Families with a Missing Piece

By Jeffry Zaslow for the Wall Street Journal

For adults who were children when their parents died, the question is hypothetical but heartbreaking: “Would you give up a year of your life to have one more day with your late mother or father?”

One in nine Americans lost a parent before they were 20 years old, and for many of them, this sort of question has been in their heads ever since.

“I’d give up a year of my life for just half a day with my parents,” says Jonathan Herman, a 33-year-old health-care executive in New York. He lost both his parents to cancer before he was 13. “I’ve had friends complain that they have to drive to see their parents for Thanksgiving,” he says. “I tell them: I’d do anything to spend Thanksgiving with my parents.”

When polled, 57% of adults who lost parents during childhood shared Mr. Herman’s yearnings, saying they, too, would trade a year of their lives. Their responses, part of a wide-ranging new survey, indicate that bereavement rooted in childhood often leaves emotional scars for decades, and that our society doesn’t fully understand the ramifications—or offer appropriate resources. The complete survey of more than 1,000 respondents, set for release later this month, was funded by the New York Life Foundation on behalf of Comfort Zone Camp, a nonprofit provider of childhood bereavement camps.

Among the findings: 73% believe their lives would be “much better” if their parents hadn’t died young; 66% said that after their loss “they felt they weren’t a kid anymore.”

Childhood grief is “one of society’s most chronically painful yet most underestimated phenomena,” says Comfort Zone founder Lynne Hughes, who lost both her parents before she was 13. She says she is worried that educators, doctors, and the clergy get little or no training to help them recognize signs of loneliness, isolation and depression in grieving children—and in adults who lost parents in childhood.

Students are often promoted from grade to grade, with new teachers never being informed that they’re grieving. Adults visit physicians, speak of depression, but are never asked if a childhood loss might be a factor.

New research suggests it’s time to pay closer attention. Children whose parents commit suicide, for instance, are three times as likely to commit suicide later in their lives, according to a just-released study by Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. The study also found that those who lost parents young are more likely to be hospitalized for depression or to commit violent crimes.

In the 2009 memoir “The Kids Are All Right,” four siblings from Bedford, N.Y., orphaned in the 1980s, described the risks in harrowing detail. They wrote of “growing up as lost souls,” and turning to drugs and other troubling behaviors as coping mechanisms.

It’s a common story. Gary Jahnke, 31, of Hastings, Minn., was 13 when his mother died of cancer. “I gave up on my good grades and dropped out of high school,” he says. “I didn’t do anything except drink, do drugs and be depressed. I was confused and angry, and adults didn’t know how to help me. I had a good relationship with my dad, but he was also grieving.” Mr. Jahnke credits his wife with helping him on his “upward climb,” and says his 2-month-old daughter has given his life purpose.

Support groups, which grieving adults often find helpful, seem less beneficial to bereaved children, says Holly Wilcox, a psychiatric epidemiologist who led the Hopkins study. Children are more apt to be buoyed by engaging in normal kid activities with supportive peers, and by receiving attention from adult relatives or friends who encourage them to talk about their feelings.

At the same time, the mental-health issues of grieving kids need to be better monitored by primary-care physicians in the days, months and years after their parents die, Dr. Wilcox says.

When surveyed about how they processed their grief, adults whose parents died when they were young speak of touchstones. They were helped by looking at old videos with surviving family members, by listening to favorite music and by writing memories of their parents in journals. Some chafed at more-formal approaches; 33% said talking to therapists or school guidance counselors were the “least helpful” activities.

The early loss of a parent can make some people more resilient, responsible and independent, the research shows. But there are risks there, too. Kids who get through by being stoic and behaving like adults often “pay a fierce price—namely their childhoods,” says Ms. Hughes. They focus on trying to keep their surviving parent happy or on stepping up to handle the responsibilities of their deceased parent.

Donica Salley, a 50-year-old cosmetics sales director in Richmond, Va., understands well the ramifications of losing a parent. When she was 13, her 44-year-old father drowned while on vacation in the Bahamas. “That was the onset of my depression,” she says. “My mom tried to fill the void and the hurt by buying me things.”

Two years ago, Ms. Salley’s husband died after falling off the roof of their house while cleaning the gutters. He was also 44. Their 17-year-old son has since attended a Comfort Zone camp. “It’s a safe haven for him,” Ms. Salley says. “There’s something about being with people who’ve been through it. When my father died, I didn’t know anyone who’d lost a parent. I was alone.”

The weekend bereavement camps, held in five states and serving 2,500 children a year, are designed “to catch kids at the beginning of their grief journeys,” Ms. Hughes says. About half of the camp’s 5,000 volunteers are adults who lost parents when they were young.

Christopher Blunt, an executive at New York Life and a camp volunteer, was 22 when his mom passed away. He tells of leading a “healing circle” discussion with eight campers, as they shared how their parents died—to suicide, a drug overdose, cancer.

One 10-year-old girl told the others about a day when she was 5 years old and got mad at her father. He came into her bedroom to kiss her good night, and she pretended she was asleep because she didn’t want to talk to him. He died of a heart attack the next day. “She’d been carrying this story with her for five years,” says Mr. Blunt, 48. “It’s so powerful to see the raw emotions these kids share.”

Some activists say it’s vital to start helping young people even before their parents die. To that end, the Georgia-based Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation provides free vacations to families in which one parent is terminally ill. The organization was founded by Jon and Jill Albert, shortly before Jill’s 2006 death to cancer at age 45. Their children were then 11 and 13.

“When Jill passed away, people who lost parents when they were young told me it would be a 30-year impact for the kids,” says Mr. Albert, 48. His organization, with the help of corporate sponsors, has sent 300 families on vacations.

“These trips allow families to build memories, and to take a lot of pictures and videos together,” says Mr. Albert.

After their parents die, some of the children might find it painful to look at these last photos of them enjoying life as a family. But Mr. Herman, who lost his dad when he was 4 and his mother when he was 12, says such images can be a gift later in adulthood. For years, he resisted watching the video of his 9th birthday. But he now finds it cathartic to see his mother healthy, hugging him and calling his name.

“I haven’t heard my father’s voice since I was 4 years old,” he says. “It doesn’t exist [on tape]. It hurts not to hear him.” He admits he feels a touch envious of children who lose parents today, because they have so many more digital images to hold on to.

For many who lost parents young, one particular birthday in their adult years is highly anticipated—and bittersweet. “My mom was 44 when she died. My dad was 45,” says Ms. Hughes. “I just turned 46 in April, and it was a huge exhale for me. I had to live to 46 to break the curse.”

Ms. Hughes, who has two young children, says she has made progress in dealing with her loss. She no longer fantasizes about giving up a year of her life for a day with her parents. “I wouldn’t want to miss a year with my own kids.”

* * * *

Reposted from the Wall Street Journal. View original article.


  1. Chae said on June 2, 2010 at 11:45 am ... #

    Just when I was planning to have a day without any tears. But its true about our society, which I love, that most people think of a traditional family and people don’t know how to react when there are any changes to that formula. Just look at most Disney films! Wish I knew about the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation. Good article!

  2. Jen R. said on June 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm ... #

    I was 20 when my dad died suddenly of a heart attack. I was 40 when my former husband and father to my two children (6 & 9) died by suicide just under 1 year ago. To say this article hit home is an understatement! And, while the John Hopkins study is not shocking per se, it certainly gave me pause. I believe, pray and hope that I am doing all the “right” things for my boys so that they may beat the odds and I am glad to have CZC providing my family support along that journey!

  3. Ken Claunch (Erie, PA) said on June 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm ... #

    I’m 77. My mother commited suicide when I was 9. I know it must sound crazy to most (or all); but her actions continue to impact my actions – including this very day! I am OK and, it seems obvious that I can’t now change any such impact; but I think it would help to hear I’m not alone. Any thoughts? Thanks. Ken Claunch

  4. admin said on June 4, 2010 at 4:28 pm ... #

    Hi Ken – this is an excellent topic for our forums. If you have not joined yet, I highly recommend it. People often ask questions like these and share/connect/get suggestions there. Think about it.


  5. Amy said on June 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm ... #

    Hi Ken – this is an excellent topic for our forums. If you have not joined yet, I highly recommend it. People often ask questions like these and share/connect/get suggestions there. Think about it.


  6. Rena said on June 7, 2010 at 11:06 am ... #

    Hi Ken, My father died of medical reasons when I was turning 5 and it continues to impact me strongly, especially in re: to feelings of abandonment and depression. A suicide, understandably, will impact a person even more strongly, as it can feel as if your parent didn’t love you enough to try to struggle with whatever pushed them to suicide. I would think that it could cause deep anger and pain throughout a person’s life. I was told by a client of mine (I’m a social worker) that the times that she felt suicidal, the urge to kill herself felt like a compulsion, and the thought of her children, whom she loves very much, did nothing to make it less compelling. I’m telling you that because perhaps your’s mother’s experience was like that also- a siren call that she couldn’t overpower. Support from others can help a lot; you don’t have to be alone. All the best.

  7. Deborah said on June 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm ... #

    My sister was murdered by her husband of 20 years and then he killed himself. They left 4 children 8-16 yrs behind in the the care of my parents. They seem to be doing fine but show no interest in going to counseling. They are doing well in school and are keeping busy. They are surrounded by loving family close by. What signs do we look for of any trouble or distress? Would appreciate your thoughts.

  8. Anne Saffron said on July 24, 2010 at 3:36 am ... #

    I would give up a year to see my father. I would easily miss a year of school to hug him. Though I wouldn’t want to miss a year of my mother or brother.
    God I miss my father so much. I still fantasize about his walking in the front door from work and greeting us. Going back in time when he would come home, me being a little girl running into his arms.
    People think they understand the feeling especially when there parents are divorced. Yes that is a horrible thing to have to deal with but they don’t need to give up a year to see their parents. They can see one one week and the other the next. Now I feel like I am getting off topic from the article. I’m, I’m just going to stop talking now.

  9. Sharon Cesario said on August 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm ... #

    I wish that this was around when my son Patrick lost his father, when he was 5 1/2 yrs. old. His father was 38 when he died from Brain Cancer. My son Patrick was 31 when he died from Diabetic Complications, he always felt alone and missed his father terribly. We all miss him now, I never knew how people felt about my son, until he died. He was loved greatly, because people said he was very compassionate for someone so young. It may have been the early loss that helped make him that way.

  10. Kiz Cortner said on August 12, 2010 at 9:25 pm ... #

    I was 5 when my father died of a heart attack. My mother, who was the most extraordinary woman I’ve ever known, died 8 years ago. She always worked to keep the memory of my father alive as I grew up. I would not remember what my father looked like had she not kept pictures of him for me and I honestly have no first hand memories of him – just stories that she told and retold to make him “real” to me. The older I get (I’m 55 now) the more acutely I feel the loss of not knowing what of me is like him, if he would have approved of my life, if we would have been friends, and so many more things. The loss is even more acute now that my mom is gone.

  11. Char Kolon said on August 25, 2010 at 10:01 am ... #

    My dad died when I was 19, just after i finished my first year of college. My parents knew that he had terminal cancer but never told my brother or me. When my dad died, we were on our way to the hospital to see him. My mom had me take care of many of the funeral arrangements, notify neighbors and family, talk with the doctors after his death. At the same time that I was expected to be responsible for these things, I was still treated like a child, with curfews, chores and taking care of my brother. My mother remarried just 7 months after my dad’s death, moved to a new house and state. When I told her that I would stay at the college where I had already begun course work, she told me that I was on my own. Now, at 93, she is still alive and I am her care giver. My brother died 13 years ago, so I have only my husband’s support. I have struggled with this for so many years and others, even therapists, have thought that I should be over it by now.

  12. Susan said on September 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm ... #

    I was 21 months old when my mother died – she died shortly after childbirth – an negligent ‘accident’. I can tell you that all of my life I have had great difficulty relating to emotions and just being human. I’ve kept everything to myself, I was never hugged or cherished or loved by anyone. I don’t remember my mother at all. I had a memory recently of how I felt when she died – I was lost and confused – I was terrified – she never came back and I couldn’t talk yet, or communicate or tell anyone how I felt – I became enraged when she didn’t hear me screaming for her – days and days.
    Finally, I shut down. I stopped communicating, my grandmother had told me years later that I had begun to walk and stuff, but stopped after my mother died. I didn’t relearn until I was 4 years old.
    I have always felt alone, on my own, unloved, uncared for, responsible for myself – because I knew that no one gave a damn about me.

    So the next time someone tries to tell you that a baby or a toddler doesn’t understand what is happening – well, all that baby knows is their entire life support system is GONE and they are never going to come back. Some day, like me, they might rememmber – they need to grieve too you know.
    I wish someone had understood that for me, because life has been a living hell – unsure of how to act with people, unsure of what real emotion is – and an inability to get close to anyone for any kind of relationship. Love is gone when a mother leaves suddenly and for a child – no one can replace that bond – no one.

  13. Melinda said on September 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm ... #

    I was given away at age 2 to my Grandparents. They raised me as well as they could and loved me unconditionally. My Dad (grandfather) died when I was 28, and my Mom (grandmother) died when I was 33. I am now 35. I am not able to get past the loss. I am so sad and alone. I can’t get it together. I have two children and a loving husband. I have no real devoted family memebers outside on my husband and children. I stay awake at night trying to believe it is really happening, or that it has happened. I wonder if they are really here with me and I just can’t see them. I need them here to watch my boys grow, and to care about me, someone to just give a crap about me and what is going on with my life. No one does. I need them here to share my life, I miss them so much it hurts to breathe. I wonder how many days until I see them again. I imagine I will be like Rose in the movie Titanic. I will be a very old woman, who dies in my bed warm at night, in my sleep. I carry my loss of my original parents with me everyday. I am 35, it still Hurts..They made a mistake, (her name is Melinda), and then they got a second chance. They dropped off their mistake with one of their parents and moved on with their wonderful lives. And here I am, still a mistake, trying to make my way in life with a smile on my face, and joy in my heart. I have nothing to pass on to my children except new traditions started by me and my Husband, and only memories of my grandparents. Life has seemed so extra unfair to some of us. Children are not able to just get over it. I hear adults say children adjust so well. No, they don’t, they just adjust and keep their feelings bottled up. They don’t know what to do with their feelings or how to express them. Adults need to work out these feelings proactively. Children love unconditionally. They also have a tremendous amount of loyalty to those they love. To do nothing will cause more damage then to tip toe around the issues and pretend everything is ok is just not the right thing to do. Becasue the children grow up to me Melinda’s swimming in a sea of disappointment and uncertainty.

  14. Judy said on September 27, 2010 at 8:35 am ... #

    It makes me so sad to hear so many stories of people, like me, who have been hurt deeply by the loss of a parent but it is possible to turn it around!
    My Mum died of cancer when I was 3 (I am now 39)and my Dad had a break down. I was one of a family of 12 and we were divided up to go and live with relatives. As one of the 3 youngest I was sent to live with an Aunt and Uncle, over 200 miles away, I had never met before who didn’t really want us. They looked after us as their chritian duty! They showed us no love or affection and never once spoke about Mum or our family.
    Dad remarried 2 years later and tried to bring his family back together but was met with major resistance due to his mental breakdown. We had to remain where we were.
    Gradually I grew to hate my Dad believing he never wanted us.And tried hard to love my aunt and uncle but they never reponded. I felt that I was unlovable.
    At the age of 24 I too had a mental breakdown and all the hurt and pain I had denied threatened to destoy me. I tried to kill myself by tsaking an overdose.
    Therein started my stuggle to come to terms with my life.
    I met my sons dad in hospital a year but he had a tragic life and sadly died when our son was 11 months. I was then even more determined to come to terms with my loss so my son would not suffer.
    I went to therapy, councelling,anything that would help. I moved back home to be closer to family and got to know my Dad and grew to love him.
    It meant having to forgive alot of people and accept them as they were. It meant finding discoering that I am a decent, loving and lovable person. The journey was very difficult and I know will continue for the rest of my life.
    I learned about my Mum from my family and though we will never be as close as I would like,as we all have our own hurts at least we are trying.
    My son is well adlusted and we talk about his Dad whenever he feels like it. In fact he told me once when he was about 6 that it was time I got over him!!!
    I have met a wonderful man and I have a future to look forward to. I also have back the faith of my childhood and this also hepls knowing that my Mum is at peace but also watching over me.
    As I said at the beginning it is possible to come to terms with childhood loss but it takes alot of work, determination and self love.

  15. Tammy said on October 16, 2010 at 8:09 am ... #

    I was 10 years old when my father was electrocuted at work. My mother lost all of her emotion therefore so have I. I am just realizing the impact of his loss. I am 51 and would love to find a study to help me understand myself. Any suggestions?

  16. KC said on December 1, 2010 at 9:10 pm ... #

    Today is the anniversary of my mother’s death. I was five and am now 45. I still cry. Not sob but just have a few minutes where it hits me so hard. I know I have a hard time making friends and I accept it. I hurts. I like being able to talk about it with others who know. My grandma helped me a lot growing up and taught me all the womanly things so I am grateful. This year is hard because my grandma passed away too. My mom died of kidney failure at age 30 three days after thanksgiving and the holidays are bitter sweet.

  17. sharon said on June 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm ... #

    i miss my dad and grandmother
    my dad was buried the day before my 21st birthday, cancer killed him in just 3 months. i used to work for him in his own business. its his birthday on the 4 july. he was 48 when he died.
    problems within my family have caused me to grow up feeling solitary, lonely and ive always hated close contact with anyone, hugging etc even touching my arm makes me rigid.
    if im in a room with lots of people, i still feel alone, always have, and losing my dad so young made that feeling worse
    my grandmother was 80 when she died of altzheimers, she was my dads mother and she was like a mother to me not a gran. i do things now to make my home remind me of her and being in her house. i have loud clocks that i shut my eyes and listen to and picture being at her house. i make tea in a pot and have cup and saucer to remind me of being at her kitchen table, closing my eyes to take a sip so i can transport myself back to a time and a place with a person, that no longer exists.
    i look round bric a brac and antique markets to see ornaments, furniture etc that she had, and stare at it for ages, remembering the place it once was in her home.

    does anyone else do this?

