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Losing a parent - when does it start to get easier?


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Today is the 2nd anniversary of my mom's death, and it's hitting me like a ton of bricks.  Lost my biological father (never really knew him) a few years back, so it didn't hurt as much.  I didn't expect to be without both of my parents before I hit the age of 30, but that's exactly what happened. 

 

Have had other things happen within the past couple years that definitely haven't helped (covid layoff last April, coming up on a year of unemployment), but my mom's passing has really hit hard.  

 

Any advice for getting through the death of a parent, or tough times in general?   I've tried to remain tough, grind it out, and keep pushing, but it gets to the point where I feel I just have nothing left to fight for.  Just kinda getting a few things off my chest here.  Would appreciate any insight.  Thanks for reading.  

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Losing a parent is a wound that will never heal.

 

It does become a little bit easier to live with the wound, however, as time passes.

 

If you find yourself missing your mom and wishing you could tell her certain things, physically write them to her in little letters than obviously never get sent.  Write them in ink on paper or on a computer, doesn't matter.

 

 

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Dad died 30 years ago (I'm 63) . Had dreams where he was still alive for several years afterwards, but they faded. Still have times where I wish I could talk to him about stuff or guidance. Mom is now 94 and has dementia. She talks to him and her dead siblings  occasionally. I go to his grave every couple of months and talk to him about her (cemetery is only 2 miles away). It gets better but it takes time.

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1 hour ago, Limeaid said:

I lost my mom last year and I still occasionally see something (i.e. Dolly Parton and Barry Gibbs doing "Islands in the Stream" which was her favorite song) and want to share with her and then I remember she died. She is still with me but it still hurts but I still embrace it rather than have nothing of her.

 

Before your mom passed, did you let her know that was Kenny Rogers, and not Barry Gibbs, singing with Dolly?

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My dad passed about 2 1/2 years ago.  He and I were very close.  I worked side by side with him in the restaurant and skied together every Sunday during the winters.  I moved away to CA nearly 40 years ago.  I always wondered if being gone that many years would make it easier or harder when they pass (mom 95 and still going strong).  I'm here to tell you it's been a LOT easier.  This may sound cold but don't really miss him much at all.  The reason is because over those 40 years on only saw him once a year at the absolute most.  The first 20 almost not at all.  So I feel that makes me lucky.  

 

The best thing that helped me was when I told my assistant at work that "my dad just passed" she told me to find and save a voicemail from him.  So I did.  So when i listen to it now I realize it was time and glad he died suddenly of a heart attack.  Dude was starting to lose his mind and that would have been horrible to witness that downward spiral. 

2 hours ago, Limeaid said:

I lost my mom last year 

 

Did you look behind the couch?

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I empathize with everyone who has endured this inevitable occurrence when they’ve been less than about 50 years old. I/my family have been especially fortunate by comparison. No heart attacks, cancer or tragedies to speak of. My parents are now 87 and my grandparents and great-grandparents all lived well into the 90’s with Granddad achieving 99 -we give him full centurion recognition as he was just a couple months shy of 100. Me? I’ve literally done everything to challenge/disrupt my genealogy. Drink like a fish. Smoke like a fiend. Refuse to exercise. 

Chat with the folks weekly -they’re doing great. I’m thrilled they’re still a big part of mine and my siblings lives, but I have no desire to be their age. I’m 65, middle child of 5. 2 siblings have lost their spouses but they and all my Aunts and Uncles are still alive and doing well -all now Floridians.

For me, as old as I am, it’s still inconceivable to lose a family member younger than 92.🤷‍♂️

 

 

 

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Chandler#81 said:

I empathize with everyone who has endured this inevitable occurrence when they’ve been less than about 50 years old. I/my family have been especially fortunate by comparison. No heart attacks, cancer or tragedies to speak of. My parents are now 87 and my grandparents and great-grandparents all lived well into the 90’s with Granddad achieving 99 -we give him full centurion recognition as he was just a couple months shy of 100. Me? I’ve literally done everything to challenge/disrupt my genealogy. Drink like a fish. Smoke like a fiend. Refuse to exercise. 

 

I see you are going on George Burns plan. I hope it works out for you.

1 hour ago, Gugny said:

 

Before your mom passed, did you let her know that was Kenny Rogers, and not Barry Gibbs, singing with Dolly?

 

No she knew.  She was a big Kenny Rogers fan and I am Bee Gees fan.  I told her Barry wrote the song for Kenny Rogers and he thought Dolly Parton was perfect one to sign it with him.

 

The Dolly Parton / Barry Gibbs song is part of an album he is making (may be complete) in Nashville in which he is singing songs of Bee Gees and the guest star was picking song.

