone suddenly falls over on the cold concrete floor of the garage and dies. Of course I helped with the funeral arrangements and all that goes with that. She got my father's tombstone engraved with "loving husband.. with all my love" and the word dad was not even put on it. She sold the house that he had worked his whole life to pay off, and spent most of the money on special edition dolls and God knows what else. For the first few years he was gone, I called her on his birthday, their anniversary, his death day and never ONCE did my mom call me on one of those days or even THINK of the idea that I was feeling the loss. She would just talk about herself. Never ONCE from the beginning did my mother look outside of her grief and notice or care that I had lost my dad, the man that was my whole world from the beginning.

I could go on and on but I don't because there is no sense. My mother is who she is and these are all the reasons why I never did have a relationship with her. I keep my distance.

I'm sorry that you are feeling the pain that you are. I'm also sorry that my post is so long, you just brought back alot of stuff that I never really have shared with many. I felt like if I was to bring it up to anyone, it would seem petty - that it was somehow my duty to support my mother during that time and swallow my own grief. Meanwhile, not too far under the surface, was that little girl with her knuckles turning white on the windowsill.

I so get where you are. Best wishes.

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Sheri...

I'm "infrequent" at best around here...but I do stop in and I saw this and wanted to comment...or at least share with you MY experience.

I lost my mother...and my best friend/confidant/etc (you name it, she filled that position for me)...in May of 2007...not too long over a year ago, and I thought my world had ended. I posted that she'd passed on here and got a "decent" number of comments. And Mom had been a member.

There aren't as many children that stay around as there are widows/widowers, it seems to me...at least not as regularly. We get swept up in our lives, our children, our jobs....and miss some of the things that we SHOULD be catching on this board to try to be supportive and helpful because we ARE the ones who've been there and know what you're going through...at least somewhat.

My stepmother, when my dad died (also of lung cancer), sent me a box of pictures that he'd kept from the time they were married and it included ALL the photos I'd sent of my daughter. She didn't keep a single one for herself to remind her of her "step" grand daughter and it just absolutely P**SED me off. And, ya know, I've not had contact with her since other than to collect my "inheritance" (which consisted of my father's clarinet and some dishes from HIS mother) and to wish her well...and I'm ok with that.

Losing a parent when we're still "young" IS totally different than losing a spouse...and I'm sorry I wasn't here to support you better.

I hope you're starting down your road of healing and will be here if you need me...

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Sherri,

Well I can't really add much to whats been said previously....

All I can say to you is that I lost my Daddy and he was a good age of 79 and it was still far too soon for me to say goodbye to him.... I don't think when you are as devoted to a parent as you were, there is ever a "good" time. It hurts no matter what.

I know I don't get any sympathy from my own Mom... whenever I mention missing Dad her comment will always be "well, how do you think I feel?" It annoys the heck out of me!!!! So, I get what your saying... as children sometimes we are expected to be able to pick up and move forward because as they say "we have our whole lives ahead of us"... BUT that doesn't lessen the holes left in our hearts... no it doesn't NOT ONE BIT.

Love, Sharon

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Oh Sharon,

I'm so sorry you can't share your feelings about losing your dad with your mom. It sounds like she is still hurting really bad...no excuse - but I know during my active grief, I was just numb to really be able to help anyone else.

In my depression - I wasn't intentional cruel, but I just was so irritable all the time. If someone mentioned missing Mike, I would immediately "feel" like "Well what about me?", even when I didn't express it.

I think sometimes grief makes us selfish without even realizing it.

The problem is when you are not thinking rationally (even when you are ACTING rationally - there is a difference)...you say and do things that hurt.

I hope that you will try to break down your mother's wall - express your feelings to her and let her know that your pain is not any less than her's and that you should be able to grieve together, not have a pi$$ing contest over who misses him more.

The fact of the matter isn't whose life is disrupted more, or who misses him more or who is hurt more...the fact is this....a man who was deeply loved - died and he is missed in many different ways, by many different people, for many different reasons.

Hugs Sharon....I miss my dad too....and it just plain hurts.

Shannon

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(((Sheri)))

I'm so sorry for how you were feeling. I think it was my post that you were referring to, because you wrote very supportive words to me, and it was a very "widow" related post.

So much wisdom has already been shared. I notice a real ebb and flow on the board too, as I think Nick mentioned. Sometimes it's mostly parent-related, and other times it's mostly spouse-related. I noticed that when I was in the other forums during Bill's fight. I too tend to offer something to say when it's spouse-related, simply because I can relate and feel like I have something to offer.

Like yourself, my wonderful step-kids (25 and 22) lost their dad way too early. They absolutely adored him -- he was their hero. I struggle with how to support them, because I still have my parents and haven't known that loss. I think we do a good job at supporting each other, because we do understand that our losses are different, but equally deep and earth-shattering.

No one is replaceable -- not your wonderful dad, not my wonderful husband, or anyone else who is being missed so. It's not just about the relationship -- although that's important in the grief, it's the person, it's the bond you shared.

I'm so sorry that you didn't feel support when you needed it. Earlier today I was talking with my step-kid's mum, Linda. She lost her mum the very week I arrived in England. She had lived a good, long life. But Linda was devastated. She was extremely close to her mum. I spoke with her today and I asked how she was doing with it all. She said it's awful, and no one seems to notice. That no one asks her about it. So in the that sense, I think you're right that society doesn't view losses the same, and people tend to forget that you're grieving sooner when you've lost a parent or a sibling than they do if you've lost a spouse or a child. They talked about that in one of my grief classes. I think it partly has to do with how visable the losses are to others. If someone is actually missing from your home, the loss is more obvious.

I've always felt this board does a very good job in support -- if you put it out there, there will almost always be someone who gets it. Some topics touch many people; other topics might hit one or two.

Hugs, Sheri -- I care how you feel, and I'm sorry.

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Sherri

Not really sure what more I can add to what has already been said, but wanted to add my 2 cents about being a child who lost a parent.

My Dad died 4months ago, and in the beginning, the only people who asked me how I was were "my" friends, those mostly my age, other than that anyone else who knew me as well as my mother always asked "How is your Mom?" It would make me sooooo MAD. I was like, HEY WHAT ABOUT ME!!!!! And now, well mostly we have moved on (on the outside) and I think that people just think that things are fine and dont ask how you are, if you are not grieving out in the open. I really never did that, I didnt want to scare my kids, one of which spent alot of time with Grandpa the past year and was sad herself.

But it still hurts everyday.. I know that my Mom still has bad days. Today expecially, its Dads birthday!

But.... This place has helped me more than anyone can know. I have meet wonderful people here and I hope that I have been able to be a suport for someone else that is grieving...

Maybe this site needs a forum for children who lost someone to LC. if thats possible, That way it may be easier for those of us who have to connect with each other? KATIE??? are you still following this thread? Is that a possibility?

Sherri and all of you others who lost a parent... I am thinking of you!

Shelli

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Sheri, Can you believe you started this subject that is still going. I believe it was very important for the many "children" who have responded her about their own grief and feelings it's been ignored by family and community. Your courage in "venting" opened the door for them to express feelings they may have not felt safe in sharing before.

Good job.

Judy in Key West

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I can relate to your feelings about loosing a parent. I lost my mother in March.. She was only 58 and I was 29. She was my best friend in the world and life is so hard with out her. You are so right.. there is no replacing a parent. I know I'm a grown woman.. I'm married.. I shouldn't need her anymore.. But I do. I feel like I've been robbed. I was! I've had people who I think have tried to fill in the mother role.. Which I didn't take very well.. Nobody can ever replace her.

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