  18. Jenny said on July 29, 2011 at 5:01 am ... #

    I’m glad I found this. My Mom died of cancer when I was 13. I am 43 and happily married with two beautiful kids. I just went to a celebration of life memorial for my Gramma (my mothers Mom) and have been experiencing some grief over the loss of my mother. I met family members who had never met me, but had always heard of my sister and I because of our tragedy (we lived far away from extended family when she died). I have had a lot of trouble growing up without my Mom and suffer from clinical depression and anxiety as a result. As children, we were expected to move on with our lives – be tough and all that stuff. I will never get over my mom’s death.

  19. thank you said on July 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm ... #

    I am so glad I found this site. I was really thinking about taking my life today. I have a 7 yr old & I searched about children coping with a parent’s death. This site came up & I read all the comments about children suffering & grieving it causes even in adulthood. I could NEVER do this to my baby. I am so sorry for all losses that you all have suffered but I THANK ALL of YOU for making me realize the amount of grief I could have caused my son.

  20. canali said on July 31, 2011 at 11:59 am ... #

    glad i found this site…will share more in forums later….one book review i was reading up on (have yet to purchase) is from ‘the loss that lasts forever’ http://primal-page.com/loss.htm

    i can certainly relate to some of the stages mentioned in this book, esp how themes of death and such becomes a preoccupation for a kid experiencing loss at an early age.

    i lost my mom at age 4 (kidney disease) and didn’t attend the funeral…my dad was not around (he split before i was born and many yrs later,i learned, would commit suicide) so closure is something i never really got….had huge issues with anger and distance and trust afterwords towards those esp close to me (my aunt–single with 4 kids of her own–took me in)….wrote many stories on corpses rising from graves…horror movies were my forte…now am starting to understand why….and also why breakups can be devastating and ‘letting go’ and ‘acceptance’ such difficult themes.

  21. admin said on August 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm ... #

    Dear “thank you”,

    We are so very glad that you found our site, and found the support you needed to get through what sounds to have been a very difficult time. The decision you made will benefit you, your son, and countless people in your life.

    Should you ever find yourself in a position where you may wish to harm yourself, or consider taking your life, we urge you to contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8225).

    We hope you continue to find support in this community.


  22. JJ said on August 21, 2011 at 10:35 am ... #

    I am also glad I came across this site. I am now 48 years old. My father was killed when I was 7 and my mother died of illness when I was 9. I then lost both grandparents the following year. I always thought I was OK and then I recently had to put my dog to sleep due to a vet mistake. Senseless death again. I have fallen in to a deep depression and keep thinking what else could I have done to save this dog. I started seeing a therapist who thinks my early losses is connected to the intense grief I have for this dog. I still think I put him down too early. It was a Vet mistake and she was too eager to make the “problem” go away. For the first time I am now thinking about what this early loss may have done to me. I am trying to find as much info as I can about adults who lost their parents at a young age. Thanks for having this forum.

  23. Caitie Beth said on August 23, 2011 at 11:24 am ... #

    My mother passed away of a drug overdose when i was 15. I was at school when my father came to pick me up and broke the news to me. It was devastating to me of course but i can only imagine what my father went through on his drive to the high school wondering how he was going to tell his daughter that her mother had died or how he was going to comfort his son who found her dead. my parents were divorced many years before but the look on my fathers face looked as of no look i had ever seen. as if he still had love for the mother of his children somewhere deep in his heart. i often sit and find myself wondering how you can put yourself at risk of losing your life when having two children. I am beginning to think that i will never understand that aspect. She was once a registered nurse top of her class. she couldnt get past losing my father and us. She told me that before she died. she wasted her life wishing for something that would never be again. She felt as if she had no purpose.It didnt help having to deal with the fact that she did it to herself. I didnt know how to help her. I was too young to understand and didnt want to tell anyone because i didnt want them to look down on my mother. I must say that through all the heart ache i can see clearly now that God does everything for a reason. He also says that he will never put more on you than you can bare. that was so hard to believe in the years there after when both of my grandmothers also passed of sickness and my brother went through drug abuse of the same nature. I looked for him to die every day i woke up for years and finally he did only to be brought back by paramedics on the way to the hospital. there is a reason for that. God has a plan for him. It wasnt his time to go. I sat and begged and pleaded with him to go to rehab. He wouldnt hear nothing of the such. All he wanted to do was die so that he could see mom but i said what about me? im your little sister and it was my mom too. I cant lose you. you are all i have left that connects me to mom. you cant do this to me. He came out of the hospital and has been sober ever since. Something clicked. Through losing my mother and going through my brothers sickness I only see one thing clearly through it all other than God being on my side there is my Father. My daddy is my best friend and when i think of the pain he must have endured its hard to think about myself. yes i lost my mother but my father had to love and care for two children who were grieving and mourning through loss. He did a wonderful job.even through people telling him to give up on my brother that he was never going to change he never did thats because dad knew that God was on his side. It paid off to listen to his heart instead of everyone around him. I can say to those who have lost a parent or even someone close that God is on our side.my family tried counceling with me and medicine other things but the only thing that really helped out of it all was my daddy. He is my one thing that i turned to and i still turn to. find that one thing that makes you happy even if it isnt a person. it may be a hobby or a pet but it can help get you through it.If you feel like you have nothing turn to God. Even though you may want to blame him or queston him, Dont. In the years to come he will reveal his plan for you. You will start to recognize why God chose this plan for you. You may feel lost with no direction trust me, I know but This is your life and you only get one so look through the hurt and pain and move on. If you stay where you are in the pain and sorrow you will waste our life and are more likely to end up in a hospital or severly depressed even suicidal. It is not worth it. You will see your loved one again one day you just have to follow God and live your life the way he wants you to. I am now 23 and am married with children of my own.God has a wonderful plan for me. In every person that i have lost God had a way of filling the holes in my heart. My mother died i got pregnant with my son, My grandmother died my daughter was born a month later, my other grandmother died my son was born 8 months later. this is my plan to have the chance to be the mother i never had. also i hope to go on one day to help people like me and my brother. having been through it I know if i could just help one person that would be enough for me. I wouldnt give up even one day of my life to see my mother again. I wouldnt want to give up one day with my children, my daddy, my brother or my husband.I wouldnt change the plan God has for me. Even though my mother died I still thank God for his plan for me. I love my life with my children and my husband and i love talking to my Father every day and seeing my brother better himself and walking in his plan from God. I wouldnt change anything. Gods plan for me is great.When u feel down just look up. thats where all the answers are. -Caitie Beth

  24. Melissa F. said on August 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm ... #

    I was 4 1/2 yrs old when my mom died of ecclampsia giving birth to my baby brother. My brother died a month later of kidney failure. At the time i dont remember anything. To this day the only memories I have of mom is of her being in her casket. The only memories i have of my brother is getting to hold him one time and then his little body in that little casket. My dad went into the hospital immediately for a nervous breakdown. My mom’s parents took care of me during that time and helped my dad throughout the years. But i grew up quick helping with chores and cooking. Dad tried buying me anything i wanted my whole life. I lost my Grandpa, my mom’s dad, at 11 when i found him dead at home. I lost my Grandma just before i turned 21.
    I am just about to turn 34. Making it past the age of when she died. MY DAD WHO RAISED ME AND HELPED ME MY WHOLE LIFE PASSED AWAY at age 68, IN MY HOME 3 WEEKS AGO, I FOUND HIM. Besides my 2 wonderful children and husband i have no one know! My son, age 6, has a fatal disease called Cystic Fibrosis, the life expectency is 36 yrs old.
    I dont know what to do. I try to stay strong for the kids. I need some help to find support groups or anything???
    Now my kid’s dad are trying to take me to court to get custody, if that happens I dont know what i will do!

  25. Alex D. said on October 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm ... #

    This was an awesome article. It has been a year since my mom died of drowning in the bathtub, and almost 6 months since my dad died of a massive heart attack while playing golf. I am 21 and have legal guardianship of my 17 year old brother. I was just wondering how long it takes to stop being numb, and be able to cry? My brother seems to be following in my mothers footsteps and is struggling with addiction and completing high school…is there anything that I can do? I am trying to finish college and go for my masters, then hopefully my PHD…and some days Im fine, but other days I feel so lost and alone…that i dont really belong to anyone anymore. any suggestions on how to help my brother get motivated to straighten up and not end up where my mom is?

  26. Chris H said on October 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm ... #

    @ Alex, I am sorry for your and your brother’s loss. It is very difficult to deal with at such a young age. You are doing the right thing by taking care of your brother and helping him stay on the right path. It is not easy. Everyone deals with grief different ways. For me it literally took years for the numbness to wear off. I lost both of my parents at an early age, four years apart. I recommend you find some type of support group for both yourself and your brother. If he is unwilling to go then you should still go yourself. What helped me the most was hearing from others who were going through the same thing. It helped with my feelings of isolation, loss and lonliness. The only thing you can do is talk to your brother and be there for him. Let him know he is not alone. You are not alone either. You have each other and you will get through your tragic loss.

  27. Alisha said on October 21, 2011 at 9:42 am ... #

    @Alex I’m glad you found this article, as it sounds like you and your brother are in a rough place right now. I would definitely suggest finding a good counselor for both yourself and your brother. Also, look into local bereavement groups…hospice is a great place to start looking. You do not have to have a prior relationship with hospice to utilize their grief services, and they also will usually know of other local resources. There’s a great Resource section on this site of free or low-cost grief support groups and services – see if there’s something near you.

    What your brother is facing right now is sadly common after a loss, but it doesn’t have to be the direction of his life. He may be resistant to counseling, grief groups, etc., but just know that a little tough love now can truly impact the course his life takes.

    Let him know that you love him, and that you are legitimately concerned that he is heading in a bad direction. People who struggle with addictions can often feel that others are “against” them – so make sure he knows you are on his team, and that you just want to keep him on your team and healthy for the rest of his life!

  28. Alex D. said on October 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm ... #

    Thank you so much for your suggestions and advice! I was hoping that I would get a response, and I really appreciate the generous replies. We both regularly see a psychologist, which definitely helps a lot. I’m going to search around and try to find a group that specifically deals with grief, and try to help my brother get through this. I guess we just both have different ways of dealing, I make myself crazy with finding things to keep me busy and he holes up in his bedroom. Neither way is better or worse, but I just don’t want him to mess up his future. He is brilliant and I just want him to be the best man that he can be as he grows. Again, thank you sooo much for the advice.

  29. Dorin Holland said on October 28, 2011 at 4:08 am ... #

    I always wondered if a child could miss somebody he/she had no memory of.

    My father died of Lou Gerig’s disease when I was two. It had a huge impact of my mother and my four brothers. I look exactly like my dad “a spiting image”.

    I find myself quiet when wondering if I have any advice of understanding to give to adult children of a parent being sick. I myself try to hold on to a memory.

    It must bring back memories for my mother when she looks at me.

  30. Jessica P said on November 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm ... #

    I am greatful to come across this article, I thought I was the only one still suffering from losing a parent at a young age. My mother passed from a brain tumor at age 38 when I was 8yr, I am now 22yr. It was hard for me to talk to my father about my mothers passing because I was devastated for him, knowing he fell asleep with her every night for so many years then one day she is gone. But for some reason the past few months have been really hard for me. Yes, I would normally get emotional when talking about her or when looking at pictures but it seems like I am missing her more than ever now. I have 2 older sisters and older brother but I really only talk to one of my sisters about my mom. My sisters and I got together a few months ago to look at old pictures on what would have been my mothers 52nd birthday. My oldest sister was 16yr when my mother passed and she was talking about all these memories of my mother and asking me and my other sister if we remembered certain events when we were younger and we had no recollection. I find myself to be so upset with my older sister knowing she still has all these memories of my mother and I barely can remember what she looks like and her not sharing with me and my other sibling what she remembers. She also stated when we met up a few months ago that she felt bad because my mom had told her to take care of her younger sisters and she feels like she hasn’t and I just wanted to say YOUR DAMN RIGHT YOU HAVEN’T. It scares me to know I have built this much anger up against my sister because of my mothers passing. I know it is not that I am really mad at her but I just feel alone and clueless of who my mother was. I have contiplated going to counseling but I am really nervous. For those of you that have gone did it seem to help you remember things about before your parents passing and help with coping?

  31. Tsvetan Tsvetkov said on November 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm ... #

    My mother died when I was 11, which left my whole family in ruins, especially my dad. I’m 22 now, without friends, dropped out of university and forced to work a job that I hate. I literally have absolutely no motivation to continue my life. It’s just about now that I understand the impact of my family’s inaction. Yesterday I watched five seconds of a video with my mother and couldn’t take it – It was a mixture of tremendous anger and agony. I know that my life will be heavily handicapped but what I don’t know is for how long I’ll be able to take it.

  32. Chris H said on November 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm ... #

    @ Jessica you’re right,you certainly have a lot of emotions built up over your mother’s passing. I’ve been in counseling when I was younger but it wasn’t really directly related to my parents’ passing. I can tell you though that talking with others has helped me remember more of when I was a child. The way I look at it is this: you may be nervous but I think it will do you better to go to counseling than harm. I think it would be a good way to help sort out your feelings and have a non judgemental person to express your anger to.

    @ Tsvetan your story sounds somewhat similar to mine. I was in a similar place to you many times and didn’t feel like I could go on. Yet here I still am. I don’t know the specifics of your situation but always remember that just because today is bad doesn’t mean tomorrow will be too. Things will improve in your life if you give it a chance. It’s so sad to hear all the pain in everyone’s words. We’ve all endured loss so young. But by reading articles like this one and seeking out some type of help it shows we can get through it. Maybe I’ll share my own story when I can in hopes it might help others, even if just to show that we’re not alone.

  33. jess said on November 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm ... #

    Im currently 26 and feel like ive already gone through everything which makes it hard to get excited about life anymore. My mom died jan 28 2009 at 44 completely unexpectedly. My dad drank himself to death a little while later nov 11 2010, my grandfather 4 days after that, my grandmother a month after that. My only living family member i have thats nearby now is my brother who is 29 and even though older ive always kind have taken care of him. I have to kids and im divorced and theyre dad went to jail 4 months after i lost all my family so now its just a broken me and a 4 and 5 year old….i seem to always just barely get by in life in the last year….how am i ever going to be normal after all this? Ive lost all support systems.

  34. Jim K said on November 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm ... #

    Where to begin? My father died at age 50 when I was 5 – I’m 62 now and still grieve his loss! He came home from work, asked me to get my uncle who also worked in the same business. I don’t recall much after that. He had an MI and I never saw him again. All I knew was that something bad had happened. No one talked to me about any of this – I was ‘protected’ by not attending the funeral. How was I to even comprehend how devastating it really was at the time – I know now – how did I survive? I became super responsible and a caretaker and lost myself. It’s hard to trust. Still trying to find my way! Where does one find a support group for people like ourselves? My therapist tells me I need to learn to parent myself and grieve.

  35. Amy J said on November 13, 2011 at 8:37 am ... #

    I was one when my mother was murdered. My father, already a budding alcoholic, dropped my sister and me off with his mother and went a little nuts for a few months during which time he met my future step-mother. We moved in with her a short time later. His alcoholism continued and he became abusive to us, my step-siblings, and the step-mother. She wasn’t really a treat either…We were not encouraged/allowed to talk about my mother…it was like she didn’t exist. Now, at 33, I am in therapy and on meds trying to deal with something that happened and sparked a life of trauma 32 years ago. Unfortunate as it is, it is comforting to know that most of the people on this site that lost a parent prior to their speaking/walking years still feel the loss in some way. Sometimes I feel crazy for crying over a woman that I never knew. Even after years of therapy as an adult, I still feel the enormous hole inside left by her loss.

  36. Imani said on November 27, 2011 at 11:37 am ... #

    I am 13 years old. I was on the Internet today looking for ways to make myself feel better because my dad died about 3 weeks ago. He was only 51 years old. My dad and I had a relationship that cannot even be described by words. We were more like best friends. This article almost made me cry again because I know exactly how these kids feel. For myself, I can’t even imagine myself 2 years from now, nevermind when I am an adult. My dad left such an impression in my life, that even after recieving support from other family and such I don’t think my life will ever be the same.

  37. Chris H said on November 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm ... #

    @ Imani I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad when I was around your age. I can tell you that your life won’t be the same without your dad but that doesn’t mean it won’t still be a fulfilling and happy life. Please find support from both your family and maybe a support group (check with your school). I can relate to how you’re feeling now and you have every right to every emotion you are feeling, but just remember it will get easier.

  38. jess said on December 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm ... #

    @ imani or anyone for that matter.. My email is gallagherjessica85@gmail.com im 26 and both my parents and grandparents have passed. Im looking to email and help others who just want to talk about how they feel, what they have gone through and how it has impacted them because what i have learned so far in the last two years is each time i share my story and someone truly listens or can get close to understanding because understanding in my situation is rare…i feel more (for lack of better words) normal. The oldest living woman in my family is 44 and males 52. I would love for anyone to email me anything and please finish email with whether or not you would like a response or my opinion because sometimes i just like to tell my story and sometimes i want to hear what someone else thinks but that would be up to you…hope to hear your stories.

  39. Chris H said on December 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm ... #

    With the holidays season upon us I am yet again reminded of the pain that I went through as a child and teen who lost both of his parents at a young age. I was 11 when my father committed suicide. He shot himself in the head. I was the one who found his body. Four years later my mother died of a drug overdose. By then all my grandparents were gone as well. I was in foster care for the last few years of my teens. I had a younger brother but he was adopted by an unrelated family and I consider him gone. My older brother took his life as well leaving me totally alone. Yet after all this I am still here. I can’t even begin to describe the feelings I’ve had to deal with dealing with these losses. Everyone I’ve ever loved is gone. For all intents and purposes I am alone in the world.