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23 minutes ago, Chandler#81 said:

I empathize with everyone who has endured this inevitable occurrence when they’ve been less than about 50 years old. I/my family have been especially fortunate by comparison. No heart attacks, cancer or tragedies to speak of. My parents are now 87 and my grandparents and great-grandparents all lived well into the 90’s with Granddad achieving 99 -we give him full centurion recognition as he was just a couple months shy of 100. Me? I’ve literally done everything to challenge/disrupt my genealogy. Drink like a fish. Smoke like a fiend. Refuse to exercise. 

Chat with the folks weekly -they’re doing great. I’m thrilled they’re still a big part of mine and my siblings lives, but I have no desire to be their age. I’m 65, middle child of 5. 2 siblings have lost their spouses but they and all my Aunts and Uncles are still alive and doing well -all now Floridians.

For me, as old as I am, it’s still inconceivable to lose a family member younger than 92.🤷‍♂️

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few years back there was an add that mentioned several of us know someone who has lived well in to their 90's. When listening to that add my thought was I don't know anyone that hasn't! Dad died 82 days shy of 101. Good lord willing Mom will turn 102 in July. Wouldn't bet against her. To your point about drinking and smoking, Uncle John literally smoked 5 packs a day was the guy that was passed out on the sidewalk after closing. Broke his hip when he was 77, Dr's said his liver and lungs weren't that bad, if he quit drinking and smoking he could make 100, if not he wouldn't live another 5 years. He died at 81. Not bad considering his lifestyle.

 

7 hours ago, Patience said:

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my mom's death, and it's hitting me like a ton of bricks.  Lost my biological father (never really knew him) a few years back, so it didn't hurt as much.  I didn't expect to be without both of my parents before I hit the age of 30, but that's exactly what happened. 

 

Have had other things happen within the past couple years that definitely haven't helped (covid layoff last April, coming up on a year of unemployment), but my mom's passing has really hit hard.  

 

Any advice for getting through the death of a parent, or tough times in general?   I've tried to remain tough, grind it out, and keep pushing, but it gets to the point where I feel I just have nothing left to fight for.  Just kinda getting a few things off my chest here.  Would appreciate any insight.  Thanks for reading.  

Depending on the source there is anywhere from 5 to 12 stages of grief. Both loss of a parent and loss of a job are major losses and require working through the stages. Stop trying to be tough. If you're angry be angry. If you're depressed, which seems to be a stage you are understandably stuck in, reach out for help. Posting here was a start.  If you believe in God or participate in an organized religion reach out there. Good luck.

 

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8 hours ago, Patience said:

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my mom's death, and it's hitting me like a ton of bricks.  Lost my biological father (never really knew him) a few years back, so it didn't hurt as much.  I didn't expect to be without both of my parents before I hit the age of 30, but that's exactly what happened. 

 

Have had other things happen within the past couple years that definitely haven't helped (covid layoff last April, coming up on a year of unemployment), but my mom's passing has really hit hard.  

 

Any advice for getting through the death of a parent, or tough times in general?   I've tried to remain tough, grind it out, and keep pushing, but it gets to the point where I feel I just have nothing left to fight for.  Just kinda getting a few things off my chest here.  Would appreciate any insight.  Thanks for reading.  

I think what your doing now is a great outlet. Just talking to people, whether it be in person or virtually helps to get some of the emotions out. I'm sorry for your loss. Reach out if you need to talk and find things to do to keep your mind busy. I know it's easier said than done.

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9 hours ago, Patience said:

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my mom's death, and it's hitting me like a ton of bricks.  Lost my biological father (never really knew him) a few years back, so it didn't hurt as much.  I didn't expect to be without both of my parents before I hit the age of 30, but that's exactly what happened. 

 

Have had other things happen within the past couple years that definitely haven't helped (covid layoff last April, coming up on a year of unemployment), but my mom's passing has really hit hard.  

 

Any advice for getting through the death of a parent, or tough times in general?   I've tried to remain tough, grind it out, and keep pushing, but it gets to the point where I feel I just have nothing left to fight for.  Just kinda getting a few things off my chest here.  Would appreciate any insight.  Thanks for reading.  

Being able to vent and let it out does help to a degree even though it doesn't fix things.  Listening to other people's experiences is comforting for me.  I cannot relate to losing my parents yet on a personal level but there has been a lot of stuff that has happened with my extended family over the years and now nobody really talks anymore and the Holidays are always very difficult for me..this past Christmas I made a post on here just kind of venting and asking if anybody else could relate and it was very comforting and it did help me cope reading through everybody's replies.

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I’m sorry for your loss, but thank you for making me feel even better about taking my 93 year old mother to lunch today.

 

When I say something like “I have to take my mom groceries today” my wife always corrects me with “no, you GET TO take your mom groceries today”. Big difference. 

 

My mom is the only one left. We’ve lost both of my wife’s parents, my dad and a child. As her mom was dying in the hospital my wife would say “this is her journey”.  We have always tried to cope by focusing on what we DO have, not what is missing. You never forget, but they are at peace and they would want us to be at peace as well. Sadly, losing our parents is the way it’s supposed to happen. It’s natural. 