    I’m an adult now. Although it was many years ago at times I still feel the loss. I know my life would be much different if my parents were here or if they lived longer. There will always be this empty part of my heart that will never be filled. It angers me when people complain that they have to go out of their way to see their family on the holidays or put up with annoyances on the holidays. They have no idea how lucky they are that they still have parents or family members to annoy them.

    Still I can choose to be depressed and dwell on my losses or I can choose to make the best out of my life and enjoy what I do have. I choose the latter. For those who are in pain and mourning all I can say is that it does get better with time. Time won’t totally take away the pain but with time it won’t be as bad. With time we can remember our parents and those we lost with smiles and focus on the happy memories instead of the bad. I hope we all move forward in our journey.

  40. John said on December 9, 2011 at 7:18 pm ... #

    Chris I read your post and am amazed at all you have been thru. I lost both of my parents too b4 I was 18 and it still hurts now even years later. I would like to talk more to you about what you went thru and how u cped and hopefully u can give me some advise. Can you please email me or let me know ur email address so I can send u email? Hope to hear from u.

  41. Chris H said on December 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm ... #

    @John you didn’t leave your email address so I can not email you. If you, or anyone else, would like to email me feel free. My email address is junglewhispers AT yahoo DOT com.

  42. Eric Freeman said on December 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm ... #

    Hello. In the last two years specifically I have seen that we as a society are not up to date on handling death especially from when we were kids.
    I lost my Dad back in 1991 two days after my first year of college to suicide. I saw what he looked like after that act and has haunted me to this day. I struggled to push along and finish school and get a good job as he left in his note.I have numerous degrees and have a beautiful house and car and yet have voids in my head. My mother followed in 2001 to Cancer. She was who I talked to about this and who was by my side.
    Now I have a ton of aches and pains and then my continued battle with this depression that has just crept into over these years.
    I have begun a path that puts me in the category of following what my Dad did because my rationalizing is getting to the point where I just don’t care. THis day and age is not fun like it use to be. My carefreeness is missing and my stress of being someone that I don’t want to be creeps in. So tell me what happens when life just isn’t fun to get up to any more.
    And as what started me on this. I think we have one of the worst medical societies that aren’t trained in any of this. I am in the medical field and have been severely let down. And I have looked to GOD as to help me with this and that is a challenge as well. He put me here to learn but I am sick of learning anymore.
    THank you.

  43. danielle said on January 11, 2012 at 1:33 am ... #

    Hi. my mother passed away when i was 15. She took her life to the last stages of bipolar disease. Me being the only child was very difficult. From one day to the next my whole life changed and the world seem so cold and alone. now i am 18 and is only been 2 years but it feels as if ive just seen her yesterday but havent felt her in so long. what hurts the most in my opinion in losing a parent at a young age is all the future memories we will have without them. for instance my graduation my prom my future wedding and children without her will be so sad. but i just think of her living within me and carry her positiveness within my actions. with some help of my dad andd some friends i have accomplished a lot but in reality to me there is no one like your mom and the outlook on life is changed forever. as i research more into this topic i would love to study psychology and help many children and teens who experience this because there are cures and ways for teens to move foward successfully with a positive attitude and motivation from their parents love. its so sad to see that therapists and counselors are the least of help to the kids because then where will they turn too? well i guess i have a goal to go for and that is to help people overcome what ive overcome but in the meanwhile keeping my loved one within me forever.

  44. Alex said on January 22, 2012 at 1:41 am ... #

    49 years since my father died. Killed from a blow to the head from a chain saw. I was nine and watched the whole events of that morning unfold from across the street. I some how knew he was dead, as i was calmly, but strangely comfortable talking with my childhood buddy about the lose of a hand or arm was no big deal. Kind of felt like I was trying to making deals with the devil for his life. I lost my father and mother that morning, as my mother went into a depression, which to this day, has not recovered.

    I struggled thru the next few years until I went to boarding school, away from my depressed mother. I was around normal parents of my classmates. I channeled my anger into sports and became new England state wrestling champ MVP for a few years. Went off to college and became an exploration geologist out west.

    Now I’m 58 and have a lovely 19 year daughter attending cal poly. I know my life would have been richer had my father survived, but I am proud that I moved on and became a father and husband. I did my very best to give my daughter a good father, something I never had. So all is well….

  45. Ronya said on January 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm ... #

    Well on August 19, 1992 my beloved mother passed away from breast cancer. She struggled and wanted to beat this nasty disease with every breath she took! I was only 17, my older brother Al was a young 21, S.D was a sad teenager at the age of 15 and my baby brother David was only 2 at the time! I was praying and pleading to God please don’t take my best friend—my beloved mother Elli at the young age of 44….I miss her..go only knows what I and my brother have endured these past 20 years to deal and grieve the tragic death of Mom.

    My mother was the strong pillar, that held our family together and after we lost her our family unity fell apart! My father John remarried only 6 months after my Mom’s death! His cruel and malicious act devasted and shocked all of us!

    I and my brothers struggled thru the next years to cope with the loss of our Mom and deal with the abusive nature of our new stepmother and scum of a father! They were mean, cold, selfish and violent. They made our lives unbearable and repeatedly took advantage of our well being.

    Well, I’m at the age of 36 and I’m happily married woman with a desired wish to one day become children with my husband. My wish to have children has always been intense just knowing that I and my brothers had a wonderful childhood due to the love and never-ending-support of my amazing Mom!

  46. Ronya said on January 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm ... #

    Well on August 19, 1992 my beloved mother passed away from breast cancer. She struggled and wanted to beat this nasty disease with every breath she took! I was only 17, my older brother Al was a young 21, S.D was a sad teenager at the age of 15 and my baby brother David was only 2 at the time! I was praying and pleading to God please don’t take my best friend—my beloved mother Elli at the young age of 44….I miss her..God only knows what I and my brothers have endured these past 20 years to deal and grieve the tragic death of Mom.

    My mother was the solid pillar, that held our family together and after we lost her our family unity fell apart! My father John remarried only 6 months after my Mom’s death! His cruel and malicious act devastated and shocked us all!

    I and my brothers struggled thru the next years to cope with the loss of our Mom and deal with the abusive nature of our new stepmother and scum of a father! They were mean, cold, selfish and violent. They made our lives unbearable and repeatedly took advantage of our well being.

    Well, I’m 36 now and a happily married woman. My husband and I want to have kids of our own! Our intense wish to one day become a Mom and Dad is only possible for me due to the fact: that I and my brothers had a carefree and wonderful childhood because of the unconditional love and never-ending-support of my amazing and unforgettable Mom!

  47. Ronya said on January 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm ... #

    Well on August 19, 1992 my beloved mother passed away from breast cancer. She struggled and wanted to beat this nasty disease with every breath she took! I was only 17, my older brother Al was a young 21, S.D was a sad teenager at the age of 15 and my baby brother David was only 2 at the time! I was praying and pleading with God please don’t take my best friend—my beloved mother Elli at the young age of 44….I miss her..God only knows what I and my brothers have endured these past 20 years to deal and grieve the tragic death of Mom.

    My mother was the solid pillar, that held our family together and after we lost her our family unity fell apart! My father John remarried only 6 months after my Mom’s death! His cruel and malicious act devastated and shocked us all!

    I and my brothers struggled thru the next years to cope with the loss of our Mom and deal with the abusive nature of our new stepmother and scum of a father! They were mean, cold, selfish and violent. They made our lives unbearable and repeatedly took advantage of our well being.

    Well, I’m 36 now and a happily married woman. My husband and I want to have kids of our own! Our intense wish to one day become a Mom and Dad is only possible for me due to the fact: that I and my brothers had a carefree and wonderful childhood because of the unconditional love and never-ending-support of my amazing and unforgettable Mom!

  48. Vickie said on February 15, 2012 at 7:04 pm ... #

    I have had custody of my 15 year old grandson for almost 7 years he has 4 other siblings by differnt fathers and may see them 1-2 times a year. My concern is that his father, my son passed away on January 22, 2012 from a drug overdose he had been spending time with his son prior to and working and made lots of promise’s to him that they would be moving into a house together, but that obviously will never happen. My grandson is not opening up to anyone and I am very concerned, I could not imagine growing up with my grandparents without either parent but his mother has been into drugs and is very unstable, his father had been in federal prison (for selling drugs) for over six years and NEVER had drug problems until he came home. He had been to rehabs and classes, was working and he seemed to be doing Great. He was renting a room at a “sober” house and that’s where he was found dead from an overdose of Heroin. My grandson said that he is mad at him because he made promises that he will never keep. I think he feels guilty because he never really “opened up” to his dad after he learned he was doing drugs several years ago. He seems to behaving the same as when his father was alive other then he does not talk about him. Can someone please give me some advice. Thank you!

  49. Chris H said on February 16, 2012 at 5:13 am ... #

    Vickie, I am sorry for the loss of your son and your grandson’s loss of his father. As someone who lost his own mother to a drug overdose when I was the same age as your grandson, I can relate to what your grandson is going through. Everyone is different though so he may be having totally different feelings. With the loss being so recent your grandson is probably still struggling to deal with the loss. It seems like it was totally unexpected. I can tell you that having parents who abused drugs effected me in ways that I didn’t even realize until years later.

    Your grandson needs someone to talk to. He needs to know that he isn’t alone. I know you can’t force him but I would try to get him to join some type of support group. They helped me a lot with my losses. Your grandson probably feels guilt along with abandonment and a whole host of other issues that he probably doesn’t even realize now. He is lucky to have you. At least you are there for him as his support system.

    I’m not sure if the advice I’m giving is helpful or not. I can only speak from experience. Your grandson probably is in a form of denial and probably won’t open up to you, at least not now. That’s why its important he find someone he feels comfortable talking to and usually that is a support group. For me it was just comforting seeing people my own age that were dealing with loss issues. Like I said though everyone is different. I hope you have someone to talk to about your own loss of your son as well.

    If you want feel free to email me at junglewhispers@yahoo.com. I wish the best of luck to you and your grandson.

  50. Shadi said on February 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm ... #

    I was 13 and had no idea that my mum was diagnosed with cancer.A night she was in so much pain and she went to the hospital then she never came back.I didn’t even say goodbye.Life wasn’t the same after she left.now i’m 23,everything is pretty close to okay but there are still moments that i can’t even breathe…miss my mum so much that i just want to stop the world.
    it’s been 10 years,and i’m still like that teen at that day,it’s not like that i’m crying everyday but as i’m getting older the void is getting bigger and bigger,i just try to keep it down but it’s there and i can’t erase it
    .But i moved on anyway i got my B.S in engineering and got a part time job and applying for masters next year.there’s one thing i remember the most from my mum:

    “I will be there where you feel me..”and if she can feel me.i prefer that to be the one she can be proud of…
    there are still many things i’m not good at like the fact that i’m not very into girly stuff like make up or.. cuz i didn’t have my mum to help me on those or something but i;m just hoping for better days…

  51. Susie said on February 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm ... #

    My mom died suddenly when I was 9. Up until recently I thought I had come through this okay, I lead a normal life, have kids, successful career, etc, even love my step-mother, who has tried very hard to be a good mom to us little girls (I have two sisters, younger) but recently, now almost 30 years after her death, I find myself unwilling to really love my husband, even though he is a good man. I make good rational decisions, but emotionally I am hyper-sensitive. I was surfing the net tonight looking for a book on how to trust enough to love again, but I don’t think books will even cure what ails me. I couldnot be close to my Dad after she died, we have always kept it on the surface, and maybe that is why I always dated the impossible men, the bad boys who would never love me, even though I thought I wanted them to. Now I have one who loves me but I am distant, sabotaging, wanting to run. Since I have been having issues with my marriage I have thought about my mom lots, just figuring it out now that her death is part of my issue. I once had a bodywork session involving shaman and my mom came to me in a ‘vision’, which I would ordinarily not believe in but it happened, and she stitched up my heart. She had wings and was an angel. I know she looks after me, but she cannot erase her death from my heart. Thanks for giving us grievers a place to write it down.

  52. susie said on March 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm ... #

    I lost my mother age 2 or 3 (told by older sisters)and 6 months later my father passed too,i raised by 2 older sisters ,one of sister raised me until 8? not sure and left with other older siblings and from around9 raised by other until 17,until came to America ,by oldest sister brought me that was 1971 ,now I’m 57 years old.

    I have 2 sons,very well doing in their lives, rather proud to say they are very successful,i don’t know why all the sudden decide to sharing my private life to here , it just overwhlem to open my heart to typing now.

    Through out my life child-hood memory is emptiness can’t point what it is ..because i do not hav any kind of memories about my mother what so ever,a couple memory with my father mabye..
    While i raised my 2 boys,gave them love something that mom and dad LOVE I longing all my life actually i never understood what it is like to have that special Love between parents and child untill i have my own 2 boys .

  53. adaku said on March 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm ... #

    I was 9 when my father passed away to kidney failure and 14 when my mum left to cancer,she died at home in the same room while me and my sister were @ sleep with her.I am the eldest of 4 kids.I’m going to be 18 this year but I stopped being a teen long before now.they say time heals but nothing can fill the emptiness.

  54. Teresa said on March 28, 2012 at 1:03 am ... #

    I was 14 when my mother died suddenly, within 3 months of knowing she had cancer. I was SO close to her at that time, the love of my life. With 4 siblings, my younger brother was 8, older brother 15 and twin sisters who were 16. It was devastating, and we did not have any to talk to about
    the loss of our mother. I only wish I had a camp
    that would have helped me through. I am 50 years old married to a wonderful man whom I love and is my soulmate, we have two amazing daughters….I feel so blessed to have such a beautiful family but I think back to my 20’s and 30’s and it was very empty,I was just going through the motions, drinking, several empty relationships that never lasted more than 3 months mostly because I ended them, didn’t want
    the hurt of having them go away… Luckily, through the grace of GOD I met my husband when I was 40, but what along hard road it was. I am trying to finish up my degree at the University (yes at 50!) and I am taking a parent -child relationship class and need to write a paper on the death of a parent and came across this blog, it was really really good to hear from others who have lost a parent at such a young age. Maybe I will look in to helping kids who have lost a parent. Thanks!

  55. kayla said on April 5, 2012 at 12:22 am ... #

    My daddy died when I was 19 from cancer. I am 22 now. I knew he was sick since I was 12 years old but didn’t know what it was. He was my best friend ever. I miss him a ton. I recently was married and he tells me all the time he wishes he could have met my dad. I don’t think he realizes if he could he definatly would. I never dated anyone without his permission. Back to why I’m writing on here, my mom got a boyfriend not long after my daddy died. I couldn’t stand him! But eventually he was tolerable. Well now my mom is going through the same thing with him. This is bringing back everything I went through with my daddy dieing. Noone I know really understands how I’m feeling and I can’t even talk to mom about it. Does anyone know of any support groups in michigan? I could really use a friend.

  56. Krys K said on April 5, 2012 at 6:02 am ... #

    In 97′ I lost my mom and my brother loss both parents that started from an argument, I was 12 and my brother was only 7. My mother was killed by her boyfriend, who then killed himself. Me and my brother was at the house when this happened. I remember it like it were yesterday. I felt so hopeless, I feel like I should have done more. I wish she was around to see me and my brother grow up, I wish it were possible to call her whenever we needed to talk. My brother and I were always together but got separated a couple years after our mom passed. I struggle with her being gone all the time, here I am (26 years young) still trying to cope with not growing up with my mom around. I needed her around to teach me things mothers taught their daughters. My dad was married but it was never the same. I never agreed wit another woman trying to take my moms place. So I rejected them at times. Although I had my dad in my life, it still wasn’t enough. He is still around but we don’t have the best relationship, I blamed him for some things that happened in my life. We currently working on our relationship. I always think of if she approves of my lifestyle and how different things would be if she was still here. When I was younger I never really got the help I needed and if you haven’t gotten help, I suggest you do. Its not too late. Don’t keep it bottled in like I have. Its good to talk to people around you or even strangers that can relate. I wanted to comment on this article to reach out to other sons and daughters that loss their parent(s), people with jealously issues, parents and whomever else. Don’t take life for granted, cherish those that are still with you. I don’t have kids yet, but I pray to be blessed with some one day. I know it isn’t up to us when its our time to go.. with that said, do all you can to let those around you know how much you love and care for them. Fix any relationship that went wrong, you never know when God will call on them. I’ve read all of the other comments on this article and was very touched. I wasn’t gonna comment but I felt that my story might change someones life for the better, so why not. I know I still have a lot of growing to do, and sometimes we don’t have someone pushing us.. but its ok, push yourself. Your loved ones are looking over you and are proud of your accomplishments. I’ve decided that i’m going back to school. I plan to make my mom proud and show my brother and other siblings that we can be whatever we dream to be. Its gonna be hard, but never give up. When times get rough, pray and think of the good times. Look at pictures, videos, anything you can get ahold of.. and cry if you need to. Things WILL get better.

  57. Australia said on April 16, 2012 at 11:02 am ... #

    My mum dies of a drug overdose when I was 13. My father was never around. Im now 20. I’m scared of how this trauma is going to impact me later on in life. I would give up 10 years of my life for a day with her.

  58. Msuct13 said on April 16, 2012 at 11:43 am ... #

    This may seem a bit unorthodox, but I’m concerned about my 18mo old. I need help. I’m severely depressed it seems. I hate my job, my house is falling apart around me and I don’t have the money to keep it up. I used to be a very popular singer until I injured my vocal chords and ended my career. My one constant bright spot in my life is my wife and beautiful little boy but I’m afraid they would be better off without me. I was wondering if anyone had any insight to how my suicide would affect my 18 mo old and how long would it take him to get over it if I were to take such a selfish and cowardly way out. He adores me and I him and it’s the only thing that’s kept me from it thus far. I know it’s awful, and it’s out of character for me, and I’m sorry to burden this forum with such a morbid thought. It’s the only time I’ve allowed it out of my own head.

  59. Adam said on April 17, 2012 at 3:16 am ... #


    I understand how your feeling like your family would be better off without you mainly because since things are falling into disarray you feel like you have failed them, feel very vulnerable, hopeless, and perhaps feel like you’ve failed as a man to provide for your family. You may feel this way but imagine how much harder it would be for them if you were not there. Your wife would not only have to pull the pieces together from your passing, some how make her life work, and at the same time raise her son all at once. Your son wouldn’t have his father there to spend time with him, guide him, mentor him, show him what it means to be a man, and plus you would miss out on watching your boy grow up.

    I’ll admit life is very difficult, at times unfair, but at the same time there are things that are worth our time friends, family, hobbies, careers, life itself, and so on. I cannot begin to imagine how things are going form you but my advice is even though you hate your job, there must be something else out there that you’re passionate about. I know this is not my business to ask but have you ever considered sharing these thoughts or feelings to a group of close friends around you or even to your wife? Regardless, hang in there your family needs you more than you realize and sooner or later things will get better. Take care.

  60. Alisha said on April 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm ... #


    I would strongly encourage you, should you ever again have thoughts of harming yourself or taking your life, to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you ever feel that you are in danger of self harm, please go immediately to your local emergency room.

    The feelings you mention are not easy ones to manage, and the support of a counselor or therapist can certainly be life changing. You clearly have your son’s and wife’s best interests at heart – which is wonderful. I do hope you will reach out to local resources to continue to make healthy choices for yourself and your family.

  61. Chris H said on April 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm ... #

    Msuct13 I urge you to speak to a professional and get help. As the son of a father who took his own life I will give you the answer-he will NEVER get over it. The way it will affect him will be that he will grow up without a father and wonder why life wasn’t important enough for his father to stick around. He’ll wonder why his father didn’t love him enough to stick around for him. He’ll take the example you set for him and think that when the going gets tough, it’s ok to just give up one everyone.

    You may think your son and wife will be better off without you but belive me they will never be. What trouble you are having now is only temporary. You would be taking a permanent and irreversible choice that will shatter your wife and son’s lives forever. My own mother was devestated after my father killed himself. Her own feelings of guilt destroyed her. Please do not make the same mistake. If only for your son and wife.

  62. Alisha said on April 18, 2012 at 10:00 am ... #

    Hi Kayla – I just saw your comment. If you go to the homepage of this website (get there by clicking the Hello Grief nametag) you can find a Resources tab. There is a long list of groups in Michigan. I would suggest that you reach out to some of them. Even if you contact an organization that isn’t in your city, or isn’t a good fit for you, they may be able to help put you in touch with a group that would be great for you. Keep looking until you find the support you need – it is so important to find a place where you can share your feelings with others who understand and support you!

  63. Karl said on April 21, 2012 at 11:44 am ... #

    I was 8 months old when my father died after being trampled by a horse. I was 8 years old when my mother drove in front of a train and was killed. I grew up with my paternal grandmother who slapped me at my mother’s funeral because I was crying. She was a very religious German woman who demanded thrift and church attendance. I was always awkward and lonely and felt completely abandoned. I had older brothers but they quickly found avenues to “escape” the discipline of our grandmother and all cut me off out of their lives. This made me feel even more abandoned and lost and rejected. In adolescents I realized I am gay, but again I denied it and tortured myself with guilt and hypocrisy. Believe me, the abandonment of a young kid is horrific. I am now 67 and still feel abandoned and rejected. I have attempted suicide a few times, gone for psychiatric counseling, spent decades on anti-depressants…….
    I survive only by working multiple jobs. I know if I retire, I will die.

  64. Bob Doell said on April 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm ... #

    I was in rehab for drinking too much when I looked up the WSJ article. Incredible. I’m 61 Ken. And my father died when I was seven. I was always conscious of it yet none of my years of therapy ever addressed it in depth.

    Ken Clutch email me; I wouldn’t mind speaking to you.

    I’m in northern Mass. ANYONE FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME?

  65. catherine said on May 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm ... #

    My husband and adopted twin girls, they are the joy in my life. My husband is doing all he can to have me leave. He is 59 years old and I am 65, our daughters are seven. I am lost . I want to do what is right for my girls. I am so old would it be better to just end this life? My husband can care for our daughters but how would this affect them? PLEASE HELP ME

  66. Abbie said on May 6, 2012 at 12:31 am ... #

    Hello, my name is Abbie. I am 22 years old.

    I lost my mother when I was 12 due to complications of MS (Multiple Sclerosis and the surgery involved). My father worked nights, and my sister was too young to do anything, so I was left in charge of her at age 7 and on. Instead of resenting this, my mother and I developed an unnaturally close bond.

    She favored me in many aspects, and often referred to me as her best friend. Many times, I was treated as an adult. She always told me how wonderful it was that I behaved very maturely for my age. I used to be proud of this fact, but I’ve lately come to realize that it isn’t healthy.

    When my mother died, I was never properly comforted – everyone else was too busy with their own grief. The family dynamic we had was broken. My sister and father seemed to be moving on in a healthy fashion, but I could never do so. I became angry, bitter, suicidal and hopelessly guilty. I developed an urge to cut and became anxious in hospitals to the point of biting my knuckles. I’ve stopped the cutting and no longer wish to kill myself, but I still have anxiety issues with hospitals.

    I avoid my problems by

    Here is the crux of my problem:

    I’m deeply attached to everything and anything that was around during her time alive. I also find it impossible to accept any negative truths about her. As an Atheist, I’ve prided myself on being fact and truth focused. And yet, I can’t seem to stop myself from being almost religiously devoted to her memory.

    Is this normal, or should I seek professional help?

  67. Abbie said on May 6, 2012 at 12:36 am ... #

    *I avoid my problems by distracting myself with video games, books and music. I rarely allow myself to think about my mother at all.

  68. admin said on May 8, 2012 at 9:45 am ... #

    Catherine: Thank you for reaching out for help. We recommend that you contact a Prevention Hotline, 800-784-2433 or 800-273-8255 for support. They are available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself you should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. Your primary care physician may also be able to assist you in finding some local resources for help. It may be difficult to ask for help from your family & friends, but you have already taken the first step by reaching out to our organization.

  69. Little Jimmie said on May 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm ... #

    My mother disappeared when I was three. Actually, it was on the morning of my 3rd birthday. The family told me she had gone on vacation. The truth was she died in agony in hospital in the early hours of that morning, with internal adhesions resulting from ovarian cancer surgery. She was 31.

    When,as a little kid, I was out in public, and would see a woman who resembled my mother, apparently I would ask excitedly, “Is that Mummy come home?”

    Because of the truth being hidden, and the facts around her death never really being discussed with me, even as an adult, the first time I cried with grief was at age 42. I was taking a shower and it hit me. I went to my bedroom dripping wet, and lay on the bed with my face in the pillow crying with deep wrenching sobbing, for three quarters of an hour.

    I still miss her, and have only one or two fragments of memories. I was given letters my mother had written to her mother in the year of so before she dies. They are treasures and little windows into the past.

    Even today, in my sixties, I still tear up occasionally. I think about how if she had lived as long as her mother, I would have had her well into my adult life.

    But the universe has been kind to me and given me a loving and gentle wife who supports and adores me.

  70. s said on May 12, 2012 at 10:06 am ... #

    Catherine, I hope you got some help, how long would it affect your girls…..well as far as I can see….forever, has been over 40 years for me.

  71. Mary Ann said on May 23, 2012 at 10:47 pm ... #

    Wow, so interesting & I’m so very glad I found this article & site. Thank you to everyone & the author. My story is classic & fits perfectly. My father died when I was 9 years old in a car accident instantly. I have only one sibling, an older brother who is approx. 2 years older than me. Things weren’t perfect for us before dad died. He was a Marine, Vietnam Vet., Hot Shot cop & had become an alcoholic after Nam. So there was domestic violence in the home. He was 2 weeks away from his master’s in criminal Psych. & had worked a 12 hours shift..callen in off & was in an unmarked detective car & hit the guard rail. Died instantly. Well, many didn’t know of the craziness at home. BAck then not much was done about domestic violence. However, in the midst of it…I loved my father. He was put on a big pedalstal though & I knew the truth. I used to wonder what would happen if someone died..my parents with the fights. Then when he did..I though it was my fault forever because of those thoughts. I mean I saw him break my mother’s noes. Well anyway, my mother just became very hard & cold..angry. We weren’t allowed to cry. No talk of him. She went out & lived her life so much. She was 30 when he died & he was 29. My brother got into drugs heavy & spent 11 years in jail. I took care of so much in the family..I went to college. I am a successful professional. I’m a teacher now 15 years. I however, feel a mess & have struggled with PTSD. My adult life in therapy. I have tried to put my family back together with no success. All I want is family. I am divorced & feel lost in this world. Yes, I’d give 1 year up to have one day with my father. I do wonder how it would be if he would have lived. But I’m pretty messed up because I also thought that God took him because he was going to kill us all if he didn’t go. So that is pretty messed up isnt’ it. No I’m not messed up because that’s just a child reasoning. That’s all. I just want to get better. I think sometimes we stay at that age when the trauma happened. I just want to heal & be whole. I’ve put so much into healing & money into therapy. Now my health is being to fail. God Bless all of you.

  72. Mary Ann said on May 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm ... #

    Forgive me many typos above..I am very emotional tonight. I love & I have a big heart. I suffered much abuse & I believe in being happy. I believe in love. I believe in dreams. I know that life is not fair. Life is not fair & nothing is worth much if it is easy to come by. I know I just need love & support. It’s hard to find in this world. First thing to teach a kid when they are old enough-life isn’t fair. Fair means everyone gets what they need & that is not equal. Does not happen in this world. Next, first things to teach them..Success comes in cans not cannots!!
    Like me first & next firsts..LOL
    Sometimes we take cannot out of the vocabulary & that is how I’ve had to live in this world & survive. A hard truth. I’ll take what help I can get.

  73. Mary Ann said on May 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm ... #

    Sorry getting off topic..I think with my dad’s death- how can a moment last forever?? Just that moment of the car accident??

  74. Andrea said on May 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm ... #

    My dad died when I was 3 yrs old and am now 38. I was raised by a great mom and have a great family with a brother 2 years older than me. I miss my dad every day but I don’t even know what I’m missing. It seems I have a giant empty part of me that has never healed. My mom and family would talk about him when we were kids but I always saw how sad it would make my mom. Now, the talk has faded or the stories are redundant. (my mom never remarried). I often wonder if she grieved properly, therefore we never grieved properly. I was very close to my Uncle who was a great stand in man role but he died in 2002. My other Uncle was in my life from age 5 and i was very close to him, he divorced my Aunt in 2000 so yet, another loss. I feel like because I’m a great person, educated, successful, attractive, fun etc etc, people don’t even consider how much all these losses have affected me, esp not having a father. It seems as a kid growing up it was all I knew and didn’t know any different, so i rolled with the punches. Now that i’m older I feel the loss of my dad so much more, it makes me sad so very often. I say “Hi Dad” to his picture evey day. They say girls marry men who are like fathers and I always wonder, maybe i’m still single because I have no idea what he would have been like or what it feels like to have that rock of unconditional love to nurture me through life? I saw all the other girl friends I have from neighborhood kids through college and even now….turn to their dads for influence, support and life decisions. I feel so heartbroken, ripped off and envious that I never had that. I have 2 tiny memories- one visiting him in the hospital and one in our backyard. I sometimes have dreams that I’m talking to him and as I’m about to wake up I panic because I can’t get that back. I always feel like there is such a void in my life and I don’t know what to do with it. I wonder what he’d look like now, what he would think of my brother and I, how/if I would be a completely different person with a different life had I not lost him.

  75. Josh said on May 25, 2012 at 3:21 am ... #

    When I was 4 or 5 years old my Mom was diagnosed with ALS. I’ve heard that only 1-3 people in 100,000 get the disease, and still to this day I can’t imagine why it had to be my mom. She battled it for 11 years, and finally found peace when I was 15. Im only 21 years now, and I still wonder what effects this has had on me. I am a loner, i prefer solitude, i have difficulty being close to people. Always with the trust issues. When i was younger I felt abandoned, i still feel like I am alone in the world. I’ve been doing my best to stay strong and keep my chin up but everyonce in awhile the pressure becomes too much and the depression hits home. The emptiness is the worst part, when I’m down i can feel the weight on my heart. Ever since she was moved into a nursing home I have somehow managed with the sense of no purpose. I have no motivation. I have no idea how Ive made it this far, especially when I lack the will to even live.
    I guess somewhere along the line I found philosophy and opened my mind, im still working as hard as I can to keep positive thinking but I am very concerned about sharing my future with another. Still trying to work out the kinks but anxiety is my biggest battle. I wish all of you well and thank you kindly for this thread.

  76. Anonymous said on May 29, 2012 at 3:38 am ... #

    When i was 2, my mother left my dad cause he is a character and didn’ t treat her nice. It was the Soviet time and the borders were open, so she thougt she could come and see me later. But the borders closed cause the Soviet Union broke down. I never saw her again. My gran did everything to rise a good person out of me. My dad seemed to be in his own little world. We never really talked about my mum or why she left. Should have. As i grew up, there was always something missing.. Stability, unconditional love, safety, knowledge how to deal with everyday life. I often felt lonely, sad and tearfull. I felt i was different, couldn’ t bond with peolpe in normal way.

  77. Anonymous said on May 29, 2012 at 3:44 am ... #

    I am now 24. I found my mum on facebook recently. She was scared that i would reject her.. I know that in a way i am so lucky she’s alive and not dead. But i feel i have built up a wall. Can’t really fix me now. I am not being disrespectfull.. just.. If only i had been in her arms when i needed her so much..

  78. Anonymous said on May 29, 2012 at 4:05 am ... #

    I have come to terms with my loss now. Happens. It made me stronger for sure. I have been away from home for around 5 years now. Had mental health issues aswell. In fact, i’ ve been awake through all nite now. I sometimes get difficulty to sleep at night cause i’m stressed and depressed. It’s made me vulnerable in everyday life. I get days when my stress managing levels are very low. I am seeking for comfort and often just wanna crawl into bed and sleep or just feel safe. I have got a boyfriend now who loves me very much and it feels soo good to be loved for who i am. And feel that love and comfort every day. That is why i have…forgiven my mum. And thanking her for bringing me into this world. I am strong (even though i can winge quite a lot), i am clever and beautiful. It’s all good!! Me me me, me me me me…. Let’s stop goin on about me. Hope that all the beautiful people in the world can RISE n’ SHINE no matter what !! Bless u

  79. Anonymous said on May 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm ... #

    Just what I needed.

  80. kdg1980 said on June 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm ... #

    I lost my dad to cancer when I was 5 years old. He was only 38 and died relatively quickly (from the little I remember). I was the oldest of two girls. Neither of us went to the funeral…I assume because my mother wanted to protect us. After my father’s death, there seemed to be this cloak of silence. We rarely talked about him. I was especially careful not to bring it up becuase I thought it would make my mother sad. I look back now and realize that this stunted the entire grieving process for me. I spent decades with a shadow of sadness over my life. Everyone I knew had both of their parents, and I couldn’t understand what I had done to deserve the kind of loss I had experienced…My 5 year-old mind, however, internalized my dad’s death as punishment for something — I just never knew what. I am now 31 and still dealing with the effect of my dad’s death. I started counseling in the last few years and only in those years have been able to actually cry about this loss. I still feel like there is a huge piece of me missing…something I can never get back. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever heal. I find it exceedingly difficult to get close to other people, especially men…I cannot articulate my emotions — indeed sometimes I don’t even know what I feel. Some days the challenges seem so overwhelming and I wonder if I am up to the task…whether I will be successful in getting to a place where I can lead a semi-normal life with healthy relationships. I would like to get married and have children one day, but I worry that I will never be able to have a family of my own because of all of the things that I missed out on developmentally by not growing up with my father. I miss him so much, and yes, I would shorten my life if it meant having more time with him…

  81. Louis said on June 4, 2012 at 3:29 am ... #

    I lost my father on vaction, on the beach to a heart attack, in WildWood, NJ when I was 13. He was the best, he went to every single game I had and not only attended but knew exactly what happened when it happened what I could work on what I did great what I should do next time. He was an amamazing amazing amazing person which is why the wake consisted of a 5 block line. I love my dad and my concern is that im 24 and am really starting to feel it more then I ever did and I;m not sure how to cope with it…any suggestions would be great. Thanks

  82. Louis said on June 4, 2012 at 3:33 am ... #

    @kdg1980 —–Although I was 13 when it happened to me, I can realte to you more then any person I have ever met, or read about in my life. I have yet to really cry and I just don’t get it

  83. Debbie said on June 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm ... #

    So many heart wrenching stories with people feeling the same pain I have felt all my life. My dad died of cancer, aged 29 when I was 6 months old. He was ill for 2 years – cancer ravaged him, I was confused and have cried so many tears that the night he died he was alone and I wish I could have held his hand. I only found out when I was 11 what he had died off. I was too afraid to ask my mum incase it made her cry again. I grew up feeling alone, insecure and afraid of significant people abandoning me.

    30 years later in 2010, my mum also died after a very short battle with cancer. It was horrible, brought back so many memories and I was heavily pregnant. But this this time around I could care for my parent and hold her hand and comfort her before and during her passing.

    She and my dad are now back together and for their happiness I am grateful. But at times I feel robbed and along with other deeply painful life events I sometimes wonder why some of us draw such short straws.

    My love and prayers go out to all of you coping with loss and illness of a loved one.