 

Being open and talking about it has helped us. This, along with time, helps make it easier, a little bit at a time. Covid gets in the way a bit but I just feel better overall when I’m active and get some exercise. As @Chef Jim mentioned, I have saved some of my mom’s voicemails, I just don’t know how I’ll react when that’s the only way to hear her voice. 

 

Good luck and hang in there. 

 

 

.

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Thanks to all of you for reading and for your comments.  Today was a tough one, but it actually helped to share this with someone.  I'm going to try several of the suggestions in this thread.  Trying to tough it out has not been a fruitful path for dealing any better with this.  

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My Father died 27 years ago, I was ten at the time.  You don't ever "get over it" and anyone who says you need to is full of crap.   However, the grief changes with time.   The hurt doesnt ever go away, but the direct heaviness or impact on your everyday life passes.   You're only a few years out of having the physical presence of the person who gave you life removed, its completely normal to feel the way you do.   I would suggest turning that grief into motivation to keep her memory fresh.   I am not sure how she passed away, but if she had a special charity she loved or directly impacted her, get involved with that.   It's important to keep busy.  I find enriching the lives of others, while sharing your parents life and legacy is helpful. 

 

If it gets really bad there are so many good bereavement groups to join and talk through with other people experiencing the same thing.   

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Part of way I remember my mom without so much pain is by having some of her items shown in my living room.

 

My mother had some porcelain birds on a rack on wall and when her items were divided up I got them.

They are on my wall in living room.  Unfortunately I bumped door frame and a few fell from shelf a broke parts.

My wife has fixed broken mugs before and has attempted to fix them but not having much luck unfortunately.

 

My mother had a lot of wooden animals displayed when she had a house or apartment most purchased by me.

I was given them when her items were divided up.

There are far too many for me but do not want to donate them to a bulk agency like goodwill who sell a bunch of stuff to resellers.

I have tried local organizations like school but they suggested buy a table at next flea market and sell them there.

It is always on Saturday when I work and I likely would be giving up more pay then I would get at flea market.

 

I still have a card from cemetery with her picture and prayer and used to keep it in my wallet.

It has gotten too wrinkled now so I took it out.

 

My biggest issue was I was not able to see her before she died.

She decided to be taken off her other medication when she found out she had cancer and died before I could get there.

 

It has been a little more than a year now and it has getting a little less painful but I think I will be going thru cycle again.

My Japanese aunt is very frail now and cannot do much. Her son still takes care of her but her older son is saying she is just waiting to die.

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My mum passed just over 5 years ago now. At times that feels like a long time ago and at times it feels like it was yesterday. I was a caregiver during two years of pancreatic area cancer (ampullary node) and the end was extremely difficult to witness.

 

Like Wacka, I often have dreams where there was a mistake of some kind and she’s still alive. I’m autistic (Asperger’s as-was before the DVM-5)  that was quite late-diagnosed and had depression quite awhile before I started getting treatment / meds for it shortly into my mum’s cancer fight. It’s gotten a bit deeper since. Not suicidal / harmful to others, just to make that distinction. But just felt kinda rudderless, hollow, and so very tired all the time... the kind that even 24/7 sleep can’t help if I could sleep that much and I have lots of sleep disturbance (may be due more to autism as it’s been that way all my life, really). Doc has tried different meds to little/no/worsening effect. Talk therapy maybe helped a bit but haven’t been in almost two years after my last left the clinic I go to; and the turnover was such that it just seemed fruitless to start over again with a new one. Maybe I should start that again but with how it is now with the ‘Rona, I have lots of issues doing that over the phone; I just don’t like talking on the phone. Video is slightly easier. As for bereavement, maybe give that a try. (For myself, there were none in my area and I have difficulty with social settings.)

 

The 😭 grief has for the most part blunted over time and the chest pain associated with grief does resolve (I had tremendous chest pain for about 6 months and then it was like spontaneously gone 🤷🏻‍♂️). Probably the most comfort I’ve gotten has been my dog, to be honest.

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On 3/1/2021 at 9:50 AM, UConn James said:

The 😭 grief has for the most part blunted over time and the chest pain associated with grief does resolve (I had tremendous chest pain for about 6 months and then it was like spontaneously gone 🤷🏻‍♂️). Probably the most comfort I’ve gotten has been my dog, to be honest.

 

I hope you do get well.  If you work at home or in evening try to get some outside light wearing shorts.  My wife knows I am a bit crazy but there are sensors in back of knees which affect "circadian rhythms".  Since early 90s when I used to travel for work I'd walk around hotel in shorts in area which had outside light when I arrived and it helped my sleeping.  I also find it affects mood.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science-knees-hold-clue-to-human-body-clock-1138865.html

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