  84. stacey said on July 7, 2012 at 9:44 am ... #

    It breaks my heart when I am reading what everyone else has gone through. My situation is different but sad for me. My husband and i moved in to take care of my parents after we had our twin daughters. My mom, retired and helped me, When my girls were 22 months old my dad passed away from a heart attack at 81. He was such a class act, a gentlemen and a true survivior. He was injured 8 years prior to that when walking his dog, someone hit him and he fell head first to the ground. He suffered seizures and constant head trauma and never felt sorry for himself. I miss him terribly. My mom and Dad were married 57 years and had me older . There is a big age difference from my older brother and sister. My mom, soon declined alot after my fathers passing and struggled with her diabetes and parkingsons. She was more challenging than my Dad, and If i said black she would say white. I could leave her alone for a few hours however, she was at the point where she couldnt dress or give herself a shower. This killed her since she was so self sufficent. She loved my daughters and doted on them. I adored her with all the faults and even though she never said it, was grateful for the care I gave her. A month ago, my older twin Hayley, tried to wake Grandma up and she was still sleeping. She never woke up from her coma and after the breathing machine was taken off made it 5 days through hospice. I spent 12 hours everyday in the hospital and hospice and know it was the right thing to do. At 42, even though so blessed to have the closeness of them , i now have no parents. Now if that was not enough my fathers side of the family refuses to speak with me and my siblings since we had my moms service at our church. ( my dads side was jewish) We had a lovely tribute to my mom and it was so much warmer than my dad, had with a Rabbi and that is exactly what my mom, would have wanted !! We are seeing a grief counsellor now though hospice and it has certainly helped my daughters. They find comfort in my moms room and it has only been 2 weeks since she passed and cant go through her belongings. God bless my daughters and husband, I couldnt have gotten through this with out them !!! I am so so sorry after reading the posts , what everyone has had to deal with, it breaks my heart !!

  85. Amybeth4 said on July 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm ... #

    My mother died when I was four (1970) and my dad when I was 10 (1976). I didn’t cry then and I rarely cry today…but I’m crying now (a bit). I barely grieve for the parents I didn’t really know…But I grieve for my adult self all the time. The adult who never had the love of a true mommy or daddy. No one will ever understand. :(

  86. Amybeth4 said on July 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm ... #

    PS I’m now crying almost hysterically. This is a horrible group to be a part of.

  87. Charne said on July 20, 2012 at 4:56 am ... #

    I think people should try and help each other on this website and not make people re-live their own loss.
    I lost my mom & brother of 8 when I was 15 in a car accident it was my fault and I only broke a leg, I’m 30 now and it still gets to me. Been hospitalised because of it.
    I dont want any counselling it makes me feel worse, all I want is some encouragement and support.

  88. Chris H said on July 22, 2012 at 1:23 am ... #

    It’s so hard reading all these posts from those in pain. As someone who lost both his parents at a young age I’m always willing to listen if anyone needs someone to talk to.

  89. RAJ said on July 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm ... #

    I’ve been in the middle & seen the damage from a loss of my first cousins father when they were young, 10 & 14 years old. That was 45 years ago and still to this day there are anger issues that keeps this family apart and fighting. Because the grief was never dealt with properly it caused problems for the entire family from grandparents down to 20 plus cousins who have never been the same from the loss of one great man from cancer 45 years ago. It has made a once loving family split into factions of groups with bottled up hate towards eachother. I tried to be neutral but it cost me more than anyone. HE wasn’t even my father and and I would certainly give a year of my life to be with my uncle for 1 more day. Please pray our famliy may heal from this even after almost 50 years of battles and bottled up rage.

  90. daw said on July 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm ... #

    I understand amybeth4,i was 9yrs old when my mother was shot in same house.i was put state care.now i have problems with relationship don’t trust.

  91. Lisa Marie said on July 25, 2012 at 11:17 am ... #

    I lost my mother when I was 11. I am 33 now and have never fully gotten over the pain, the fear and the sadness. I still cannot look at pictures or videos without breaking down. My brother was 8 at the time and we stuck together. I have since lost him. This has created an even larger void in my life and added to the pile of saddness, fear and pain. Sometimes, some of us, get more then our fair share……

  92. Turner said on July 27, 2012 at 7:30 am ... #

    My beautiful mother died when I was four, of cancer. She was only about 23. My little sister and I soon had another mother who was very abusive. She beat on us incessantly. She and my father had five more children together, but he was always away on business. He would not allow me to defend myself from this woman. I resented her, and felt like I never fit in. As an adult I have suffered from this strained relationship and have never married, though I am now 60. I am still overwhelmed with grief once or twice a year, cry it out, and feel better.

    I want this pain to go away. I have been through several addictions and have difficulty focusing at work and a very hard time falling asleep, since childhood.

    Thanks for Listening

  93. motorbiker said on August 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm ... #

    powerful website with messages that connect with me. I lost my dad at age 6 due to a car crash.

    He was only 32. I think about him everyday.
    I find it hard when I look at my 6 year old daughter and imagine what it must have been like for me as a 6 year old child to lose him.

    I have the same hobbies that he had when he was alive and I wish so much that I still had him to talk to and help me. I am luckier than most in that I have a brilliant mother who has done everything for her children. I think now when I look back with sadness, it is also the 6 year old child I am sad for.

    I guess this grief is just part of us and will always be there.

  94. Lonely cyclist said on August 6, 2012 at 3:16 am ... #

    My father left my mother and myself when I was three monts old. Although I tracked him down in 1994 when I was 21, I never met him. Apparently he’s dead now, so that wraps up things a bit.

    My stepfather died from a brain tumor when I was four. I don’t remember it, but my mother said it had a huge impact on me, because I refused to speak to her for three days because she had promised me that he would return from the hospital. My mum didn’t do well afterwards. She suffered from depression and my first childhood memories are her suicide threats. It leaves quite an impression on a 4-year old when he hears his mother saying that she wants to jump through the window, especially when you don’t live on the ground floor.

    I guess I saved myself by not caring. Despite a 130+ IQ, I underperformed academically. I lived together with a nice girl for a while, but that didn’t work out either. Apparently, my sweet childhood also left an impression on my sexual health. So, what’s left? I’m an only child left with two family members. That’s it. Fortunately, I developed two skills. I have a great sense of humor and I can act. That’s how I keep a circle of friends, because no one wants to hear about a 40-year old who is ****** up the way I am.

  95. Alex said on August 11, 2012 at 11:51 am ... #

    When I was 9 yrs old bac in the mid 70’s my mom was murdered by my dad. this ended years of physical and mental abuse thta my dad gave my mom. my dad was a heavy drinker and i believe at the time into drugs as well. I have two older brothers and we have never talked about the tragic death of our mom. my dad did go to prison but not for long since he claimed temporary insanity and got out with a reduced sentence, i never had a relationship with him and he died a year ago with his 3rd wife and teenage daughter by his side. Oh yeah he had three more kids with his 2nd wife. i think my teenage years were a big blur with really no fond typical memories that any normal teenage would have. My aunt and uncle 9My dad’s brother) rasied us after my mom’s tragic death along with there own three teenage children. I never felt welcomed and it appeard that I was just in the way and a problem for my aunt and uncle. i forgey to tell them about my 6th grade graduation so I went along with no family members. I wasn’t a big thing for me but to them they were embarrased. I really had no girl friends during jr and high school, didn’t go to my senior prom or any school dances whiule my brothers and cousins did participate in all those things. Oh yeah I was the youngest of the children. Early on i leard that the only person that will help me is myself. I focused on school and ignored everyone. Out of the six kids 9my two brothers and three cousins) I was the only one to graduate from college with a meaningful degree. but guess what, i never got married and have no children. i do have a good group of close friends and a few extended family members. But for the past 10 years i have had no contact with my two older brothers and my three cousins (oh one passed away already Hah!!) that I lived with during my teen years. I do however have a great relationship with my threee younger half brothers and sisters from my dad’s 2nd marriage. Isn’t life strange? I guess it’s within in your power to make it what every you want it to be. normality is a fad depicted on TV.

  96. Barbara said on August 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm ... #

    Today is the anniversary of a horrible car accident where I lost my grandmother, mother, a brother and a little sister. I spent nearly a month in the hospital and never remembered the accident. I have a hard time thinking of the fact that I lost a large part of my family when I was only 14. My parents were divorced at the time of the accident. My father who was an alcoholic and had a new wife who had her own son came to the hospital and took custody of my twin sister and myself. This just added to the problems I was experiencing. I was so alone and spent a lot of time listening to songs that made me think of my mother and what I was missing. I lost touch with my mother’s family. When I was 17, I moved in with my father’s sister so she could help me figure out what to do after high school and my sister moved to a foster where we had lived previously when our dad went to a detox facility for his alcoholism. That didn’t help either. It was hard to watch my Aunt and her daughter and realize that I was never really going to be part of their family, at least not in the way that I felt I needed to be. Later, when I was 18 I tried to join my mother and ended up in a psychiatric ward of a hospital. I no longer am suicidal, but am not very happy either. I have since reconnected with my mother’s family but don’t have much of a history with them and so don’t really feel like part of the family. I am so glad that my twin didn’t die and that I have an older brother (he wasn’t in the accident). I don’t know what I would do if anything ever happens to them. The accident was 34 years ago today and it still hurts to think of what and who was lost that day. I try not to be a bitter person, but sometimes it is really hard when you feel like life is so unfair.

  97. jake said on August 14, 2012 at 6:21 am ... #

    my story is a little different because my parents we’re divorced when i was 5 and my dad left us 5 days before my 11th birthday in a motorcycle accident, taking a women on a mothers day ride. Even though i only saw him on weekends i loved every moment i spent with him because we were so alike. It’s strange thinking back on it how i can pin point the moment my emotions switched off.

    When i was told my world crashed i was left feeling overwhelmed with a sadness that i new would never pass. i remember my **** of a step mother taking everything and then burying my dad on my birthday. So that just added a whole new element of anger on top of my grief but as soon as i looked at my fathers open casket and kissing him on the forehead i can distinctly remember saying to myself i literally can not handle this. that was the point i switched off all my emotion.

    Within the last couple of years being 27 now it’s been like a flood gate open with repressed grief that i should have dealt with years ago. as much as i didn’t want to do anything about it then. i know that in my teens i needed to grieve but with no real stability in my life i felt there was no one i could turn to so i kept not dealing with it. i hope someone with a similar situation reads this and realises that these things can effect you much later down the track and you can’t avoid it.

  98. Sharon Full said on August 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm ... #

    I am 66 and have never gotten over the loss of my mom when I was six.

  99. Anna said on August 23, 2012 at 10:13 am ... #

    Lisa Marie, I find your situation similar to mine: I too am 33 years old now and I lost my father when I was 11. He was 41 then.

    My dad died of cancer after a few years of extreme suffering. Witnessing his pain has changed me forever and I sometimes wonder if it was not worse than his death itself. When in extreme pain, he prayed for death loudly. I felt totally helpless and I still feel guilty I did not support him or helped him somehow. I didn’t know how.
    I have a twin brother whom I love extremely much. I never got along with my mom and had a pretty hard time growing up under her roof (she kind of had a nervous break down which was never diagnosed and actually vented all her anger on me, becoming very abusive, violent with time, she is an adult child of an alcoholic father and I think that stress made her fall back to “parenting patterns” she knew from her home).
    I am on my own now and I pursued an academic career. Anyway, I often find myself frightened at the very thought of losing my brother or mother. They are all I actually have.
    My mother and I lost religious faith completely after my dad’s death. My brother did not. He is still a believer. I think that there is no way to really ever get over early loss of a parent. It was too strongly engraved in mind and heart. Reading about how people find sense or “God’s will” in their parent’s undeserved suffering and death makes me kind of angry and bitter. I guess that suggests that I never got over my dad’s suffering and death. Maybe there are great differences between experiences of each of us that should be researched better. I wish researchers found factors leading us to heal those wounds. I personally do not see any possibilities to ever get “healed” of it or to find sense in it. It shaped me and reinterpreting it would have to somehow destroy my entire understanding of the whole world. Anyway, how to reinterpret in positive terms the fact that your beloved dad or mom suffered like hell and died young? I have no idea.

  100. Shannon Loyola said on August 26, 2012 at 1:27 am ... #

    I’m a 30 yr. old woman and I lost both my parents before I was 10. My father died of aids when I was 6 and my mother died of breast cancer when I was 9. I lived with my grandmother till she died when I was 12. From there I jumped around both sides of my family until I was 18. I then moved out and have been on my own since.

    I still wonder how I made it where I am today. Music and friends helped me survive, as well as some years of therapy. I was fortunate to have 2 amazing therapists, a rarity as Im told. I still experience moments where I wish I had my parents. I’m at the age where people are getting married and having kids….it’s hard. Sometimes I feel like people just don’t get unless they’ve experienced it. Dating is hard as well because it’s hard connecting with people. It’s
    Ike they can’t understand how dark life can be, they can’t reach that depth of understanding. Happy I found this today.

  101. lainey said on August 26, 2012 at 6:34 am ... #

    I am 37 years old and this is the first time I ever spoke on this subject don’t get me wrong I think about my parents everyday and have informed people of their passing but not on how it has affected me I have fiddled with counseling but something don’t sit well with me their. I don’t have any family to talk about it to so for all these years ive just thought about it but never spoke on it until I ran acroos this site 5:00am one day I lost both of my parent by the time I was 10 years old and they died under different circumstances my mom died when I was 1 years old she had a bleeding in brain she was 21 years old as I grew when I was around 8 my dad started getting sick I remember him in and out the hospital he died 2years later at age 33 I had a stepmom who I thought was my mom until my dad passed away you have to remember me being that young when my mom died I had no memory of her I just knew of my stepmom presence I called her mom and everything then she took me to child welfare and said I was unruly quote un quote and she couldn’t take care of me anymore I was only 11 years old then now I’m older and see she was just selfish and didn’t want me because I wasn’t her birth daughter so yeah imagine that on top of losing your parents I grew up in grouphomes and foster homes never fitting in never a family but I’m just now trying to let go and its hard without support but I now know I’m not alone their are people that know how I feel and not some counselor that is telling me something they learned on page 1023 in a textbook

  102. J said on August 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm ... #

    Is there an online forum or support group for us? After reading all these messages I can relate to so much of what is written. It is so sad yet comforting to know I’m not alone at the same time. I would love to be able to talk directly to others who know what I feel.

  103. Alisha K. (HelloGrief.org) said on August 28, 2012 at 9:38 am ... #

    Hey J…

    Click the “Community” tab at the top of this page. HelloGrief has a great online community that was created as a fun and safe place to support each other as we face life with grief.

  104. Summor said on August 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm ... #

    My dad died suddenly at the age of 50 a little over 2 months ago. I was only 15 when he died. He all of a sudden got sick and 6 weeks later he was dead. I wish that I would have appreciated him more and I wish that they figured out what he died of ( they couldnt determine how he died ). Everyday seems like a struggle without him around and something always reminds me of him whiter it’s our special song or something I do that we used to do together.

  105. Konstanidis said on August 30, 2012 at 12:01 am ... #

    I just turned seventeen years old five days ago, and i already feel jaded. My dad died just ten days before my fifth christmas. We were lying in bed with our backs against the wall with myself in the middle of my mother and father. I remember Joni Mitchell’s Blue album was playing as well. He began to have a heart attack and fainted not long after. He fell out of bed and hit his head on the corner of the nightstand. A five year old me watched this. And that was the last time i ever saw him awake, just seconds before, sitting in bed next to me. I am now seventeen and clinically depressed.

  106. Jp said on September 2, 2012 at 6:57 am ... #

    I’m happy I found this website. I have been aware of the WSJ article for a bit and between that and these posts – it’s a bit comforting to know that I am not alone. The quick version of my story: Dad passed away when I was 10, Mom (via suicide) when I was 13. No siblings. Went to live with Aunt/Uncle and cousins till 18. Now almost 40. Proud to say I never had a problem with drugs or alcohol but do “eat” perhaps as a way to cope. Only recently have I begun to cope better, but looking at photos, talking with the few remaining living relatives about memories or learning family history. But still I feel thats not enough. After 30 yrs – as you know, it’s still so very hard. Can anyone offer more coping suggestions? I’ve tried counseling and that does not seem to help. Relationships are 50/50… my longtime friendship/marriage ended in divorce (but at least we made the relationship work for almost 20 yrs). However I can not seem to make “everyday” friends. Anyways – thank you all for helping me feel like there is hope. Regards, J

  107. aa said on September 11, 2012 at 12:21 am ... #

    i’ve read some comments that touched me so much, ii lost my father 10 days before my second birthday, i have no memories of him whatsoever, i have always keep everything to myself, i basically grew up alone bc my mother was at work barely making it to help support the both of us. i’ve been to a psychologist as a child bc i hated my mother, i would fight with her most of the time, at 18 now i still cry when i think of how it would’ve been if he was here… people just don’t understand how difficult it is to grow up like that, how it affects a child, i really wish i could have gotten help earlier because it affected my personality and just my whole life…

  108. Kristina said on September 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm ... #

    I am 28 years old. I have never met my real dad. I know this is more about people who lost there father but I lost my mom November 3rd of last year. It was a month before my 28th birthday. She was addicted to drugs and alcohol. She got Hepatitis C. She was throwing up blood. Once she got to the ER. They tried to stop the bleeding but due to her hep c her liver was done. Since im the oldest of 3 girls everything was on my shoulders. Its the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I lived with my grandparents all through high school cause my mom chose drugs and alcohol. I’ve had so much anger since she’s died and I feel guilty. I wish there was more I could have done. I wish I could’ve just forgiven her for all the horrible things she did and said to me. The year anniversary is coming up and I dont know how to deal with it. One of my sisters is following in my footsteps. I dont have much family left. Just my pop and my youngest sister. My grandma died on my pops birthday almost 3 years ago. My aunt who is my moms sister is dying too from Aids and hep C. I don’t know how my grandfather can do it. He lost his wife of 60 years his youngest kid and no preparing for his oldest too. If anyone has any advice please let me know. You can email me at kwood1204@yahoo.com

  109. Monique said on September 17, 2012 at 12:22 am ... #

    My mother died when I was 15 she died from breast cancer and was only 40. I’m now 25 and it feels like I would never be able to heal from her passing away.Ive tried killing myself several times but either i wasnt successful or i started thinking about how embarrass I would be if someone found me. I barely have a relationship with my father he didn’t even come to the funeral because he said it was a waste of his time and he didn’t wanna be bother I don’t even remember the last time I hug him.Now ten years later I suffer from antiexty, depression, I don’t know how to love anyone because I feel like no one loves me, alcoholism, and many other things. I honestly don’t know what I’m living for except for my career other than that I feel so alone. I just wish it would all go away.

  110. Farrah said on September 19, 2012 at 2:22 am ... #

    My father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hogdkins when I was in first grade (1983). He was given 6 months to live. By a miracle, he was given an experimental chemo and was “cured”. Fast forward to 1990, when I was 13. He died from complications from the chemo he had received in 1983. I never saw his grave. I just wanted to get back to school. I saw his grave in 1993, when my grandmother died and I was sitting at the gravesite on top of his grave. I screamed and broke down. Since then, I’ve graduated college and married 2 years ago. I went through my 20’s partying a lot but just assumed that was normal. After reading the comments, I realize I may have some deep seeded issues I have not dealt with. I have a good life and a wonderful husband however we are trying to have a baby and all of sudden, the loss is hitting me hard. My father made a tape for me that I still haven’t listened to….I am sure that is a red flag of some sort. Iwant my husband to listen to the tape with me. I THINK I’m fine but I’m intelligent enough to know that there has to have been some complications regarding my loss. The student in me would like to figure out WHAT has been affected…do I deal with people differenlty? I don’t cry in front of my mom, is that why? Is my attitude different because of my loss? I am not a worry-er at all..almost to a fault. I wonder if that is a cause? Questions like that burn in my mind. How have I been affected? Do I even realize the reasons I do things?

  111. Gigi said on September 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm ... #

    I am so glad to have found this site.
    I am 52 and lost my mother to cancer when I was 5….she was only 38..my father went overseas to work..my grandmother raised me. I adored my grandmother…. but it wasn’t my Mom. To this day….so many years later my heart still aches everyday…its a void that will never be filled…I heard an expression.”There are just some things you never get over…you just learn to live around them”. If you are reading this ….you know exactly what I mean.
    I’ve read many books on grief and loss of your mother..my favorite is “Motherless Daughters ” by Hope Edelman. Every time a co worker or friend loses their Mom…I give them that book. I have to say as my friends now are experiencing what it’s like to lose your Mom…they can’t understand what it was like to experience it as a five year old.
    Is there anyone who is reading this that experienced it as a child? I’d really like to hear your story.
    Thank you!

  112. Lori Dahlgren said on September 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm ... #

    I lost both parents, my dad took my moms life and then his. I was 16 and had a brother 17. I was in and out of therapy. I’m now 52. I have 3 children, 1 I adopted out at 20 (saddens me), 2 that I had after a marriage. I had so much love from others, and always never felt younger then I was.My tow Children are out of the house and I miss them. I have stayed busy but I’m always lonely. Been divorced for 15 yrs. and haven’t been able to move on!

  113. Alisha K. (HelloGrief.org) said on September 22, 2012 at 8:17 am ... #

    Monique, thank you for sharing your thoughts with our community. I will be emailing you privately in response.

  114. JoJo said on September 24, 2012 at 9:23 am ... #

    I came onto this site to try to find some answers for my 13 year old daughter. She is 13 and I am dying from cancer. Her (my ex) dad is effectively keeeping her away from me saying he is protecting her, so she sleeps here (her home) one night a week and spends the rest of her time (apart from a couple of vivists after school)at his place. What I am so scared about is when I am dead she will regret this but her dad is so controlling. Any advice? apologies for an off-topic query but it’s breaking my heart.

  115. Ms. Talyor to JOJO said on September 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm ... #

    TO JOJO:

    First my heart goes out to you for fighting this battle with cancer and trying to deal with your issues , daughter & controlling spouse. My suggestion is that you write her a letter explaining everything in your heart, what you truly feel & what you want for her. What you want for her future. Don’t apologize for anything, be strong and don’t hold anything back. Give this letter to 2 people you can trust that will give it to her when she is a couple years older, say 16 or 18. Something she can always have & read to comfort her and keep as assurance, that you did care and didn’t want her to have no regrets. Try not to be negative about her father but tell her some things were out of your control and if you could change them what you would do. Maybe you won’t need the letter, mayble God has a miracle for you and you will live to see her grow up. GOD BLESS

  116. Richie said on October 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm ... #

    My mom committed suicide when I was 13. I’m 43 now but still very sad about her decision. I’m having a tough day today and it finally dawned on me that much of my self sabotage type of behavior over the years has most likely stemmed from feelings of abandonment I never resolved. I have three wonderful children of my own and want to show them good example of how to handle life. My wife and I have been married 23 years and I have struggled to nurture that relationship like I/she needs me to. I am determined to seek counseling and try to be the best husband and dad I can. My mother always thought so highly of me and instilled such amazing confidence in me. As life has become more challenging I find myself making poor choices, most I’ve kept to myself. I know that confident young boy is still in me so I plan to seek counseling to try to resolve some of my internal demons.

  117. JoJo said on October 3, 2012 at 5:18 am ... #

    Ms. Taylor, thankyou. A letter sounds a good thing to do. jojo.

  118. Nicole said on October 3, 2012 at 5:25 am ... #

    To Jojo:

    My advice to you is fight for her. Keep her close during the time you have left. These are the times that she will remember forever; every detail will be embedded in her mind forever. Take many pictures and videos for her to keep. This will help her will the struggles to come.

    I am now 26, married and have two young children. My father died in 2009 after fighting brain cancer for three years. I remember every detail from the last few months to the night he died. I am glad I put my life on hold to spend every waking moment with him. I took many pictures and videos to help remember

  119. chelsea said on October 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm ... #

    I lost my mom when i was 8 due to drunk driving and my father has just been charged with 20-40 years in prison. i am now 21. when my mother died my father wasnt much of a parent. anyway my life growing up without mu mother wouldve been easier had tje adults in my life showed more concern

  120. Carriebeth said on October 5, 2012 at 12:47 am ... #

    My mother died a year and a half ago. She was diagnosed with MS a decade ago and was severely sick ever since. I turned 22 last month. Our relationship was always a bit rocky because she was very unpredictable and in constant need of care yet always wanted to be the one to take care of me. I have emense guilt because I would not let her feel like my mom because I was the one taking care of all of our business. Now, I won’t let anyone take care of me. Partially because I don’t know how and because I don’t feel as though I deserve it. When others try to take care of me, I withdrawal completely and end up spending hours in bed. This is just one of issues developed from her loss.

  121. presto said on October 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm ... #

    It’s been 4 years since I lost my dad in summer 2008, I was 20 at the time and have two older brothers, one of which was arrested this year for breaking into an acquaintances house to take perscription pills and will face 3-20 if he doesn’t pass his drug tests for the next year and the other is the oldest, 32 and is successful and living in California though I suspect drinks heavily most days. I struggled through 2 years of college after his death out of 5 total for a Bachelor of Architecture and spent the spring of my fourth year abroad and came back to friends graduating and moving on with lives. When I started my final fifth year to graduate everything felt wrong and disagreeable and I started every semester and dropped out every semester since. My Dad died unexpectedly from heart problems in the hospital, he was there to have something fixed and died the next day when I arrived for ‘support’, I never saw him awake when I got there only felt him squeeze my hand recognizing my presence. I have struggled with alcohol addiction and smoke a lot of pot to cope when trying not to drink, it has been four years and I am now still trying to finish school and hate everything about it, before he died I really loved it and felt like I was achieving something, now it feels like the worst drag and makes me angry upset depressed and sometimes violent towards myself out of frustration at the fact that I simply can’t seem to finish this and blame all of my problems not on my dad but on the fact that he died, and believe that if he hadn’t my life would be completely different and better. He died while my parents were moving, literally selling one house and had just built a new one my mom couldnt afford after he died but she moved anyways into a different smaller home but I feel no connection to my past where I am from and spent all my childhood because none of my family lives there. I think I ignored his death for the two years immediately following despite the drastic financial changes, family stress, and depression I pretended like everything was okay until I lived in Rome and drank about six bottles of wine a week, at least, and found time and freedom to refelct and found myself utterly alone when I returned for summer before my last year of school. I wouldn’t trade time of my life for time to see my dad, but I thought a lot over the past two years I have taken time off school about killing myself, drinking myself to death, or just walking into traffic or the subway. My family is the only thing that kept me from doing this, not because of support but because I couldn’t do it to them knowing the do care, though I don’ tfeel close to them. My mom is struggling to support me and my other brother who is facing possible jail time for drugs and I can’t simply ‘do my homework’. I’ve been so depressed for so long and lost all interest in almost everything and everyone, even my friend who lost his dad when he was 13, the only person I know who lost a parent we just never talk about it and don’t see each other much since he graduated. I hate the conditions of my life so much right now and have immense student debt for a degree I no longer want to finish, I sometimes stay up all night and ignore phone calls and classes/exams/papers because my thoughts just don’t come out into words anymore, only feelings. Everything seemed so normal, expected, and simple before and now everything seems terrible, bleak, and pointless and I feel like these thoughts make people say get over it move on just do what you need to do, and I don’t even know what that is? I just want to dissappear, be someone else somewhere else doing something else and not have this responsibilies and expectations anymore. I’ve completely lost myself through this experience and I think a lot about dealing with issues of sexual identity as well trying to accept whether or not I am a ‘gay’ man or not, and not having a dad for that, and losing a roomate the same summer my dad died – my roomate dissappeared off the coast never to be found, and the next summer a friend was almost beaten to death walking home by thugs and will never completely recover, those incidents still freak me out. I don’t understand how I’ve never been able to move on from this stuff and why I can’t ‘just do things’ any more that I don’t think are important, they just seem stupid-a waste of time, like theres no more for me to learn and no reason to try and no hope for my future to be what I expected it to be. I battle with myself everyday trying to say to myself or others unconvincingly that I do sort of care and want to get better, but I think a part of me really just wants to keep suffering.

  122. Dave said on October 9, 2012 at 10:31 pm ... #

    So here I am. 40 Years Old. Lost my dad at 10. He died two years after he had a stroke. I remember how he couldn’t walk straight anymore and he couldn’t drive, but he would still take me out on the bus. And like a stupid kid I would run ahead of him and yell at him to hurry up as he was limping along behind me. He had lost half of his body functions. I remember finding him that last time on the grass when he was watering the lawn. Two weeks of coma followed. I remember waking up at 4 in the morning and just knowing he was gone. at 7 in the morning there were people at my house delivering the news to my mom.
    I grew up instantly. Became a “man.” Never played with toys ever after that. Never played any games after that. Took a job at 14. Went to high school and after 6 years of college became a total college drop out. Yet I kept going. I have a good job. I have a nice place to live.
    But, I still have those dreams. Where I’m standing next to him and yelling at him as to why he left me all to myself like that.
    Here at 40, what have been the effects? I know nothing about women. I have no happiness. I fake the smile pretty well. I’m always paranoid. As soon as things are going well, I start thinking there must be something wrong. I’m not lucky enough to have good things happening. I hear about god… I’m pretty sure if there was a god, he gave up on me a long time ago.
    I wasn’t like this before. It has started to surface only in the last couple of years. Random crying and loneliness… oh the loneliness.
    Yeah, I’d give up a year in my life for a day with him. I was just a kid; I didn’t mean to yell at him to hurry up. So many many questions to ask. I wish I was older then and knew what I had.

  123. Nicole said on October 10, 2012 at 1:46 am ... #

    To presto:

    I know how you feel. My father died from brain cancer in 2009. My family and I slowly watched him deteriorate. I tried to be strong for my sisters and mother. Now after 3 years, I struggle immensely. I have also struggled to complete my schooling. It makes it hard to focus. My family has fallen apart because no one knows how to act or what to say. I struggle every day but some how find the strength to carry on. It’s hard, I feel all alone most of the time with this, even though I’m married now with two kids.

  124. Todd said on October 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm ... #

    My story isn’t all that different from any of your’s. I lost both parents to cancer when I was 16. I’m 44 now and I still count graduating high school as one of my greatest accomplishments. I even managed to get into college and graduate, but those years struggling to care for my parents were by far the hardest years of my life. I’m sad and embarrassed to admit that I was often angry during those years. Angry at my parents; Angry at nurses, teachers, preachers, neighbors, bill collectors. And God.
    My mom went first, but before she did, she melted away to nothing. Cancer even ate its way outside her body and left a fist-size hole on her torso large enough to see clear down to her stomach. Some of you must understand exactly how horrible her condition was. I’ll end by sharing the one bright memory I took from all this – One early morning near the end of my mom’s time, I awoke to hear my dad saying something to her. Actually, he was curled up in bed with her and he was singing quietly into her ear. He only had 6 months left himself, but we didn’t know that at the time. I stood at their door and listened to him say goodbye in the only way he knew how. Here’s what he sang: from “Annie’s Song”
    Come let me love you
    Let me give my life to you
    Let me drown in your laughter
    Let me die in your arms
    Let me lay down beside you
    Let me always be with you
    Come let me love you
    Come love me again

    Clyde 45, Jerri 45

  125. Alisha K. (HelloGrief.org) said on October 11, 2012 at 11:33 am ... #


    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with our community. It is not uncommon to struggle with a loss at different times in your life, even if it was a years ago. You shared that you also are dealing with symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as issues with drug and alcohol use. That along with dealing with your feelings about your dad’s death must be very difficult. We encourage you to look for support in your community. Thoughts of hurting yourself should be taken seriously. The support that you will get on Hello Grief may also help, but shouldn’t take the place of clinical support within your community. Here is also a support # you can call if you live in the US, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They may also have some local resources that they can give you information on. You should go to an Emergency Room if you are thinking of hurting yourself, as they will be able to provide you with support and local resources.

    We hope this information helps.

    Please be advised that the recommendations/advice provided by Comfort Zone/HelloGrief are based on the limited information that is provided for a specific question. It is not intended as a substitute for a clinical evaluation. In the event of a psychiatric emergency, please seek immediate assistance by dialing 911 or proceeding to the nearest emergency room.

  126. Deandra said on October 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm ... #

    My daughter lost her father when she was just 2 and a half. He was hit by a truck. She is now 5 and I still dont know the right approach to helping her. I recently told her how he passed. I dont know if that was a good idea but she asked. I made her a photo album with pictures of her and her dad. But I feel this is not enough to help her. Though she has times of crying, she is happy full of excitment, and loves school. I am looking around on the internet and asking friends and family now to see if there is anything I can do to help her better.

  127. Jill said on October 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm ... #

    I lost my Mam when I was 19. After the removal of a brain tumour my mother fell in to a coma for 14 months and never woke up. I’m 25 now and I am still absolutely devastated over the loss of such an amazing woman. I have my good days and good weeks then all of a sudden it just hits me and I feel so alone. I have such a great Dad, who I love very much, but there is a huge void in my life and I often wonder will I ever be truly happy again?

  128. Jasmine said on October 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm ... #

    My mother died almost 2 years ago when I was 15. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when i was 10 and overcame it. When I turned 15 I noticed she began getting really sick. Her arm completely swelled up and she coul barely take a walk outside of the house. I remember one night her and I walked to blockbuster and when we got there she collapsed on the floor in tears she was in so much pain. When you see someone who’s always been so strong and undefeatable struggle like that it turns your whole world upside down. My mother never told my brother and I how sick she was. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer and didn’t want to say anything because she believed she would over come it. I would get scared because I didn’t know what was going on, she would just promise me that she would be okay. I picture her everyday sitting in our living room with tubes connected to her and a little portable toilet beside her because she couldn’t make it upstairs. She was addmitted into the hospital again and on February 17,2011 she passed away. It felt like the only person I could rely on was my brother and he was too preoccupied with school to be there for me as well as himself. This has been the hardest journey I’ve ever had to go through And my heart goes out to everyone else who has had to experience this. I’ve never shared this whole story with anyone but I hope this will help my grieving process. Whatever you do don’t give up. As hard as life may seam there’s always tomorrow.

  129. Kearston said on October 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm ... #

    My father died in a ferry boat accident when I was 2 weeks old, I am now 20. He was putting a load of cars and grain trucks onto the boat when they began to take on water. My father being the kind hearted man began getting everyone out of their vehicles when the barge part of the boat capsized. My father dove into the freezing cold water,the accident happened in December, to save a man. He never resurfaced. I think about him everyday and think about everything that he has missed. Somedays my mom has a hard time looking at me because I look just like him.

  130. Chaz said on November 3, 2012 at 2:26 am ... #

    I saw myself in this article, lost my Dad 16 years ago when I was 18. It is like a wound that has stabbed over…every now and then it gets ripped off and I feel it all over again. Thanks for posting this, I feel better knowing I am normal for how I have coped over the years. 18 may mean you are a legal adult, but you are still a kid.

  131. Em said on November 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm ... #

    My dad committed suicide when I was 8 years old. At the time, my younger sister was 3. I am now 27 years old and still find it painful to think/talk about. I have spoken about it to very few people, and when I do talk about it, it’s very hard and emotional. The suicide was very unexpected to everyone in my family, I remember the day it happened perfectly, like it was yesterday. I truly believe what happened in my childhood has shaped the person that I am today. I sometimes wonder what I would be like had this not happened. I was my dad’s girl, and a spitting image of him. Mannerism’s and personality to boot. This has been hard growing up, as I often felt as though my mom resented me as well. I instantly became very strong, I felt like I was the ‘parent’ at times, helping to raise my sister and shape her into the person she is. I am proud that I could be an example for her growing up. When my dad died, I emotionally shut down and repressed all of my feelings, and have continued to do so to this day. I’m often very closed off, and can be distant with others. I have a difficult time trusting and getting close to people. It often affects my relationships as I have a hard time communicating my feelings and always have my guard up. I never went to a therapist, and as I get older, I’ve been considering going to speak to someone. I know there are some issues that I haven’t addressed, I think I would better myself if I finally addressed them.

    For anyone who has a child who has experienced this, if your child is anything like I was, they may not appear to be in distress, but they are. The most important thing is to talk to them about it, don’t let them shut down. What got me through it was the support of family. Although I’m sure this has affected me negatively to this day, it has also caused me to be strong, independent and compassionate towards others. Although my mom was hard on us at times, she always encouraged us to pursue our education, and although she remarried, she raised us, and disciplined us. She did her best and put us through school. I am getting called to the Bar of Ontario in January and I will officially be a lawyer. I am forever grateful that considering what happened in my childhood, I’ve for the most part, come out on top. I hope this for all of you as well.

  132. Lisa Marie said on November 6, 2012 at 11:37 am ... #

    To Monique:
    Your story is quit similiar to mine. You can identify what it is like to grow up and not know your mother in your adult life. I’ve always struggled with that. I miss her everyday. It’s bittersweet, but knowing that I am not alone is very helpful!
    Lisa Marie

  133. Lisa Marie said on November 6, 2012 at 11:44 am ... #

    Thank you for your kind words. Losing a primary parent at such a young age (like we were) can mold you into the person your are today. In our elementary years growing up, we are open to so many emotions and our minds can so easily succumb to feelings of abandonment and so on. I wish you nothing but health and happiness.

  134. Michelle said on November 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm ... #

    I lost my mother (35) and my half brother (21 months) in a car accident when I was only 12. Though I’m a tough cookie, recently I’ve been experiencing a lot of hatred, sadness and mourning for them. It has been 28 years, but still seems like yesterday for me… after reading the comments, I’ve ordered a few books to hopefully help me put my arms around my loss.

    One question – I now have three children, how do I share with them this horrific event without scaring them? I’d love to talk with them about my Mom and what she meant to me, but they only know my aunt (who became my legal guardian) as Grammy / my Mom. It is a situation I have created, but need to remedy before my 9-year old figures it out for herself… she’s very intelligent and investigative.

  135. Alyssa said on November 21, 2012 at 4:26 am ... #

    I lost my mother in 1994 when I was 2 and a half to her boyfriend pushing her down the basement stairs… Due to the head on collision after being brain dead & on life support for 2 days they pulled the plug. My father was never really apart of my life. He was in a gang & was apart of taking someone’s life. He went to jail when I was around 5 & got out when I was around 18. I always despised my father for not stepping up to the plate when my mother passed. When my mom did pass my grandparents took me in. My grandfather was the main one who raised me & then in 1998 I lost my grandfather to a heart attack. My grandmother has always been an alcoholic & she never took good care of me. A year or so after my grandfathers passing my aunt took me away from my grandmother. My life with her & her boyfriend was very well for awhile. Her boyfriend was abusive to her & a drunk as well tho. Later down the road they had kids of their own & I never felt so unwanted in my whole life. I was their live in maid. I did all the cleaning around the house & took care of their kids since I was 12 years old. When I was 18 I finally got the courage to run away to my other aunts & I am now 20 & have been here ever since. & I am now the happiest I’ve been in my entire life. I feel so much love & want. I finally know what it feels like to be apart of a family. I have no memory of my mother at all which at times I think is harder. I am also a mirror image of my mom. But with everything that’s happened in my life my biggest fear has come to be commitment. I am now 20 years old & can’t say I’ve ever been in a real relationship. Anytime I get close to someone I always wind up doing something to mess it up. I’ve tried over & over again to get passed it but nothing has worked. I guess only time will tell but I’m ready for the time to be now.

  136. Ed Bridges said on November 21, 2012 at 11:12 am ... #

    I was 5 when my mother and father were killed in a car accident. I do not remember a lot about the months following the accident. Do not remember being told they were dead, or much else. I have so often thought of what my life would have been like if they had lived. I have had a good life,but I really wonder how it would have been different. And I have never really cried about the whole thing. I guess it was because I was so young when they died. I am saddened by it, but really do not remember so much surrounding it. I did struggle in school, and had serious self esteem issues my entire life.

  137. Alfredo Acosta said on November 24, 2012 at 12:16 am ... #

    My mother died when I was two. About a year before she divorced my father. I do not have a single memory of my mother, but my father has shown me pictures and videos of her. I spent all of my elementary years in special anger management classes. After I lost my anger and went into middle school, I was bullied and pushed into an insanity state of thinking. I moved into a different city far away, and high school has been like therapy to me. When she died, my step mother came in and rose me to be the person I am today. I have had other losses and more experience with death, but I rather not write all that down. I do believe my Mother passing away impacted my life entirely and left me poisoned with bitterness, But I am sure that will disappear in a matter of a few years.

  138. Brittany said on November 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm ... #

    I stumbled upon this article while doing some research about losing loved ones. With the holidays approaching I’m having an extremely hard time. This article was a lot of help.

    I lost my mom unexpectedly in August of 2010, due to health issues. I was only 20 years old with a six month old little boy. My dad and fiance were my support system and helped me get through the extremely rough times. I still have my moments that seem unbearable but try to stay strong and remember the happy moments my mother and I shared.

    In April of 2012 I lost my fiance, my son’s father. It was an unexpected and tragic work accident. I often wonder how to help my little boy understand when it gets to the point of him wanting to know what happened to daddy. I wonder how it will effect the rest of his life, and how can I raise him to be the same man that he would have been if his father were here. Since my little boy is only two, I think it hurts more for me to know that he may not remember his father’s voice, smell, the way they played together, and all the other little things that made him a wonderful father and man.

    Any advice?

  139. Al said on November 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm ... #

    Darn, similar situation here. Be the role model for him, make sure he has friends and they are the right type of friends, and the most important part is to make sure he ACCEPTS his father’s is death. I wouldn’t rely on this because i’m only 16 and i don’t know much about rising a child.

  140. Donna said on December 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm ... #

    My mother died when I was 5, almost 6 on a warm, humid day of August 1978. It was early this year, January 28, 2012 when I found out the days of her death and her day of birth. I was astounded and scared because after 33 years and 5 months, I found out. My mother was 38 years old and 6 months old when she passed and I was 39 years old and 4 months when I found out. I felt very much petrified and the day of January 28, 2012 when my elder sisters shared with me the date of her death and her age, there was this sudden anxiety that came over me. There were only a couple of months apart between our ages. From that day, my grieving for my mother’s death became more emotional. All the years, I wondered how she died and why I was never informed of why, when, she died.
    I am a current student at Pacifica Graduate Institute taking Couseling in Psychology with Depth Emphasis in Psychology and I decided to write my Masteral Thesis on Motherless Children. To succeed in this paper, I am focusing on the qualitative outcome versus the qualitative. Therefore, if any individuals who post a comment in this article, please response and I will provide you my personal information in how we can go further in creating this topic become alive and also to know… I am not alone, I am not alone growing up without my mother. Thank you…

  141. Kathleen DellaPorta said on December 4, 2012 at 5:35 pm ... #

    I lost my Dad New years eve 1970. Car accident he hit a telphone pole. My sister was his favorite so she was told first and the one comforted i dont know about my brother but i was never comforted. I remember going to sleep alone and telling myself it was a dream and he wil be home in the morning. My mother says bad things about my Dad but i remember a strong handsome fun man. I was 9 then And i still remember his favorite things. Ill be 50 And i dontbeven know my mothers favorite things. The day of his funeral my sister And i were making snow angels i remember my mother yelling what arw you doing your father just died. Shamed us i rhink he would have joined us. Our family was destroyed i did not see my uncle cousins grandmother until 14 yeArs after his death. I didnt talk about it much when i did it made others uncomfortable. I always felt different than everyone else like a lost soul. I drank myself to oblivion most my life. Im now 50 and only healing cause im no longer loking for others to validate my pain. Im learning to do that now. Its been 39 yeRs feels like yesterday Nd i miss him as much today as when i was 9. Oh god i hope to have that day with him again when this life is over. God bless u all wih peace so glad to found you here. Kady

  142. Larry said on December 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm ... #

    I was 13 when my father had a heart attack at his work and died. I’m now 47. Its definitely had an impact on me even to this day. I think about him often and wonder if the anxiety and depression I’ve carred around all these years is related to my loss.I would give a year to be with him a day – no brainer. I know someday I will see him again. Thanks..

  143. Lisa said on December 12, 2012 at 1:10 am ... #

    When I was 11 my father murdered my mother. That happened 20 years ago, but I am still struggling with feelings associated with the loss of both my parents, as well as trauma. I am otherwise high-functioning- employed, not drug-addicted…though I do use alcohol to cope with feelings (working on that though!) I didn’t start seeing a therapist until about two years ago. It makes me so sad to think of how there was no information, no resources available to people back then…even now, it is so stigmatized, children are expected to just “get over it” and move on without ever talking about it. I was told to never talk about it, because it would only make people afraid and wary of me. I still feel that way. I read many of the previous posts and related to many of them. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  144. Lezlie said on December 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm ... #

    I’d first like to say “thank you” to everyone who posted a comment. This has been the support group I’ve always been too hesitant (afraid) to attend.
    I lost my father unexpectedly to a heart attack when I was 15 and I lost my mother at 21 due to complications from multiple sclerosis. I think the most traumatic part about it is that I was the one who found my father dead and I watched my mother take her last breath after we took her off life support. I sometimes hate that i chose to watch her leave but I wanted to spend every last second possible with her…I would’ve regretted it no matter which option I chose. Losing my father was extremely hard because I’d never felt a pain like that before and I didn’t know how to handle. Luckily, I still had my mother so she made up for the lost love. His absence took a major toll on my mother’s health – stress can be fatal for someone with MS. I was unaware of how bad my mother’s condition was which is why i felt comfortable moving across country for college. She and I stayed closer than close – talked multiple times every day, sharing everything…the greatest woman in the world was my best friend. Each time I came home to visit, she got worse…loss of feeling, loss of vision, loss the use of her legs, eventually brain deterioration. She fought it all the way until my last year of college but eventually couldn’t make the flight for my graduation. As i accepted my diploma, posed for pictures, said goodbye to college friends, all i could think about was her sitting in some shitty hospital bed surrounded by unfamiliar people. The week after i moved back, my family decided to take her off life support. We had the option to leave her in vegetable state for 6 months or pull the plug and my family decided to pull the plug. I NEEDED those 6 months, but i guess majority rules. I bottled my suffering from day one and have done so ever since. It’s easy to do so when no one ever asks how you’re doing. I’m by no means an attention seeker or enjoy people throwing me a pity party but I was very shocked and disappointed that 98% of my friends and relatives never called to check on my sister and I, the new orphans. People reach out from the day of the death until the day of the funeral, but you’re pretty much a forgotten soul after that. I get it, they have their lives to live. Meanwhile, i’ve struggled tremendously to move on with my life. I’m 25 now but i feel like i’m 36. I’m already into my career and am fully independent. Cool, right? Yea, sometimes. But I envy my peers who can carelessly spend money because their parents can help out. They can call their parents for relationship/life advice. The lucky dogs can even be annoyed by their nagging parents. I would do ANYTHING to be nagged and annoyed by my mother and father. I just want to be a kid so bad that’s it’s not even funny. I feel robbed of my youth. I’m too experienced for my peers and considered too young for adults. I’m stuck in a stage i may never escape. I remember crying when i filled out the health insurance forms for my job because I didn’t know what the heck i was doing and was too embarrassed to ask anyone at work. Just 2 years prior i was calling my mom from college asking what type of milk i drank (don’t judge me). Google is my mom and dad now :) It’s weird because being so young without parents can be a freeing feeling – i can do ANYTHING i want. I could break the law and not be scared of my parents’ reaction. I could come home high and drunk every night without having to hide it from anyone. I can do anything and nobody would notice. That’s the problem. You feel like a lost soul without parents. You become unsure of who you are because you’ve lost your roots. I feel like i have nobody to reach out to for advice so my life has been, and will continue to be, based on trial and error…and boy have i made a lot of errors (but that’s life for everyone). I’ve noticed I’ve become very closed off. I was so use to always talking to my mother that when she died, I literally lost most of my vocabulary and ability to communicate because I cut my talking down tremendously. I’m so awkward in groups now. I also tend not to linger for long periods of time because I start comparing my life to the others I’m with. I always feel like I have the saddest life of everyone around me so I choose to go into my hole until I feel more proud of my life. I definitely stay away from families, including my own, because I hate the feeling of jealousy. I don’t want to hate my friends for having parents…but I do. I know they don’t appreciate their parents like they should, but maybe i didn’t either when i had them…they’ll realize it one day unfortunately. I stink at relationships…too scared I’ll get close to someone and lose them. I always imagine my wedding day as a dark day…no father to give me away and no mother to turn around and see crying. I always picture my side of the church being empty and my husband’s side bursting with family. I sometimes feel like I’ll never get married because I’m damaged goods. I would love to have kids but the thought of me trying to explain who these great people were and what they meant to me is depressing. They’ll probably think their grandparents are mythological characters who never really walked the earth. That breaks my heart. I have loved ones around me and i feel so guilty for feeling alone but a mother and father’s love is a void you can never fill. I try to fill the void with guys, substances, excessive working, sleep, etc. but no cure. I wouldn’t consider myself to be suicidal but I don’t think i have a lust for life…i can do with or without it. I just want to be where they are. Giving up a year of my life for a day with them would be a no brainer – that’s one heck of a deal if you asked me. I’d do ANYTHING for just 5 minutes of their time so a year is nothing. I’d do anything just to know what an emotion feels like again. On the outside, I’m a ball of sunshine but I’m cold on the inside because I’m hollow. I lost the ability to feel anything and to express love and compassion…which tends to push the people around me away. I don’t mean to do these things but they don’t understand. I hate that friends think I’m mean sometimes when I’m quiet or have low patience or project an attitude. I’m under a lot of pressure guys!! I’m depressed!! I have to stay busy 24 hours out the day…idle time is emotionally dangerous haha. Anywho, everyday is a fight to get through and I’m prepared for it not to get easier. I have to start appreciating those who are still here instead of counting those who are absent. I’m thankful for life, regardless if I feel like a guinea pig for tragedy. I should probably wrap this up before you guys charge me for this therapy session. I clearly needed this guys. Sloooowly lifting the capsule off my bottled grief. Although, I must say i was very disappointed when i finally decided to look for sources on “our kind” dealing with grief and found very few. I guess that’s society’s way of telling us to get over it already. Dont they know that we really wish we could get over it?

  145. Branden said on December 13, 2012 at 10:37 am ... #

    I am 16, I lost my dad on November 5th 2012 to diabetes. My life has done nothing but go downhill ever since that day, 37 days and counting.. Wish me luck..

  146. Jose Zuniga said on December 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm ... #

    I was 4 when my father passed away. He died from aids. In the earliest memory i have of him, he’s in bed throwing up into a blue coffee cup, he was already dying. I remember wrestling with him. I remember being pinned on my back begging for mercy during our “wrestling match”. i remember seeing a squeezed half of an orange stuck on his back, i assumed it got there after he had laid on top of it. i remember walking into a building with several benches inside, all facing a casket with the lid missing. My father was in that casket. i then remember a black coffin being lowered into a hole in the ground. On top of the coffin was a gold colored crucifix. I remember being told that he had died from a bicycle accident, the concept of an aids caused death would’ve confused me.

    I’m 23 years old now. i don’t know where i’m going. I feel i’m missing something but i don’t understand what. My mother raised me along with my sisters. I am the only male in the family. I don’t know where i’m going. I don’t understand what i need. I work with mentally challenged adults, i go to college, i have my own apartment, i have a girlfriend. I am very independent, but yet i still feel i am missing something.

    I give my highest respect to everyone who told their story here. It helps to know that there are others. May we all keep moving forward.

  147. Janet said on December 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm ... #

    I am beyond grateful for the existence of this site. I am a 59-year-old woman who has, on the outside, and to most people, been okay and done well in life. I have two sons in their twenties, and they are doing well. But my life and many life choices have been colored by my father’s death when I was twelve. He was forty-one. My father had cancer and was dying but no one told us children the truth. I pieced together that my father had cancer, but when he died a few months later, I had no idea that it had spread and that I would never see him again. My mother dropped me and a friend off to go shopping for school clothes as she drove my father to the hospital for a “headache.” He died three weeks later. For a few weeks, he called from the hospital each night. I lived for those calls. And then they stopped. My mother told me later that my father had “gone crazy” from his brain tumor and had been strapped down in his bed in a straight jacket. I have no idea if this is true or not, but the image of my father suffering in his last few weeks has haunted me all the rest of my life. My brother and I were not allowed to go to the funeral or burial, were not allowed to show grief in any way. My mother believed in being stoic and did not acknowledge that we might have feelings of grief. I became quite self destructive in my teens and even as late as last year was suicidal and thinking that my father would be waiting for me. I’m now in therapy for PTSD and am finally dealing with the years of pain and denial. Reading the messages here makes me feel saner and less alone. I feel that I will finally be able to heal, and I recognize that I need to do a formal something – whether a ritual or a piece of art – that acknowledges my lifetime of bereavement.

    Thanks for being here.

  148. Paula said on December 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm ... #

    Ken, my husband is 47. He lost his mother to suicide when he was 5. To this day, he is tormented by her loss, often times feeling that perhaps it was his fault that she killed herself. Her actions , although she was mentally ill, on that day continue to impact his life. He has been sad much more than happy; he does not finish any project for fear of being a “failure”. Anybody who believes a parent’s actions do not have life long repercussions on the child is mistaken. He just lost his aunt (his mom’s sister) whom he rarely even talked to and has been an emotional wreck over it. She was his last link to his mother and I believe all those memories came flooding back. Blessings to you. I am sorry for your loss.

  149. Holly said on January 3, 2013 at 11:13 pm ... #

    my name is holly. My mother was murdered by a man she was engaged to when I was 11. I am now 35 and struggle with the loss. I am angry at times. Sometimes I feel like i was never able to be a child. My grades suffered. I struggle to make it at times. Trusting men for me is tough. So, the thought of even trusting someone and being vulnerable is something I sabbotage. No relationship has survived past three years. SOmetimes, i know I should be thankful I did not end up in Flint. But i have managed to make it. But I just would like to stop hurting and missing her face. she was amazing. She was 38 and I was the youngest. I find myself feeling like an 11 year old when I have tough times. I recognize my faults and want to heal but I am scared to let her go. I thought a recent move to seattle would be a change after years of living in the same state. It is so dreary here. Keeping up with vitamens and lack of sun is tough. Today I am looking for help. Funny how it takes 24 years to find it.

  150. Roxane said on January 11, 2013 at 10:50 am ... #

    I too lost a parent at an early age,18 mos,there was no talk of it till I was in my early teens. Six months later my mother was maried again and I was to call him dad. My fathers family was visited on a vacation and I became confused. I was never allowed to talk about this my whole life, I did not want to hurt my mom or “dads” feelings. Later as and adult I was told by my aunt that my mother killed my father in a fit of rage.So I asked my mother and she said “I was a little pistol then.” To this day I have mixed emotions of love and hate for my mother. Normal I guess. I am always depressed and cannot seem to keep a loving relationship. I give too much in the beginning of any relationship, just to feel love,then realize later that I am only being used. Then leave the relationship. I now have grandchildren and would never attempt suicide again, they bring me so much happiness. The problem is tHat I want to show them love because their father leftthem for another woman.I do not want them to feel like I do. How do I ,and what do I do to help them since I was not shown to help myself? And how do I “get over” all of this and the fact that when I told my mom that my “dad ” was insestual with me and she just told me that i wasn’t the only one with that problem and not to speak of it again. I was so young when he started I cannot remember. All I can remember is being scared in my own home for 16 years. And being pannicked when he was around. I have lost some of that since he has passed. My mother has also passed. I still feel bitter to this day. How can I work this out to be a better grandmother? And mother? Any suggestions? I am also bitter about my step brother inheriting the house my father died for and our grandfathers house. My mother told me she was jealous of me when I was 48. That I had had such a great life and she didn’t. She was the controller of all the money and had plenty of money to do the same things i had, which was nothing spectactular, high school ,Poms,some travel with work. How do I put these things out of my head so i can get on with being a better person ,not so depressed all the time. I don’t trust any one anymore. i have been used and physically abused by my spouses that I don’t trust. How am i supposed to teach my grandchildren to trust? How do I help them to adjust to problems in their life if I cannot do it for myself?

  151. October said on January 13, 2013 at 12:51 am ... #

    my dad passed away before i was born. my mom never remarries so i dont have a stepdad. my mom never really “cares” about how i feel, she is only focusing on my education and my health. that’s it. we never talk about each other’s feelings. i dont have any siblings so i feel very lonely most of the time. things just got worse since i was in third grade. i got really2 bullied from the third grade till 9th grade. it was really awful. there was a point when a douchbag beat my face in front of the class. everyone saw it but nobody helped me.

    i never really talk about my problems to my mom because she’s never really there for me. so i just have to face everything by myself. i daydream, creating my own imagination world since 6th grade. if jk rowling sees this, i’d like to say that i owe her my life cause she keeps me sane with everything cause there was a point that i just wanted to jump from my school’s 4th floor just so everyone can see me really fall you know? to fulfill what they want.

    things got easier in high school. i got real friends. but there was something missing. so i tried to get in to my father’s life. my dad got a bachelor degree in the best university in my country. his major is this university’s best major too. it was extremely hard for me to get in but i tried my best and i was succesfully accepted.

    now i’m in my final year, but instead of studying harder, i found myself losing my motivation in every semester to stay here because living my dad’s life doesnt fulfill my needs at all. there is no “him” here. this place is empty.

    i feel like i need a parent figure who is capable enough to love me, that cares about how i feel. my mom is incapable of doing so and i dont blame her at all. it’s already hard life for her already.

    i dont know what to do in my life. i really need just one person who is completely there for me.

  152. Roisin said on January 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm ... #

    I’m delighted to have stumbled across this website. I’ve lived in my head since my mother died when i was 7 years old. The night she died still replays over and over in my head 27 years on.
    I’ve had times in my life when the loneliness and oddness were manageable. Recently, i became a mother myself for the first time. The joy and love i feel for my daughter is so strong. she is my blessing. However, i can’t stop thinking about my mother. She missed out on so much from dying so young. She wanted to return to education and develop herself. We, the children were all at school or work so it was her chance. But it was’nt to be.
    Losing my mother has impacted my whole self. I’m introverted, find it so hard to make friends. I’ve always felt so odd and anxious like everyone was looking at me.
    I’ve been diagnosed with depression and an anxiety disorder. I’m not really surprised.
    So, what i do to help myself is run for the feel good endorphins. It has helped me feel better about myself. I’m not unloveable either! For years i thought this about myself.
    The sadness is still there but i think i’ve found how to manage it.
    Thank you for this website where we can reveal ourselves….

  153. Rose said on January 22, 2013 at 11:18 am ... #

    My daughter died leaving an 8mo. old baby boy- how do I help him grow up without his mother. What do I face going forward in helping my grandson grow up. I want to help him. Step grandpa is with me and an older daughter- 9 years old. We also have uncle close by and the boyfriend that him mama had when she passed still comes by. I am trying to prepare and grieve at the same time. Can anyone direct me to a website or a book to start with?

  154. Tara said on January 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm ... #

    My 36 year old sister died this Oct. to complications with Ovarian Cancer. She left behind her husband and 6 and 8 year daughters. They all lived together happily, until Ovarian Cancer knocked on their door January 2011.
    After she died, her Widow met someone 2 weeks later, at 3 weeks they were dating and spending time together with my nieces as “friends.” At 6 weeks, they were spending time together as boyfriend and girlfriend, at 8 weeks the girlfriend now lives with him and the girls. The 6 year old started referring to her mom by her first name (instead of Mom), 3 weeks after her mom died. The 8 year old has been asking her aunts and other women if they would be her new mom, she also had posted on her door “KEEP OUT {NEW GIRLFRIENDS NAME},” Her Dad made her take it down.
    I’ve expressed to their Dad that this isn’t healthy for his girls, and for him to please ask counselors how and when it’s okay to bring in a new “mom” into their lives.
    He took them to one grief counseling appointment and then said that the girls are fine, they don’t need counseling.
    I’m at a loss as to what to do for my nieces, whom I love so dearly, that are a part of my beloved sister. I understand I can’t change their dad, I would love to know what I can do with my limited contact. I pray every day that they can come through the death of their mother and their father moving on so quickly without any negative issues in their adult life. Because right now, that’s all I can think to do.
    Any suggestions???

  155. Anon said on January 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm ... #

    I’d give 10 years for 1 hour.

  156. Mia said on February 1, 2013 at 12:43 am ... #


  157. Cassy Hammond said on February 2, 2013 at 6:43 am ... #

    I have a 3&5 yr old I have no clue how to help them. My husband & thier dad just passed away from from cancer at the age of 26 yrs old it all happened so fast he was fine one day then one night he had a pain in his side and he went to the hospital and had cancer every where in his lungs , liver , bones , brain , kidneys & his lymphoid. The doctors told us he has no more then two months top live he was a fighter he tried every treatment he could even know the doctors said it was no use he fought for almost 3 yrs. My daughter chloe who is almost 4 is very angery and sad she will let you know how she fells. My son on the other hand doesn’t show his feelings bc he feels he has to be strong for me and his sister but when he does talk about the times that they had when dad wasn’t sick chloe gets really mean bc she doesnt remember dad doing that with her bc when he wasn’t sick she was only a newborn. I need help if anyone can please email at cassyandgabe4ever@gmail.net . Please any little thing will help.

  158. Mary said on February 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm ... #

    I’m so glad I found this site; I was starting to think there was something wrong with me. My mother died of cancer when I was 5, and i’m 15 now but I still miss her desperately. People think that if you are young when a parent dies it doesn’t effect your life, but it does. Especially when you spend your childhood watching them die. I’ve try really hard to be a mother to my little brother; he was only 2 at the time and although we have a step mother now, she’s never been there for us emotionally and I don’t want him to grow up feeling as unsecure as I did. It makes me feel so separate from people my own age, I just feel so old. It was comforting reading your stories, even though most of you are much older than me, because now I don’t feel quite so alone. Thank you so much xx

  159. Tiffany said on February 5, 2013 at 7:18 pm ... #

    My father died suddenly in a car accident when I was 11 years old and it changed my world dramatically. I am now in my 40s and I still feel the impact. Anxiety and fear are two emotions that I deal with daily and I think it is a result of suppressing my feelings for so long. My mom didn’t pursue counseling for me but I am thinking about pursuing it myself….glad I came across this website.

  160. John Swist said on February 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm ... #

    Reading this article and all of these posts is not an easy thing, but there is some comfort in knowing I am not alone in my feelings.

    One night, when I was 8 years old, I wouldn’t eat my vegetables at dinner, which caused my mother to be angry with me and gave her a headache. She went to lie down and when my father came home from work, he called for an ambulance. That was it. She died of a stroke that night. I have lived with this guilt all of my life.

    Having been told by an ex-girlfriend when we broke up recently that I didn’t celebrate life enough, didn’t act my age, and didn’t share her same optimistic outlook, I only wish she could have been inside my head for just a moment to understand my feelings and see how afraid I’d always been of losing her and how much I loved her (even though saying “I love you” almost made me feel like I was jinxing things). I did try to show her I loved her but I was told I was just using her (despite trying my best to spoil her as much as I could).

    To all of you who have experience the loss of a parent at a young age, I send my positive thoughts and prayers to you to remain strong and to try your best to honor the memory of your parent(s).

  161. di said on February 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm ... #

    i screwed up……i had that one more minute…..
    i was becomin more aware of my former’s use of heroin
    the reason im on this site is everyone is hiding it from our son…..
    right…he doesnt know…..yet….he might figure it out ….will he be worse if i didnt tell him and he finds out i knew?
    finds out a heroin od lead to the brain aneurysm (?spelling?)

  162. Anonymous said on February 26, 2013 at 4:05 am ... #

    My mom died of cancer on Christmas when I was 20 years old. We were just starting to get along because I was out growing my teen diva phase. The months leading up to her death I didn’t know how to handle it. I would drink, do drugs and stay out all night. I went out Christmas Eve to do my usual stuff and I came home the next day to find out she was unconscious. I wasn’t at her side when she died and I wasn’t around much at all for that matter. I have been overcome with grief and guilt the last 3 years and I still don’t know how to deal with it. I think about her every single day, her voice, her smell, her kind heart. I just don’t know how to help myself.

  163. Cb said on February 26, 2013 at 4:34 am ... #

    I was brought here to this page because I have a problem dealing with my alcoholism and searched for the deeper truth behind my troubles with the liquid reaper.

    My mom’s life was taken from me and my 2 older sisters when I was 7 years old (1988). My father took her life and my sisters and I were seperated. My middle sister and I moved to LA and my oldest stayed in Hawaii. My dad served a reduced sentence with an insanity plea and is now remarried with several children. Everyone is what appears to my eyes, doing fine…..but I have struggled my entire life when in all honesty really haven’t…because I was raised by my 2 grateful & loving grandparents. The thing is, I still have yet to cope thoroghly out of my 20 plus years since the incident.

    I’ve used alcohol as a catalyst to express my deepest, saddest and raw emotions. The thing is I don’t drink everyday but when I do, I act like I’m still in college which eventually leads to a downward spiral of anger, pain & incoherence ignited by my existing grief. The thing that troubles me is that I have mutliple positive releases…like music, art, etc..and yet, I let my alcoholism get the best of me.

    I’ve tried many things as to try to talk my father about 6 years ago and “hit the issue head on”. Quickly I realized that it was only a temporary fix and I became even more fueled with more resentment and it always comes to one answer in my mind…and that all i wanted in this life is to be with my mother again.

    I want to change this whole gravitational pull I’ve created myself because i haven’t fully recovered and I never think I’ll ever be 100% again….but I’m hopeful it gets alot better from where I’m at now.

    I haven’t read anything as important to me then to hear other people’s experiences,losses and present day coping. I’ve never thought to look online even with the digital age we live in.

    Today I hear my friends’ parents having health issues and not to be insensitve, but I do wish I’d had that chance to say goodbye or even spent time with my mom before her last breathe of air was taken from this earth. I want to get back to the frame of mind that death should be dealt with a certain way…but everyone handles things differently.

    No two stories can ever be the same!

  164. M said on February 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm ... #

    Today marks 12 years since my mother passed away from breast cancer. She had it for 8 years and reading this does make me cope better. I had just turned 16 when she passed and still think of her from time to time. I’ve learned to deal with having a parent being taken from me as a young age by not asking questions I’ll never get answers to and just remembering the good times which I can only remember through VHS tapes. It took me a long time to go from sadness to happiness watching videos of her. I always get on people that don’t treat their parents with respect, because I would give so much to spend so little time with my mother. Took me a long time to not hate or blame God, and to accept that she wasn’t meant to live a full life as we are all blessed to have. I was pre-mature and I am thankful after surgery when I was born to be alive and already have a second chance of life from the get go.

  165. Todd said on February 28, 2013 at 9:23 pm ... #

    To M:
    I lost both my parents in the same year to cancer – I was 16 when they died..6 month apart. I can’t say that I feel hate for God, but I do feel abandoned and utterly alone. I feel like someone borrowed my soul, only to return it all stretched out so that it no longer fits me. Sometimes I feel really sad about their life. I wonder how scared they were. I wonder how scared I would be. Did they spend much time worrying about what might happen to me? Did they feel cheated? I hope not. I hope they know I’m doing OK. I hope they know I have a son of my own now. I hope there’s a heaven and I hope to see them again someday. Until then, I will wear the soul they gave me and try to make it my own.

  166. Trish said on March 1, 2013 at 10:14 am ... #

    My story isn’t “my” story…it’s my husband’s story who is now 45 but lost his mother when he was 3 and his brother was 1. They were both given to other families for approx. a year while their dad worked and most likely tried to get things back to normal. He remarried soon after and they had 2 more children together. The death of his mother was never discussed and my husband believed this new mother was his (although there was never a bond). He found out when he was 12 that she wasn’t his mom. He is a wonderful person but lives life on the surface – obviously scared to emotionally attach himself to anyone (including myself and our 4 children). We lack intimacy on all levels and this is causing our marriage to suffer (and I know this is not his fault). I’m wondering if anyone can provide any resources (books, websites, blogs) that can help me to help him. I’m so grateful to have found this site and so saddened to read what so many of you are trying to overcome. Hugs…Trish

  167. Elaine Bermitz said on March 7, 2013 at 2:47 am ... #

    I am 56 and lost my father when I was 12. I cant remember what happenned for the 18th months after than, except that I wwent back to school and I guess that mum and her friends and my family all rallied round. Mum has always been a very positive person and would have beieved that giving in to her emotions would have been a luxury she couldnt afford.So we supressed our emotions with her.She wanted to make a life for us and did so. with advice from those who knew her best. For years and years I have blamed every decision she made since then, because she married well, tried to make us very middle class but rejected his son. We watched powerlessly. The inevitable effects of not speaking about our emotions have driven my brothers apart and led to me being very dependant on my husband for thought, emotional guidance and parenting. But everyone must grow up sometime and my dependancy has gone on far, too long. Trish whose whose husband cant connect with her is sufferring because he has not got the mechanisms to do so. He will want to badly, but wont know how.To be both parents for is very difficult for her and if he wants to be be a good parent the future save their relationship maybe he could use a site like this together to realise he is not alone.its cheaper than therapy. Also for instance there is always some target of resesntment, in his case his stepmum, who maybe didnt tell him for a good reason. Mine was mum because she was the nearest thing, and the biggest stable factor, so she was an easy target. Can he talk to her or another family memver to could give him support? He must take an active part in his own life. lots of love

  168. Alycia said on March 11, 2013 at 5:55 pm ... #

    I’m currently 17 years old. My mother died when I was 9 years old from cancer. I remember going to school the next day like nothing ever happened. I lived a normal life up until that day she died. After she died I became disconnected with the world. I was always top of my class but after she died I could not focus for the life of me on school work. Since school has always been easy I barely skid by. I had no motivation and gave up on education. I had a hard time making any friends at school and often was the girl sitting by herself at school or lunch. I never cried or dealt with any emotions. I was left with an abusive step father who adopted me. I barely knew him at all and had no say in who I was going to spend the rest of my childhood with.
    I feel as though I have never been allowed to grieve. I had a counselor I met with a few times when I was 11, but as soon as she saw how incredibly mean my stepdad was to me and my sister and vocalized it, he kicked her out of her lives. She was the only woman I felt really cared about me. I started going to church when I was 13 by myself and I felt as if God gave me purpose. No one around me understood who I was or valued me enough to ask what I had gone through. I found people who loved me but no one seemed to really care about me. Even to this day I only know a few people who care about me.
    My stepdad’s family called me and my sister disrespectful for not liking him and trying to move away. I felt so misunderstood and it is even freeing to write this now.
    I am determined to find healing and live a life to the fullest without being held back. I have always wanted to go to counseling but am too ashamed to ask for it…I am getting to the point in my life where I am breaking free from everybody’s control they have over my life and just want to heal and move on. I am so tired of having an abnormal childhood and barely being able to make any friends at school and always being misunderstood. I wonder what it would be like to have a normal childhood? Everything I have I worked for. I have had 3 jobs already and am taking college classes to graduate with a degree. My childhood was stolen from me. I am tired of no one around me understanding all I have been through. I love this post and I love all the comments, they help me feel normal and that I am not alone.

  169. Eric said on March 17, 2013 at 12:55 am ... #

    It is so sad to read all of these. No one deserves to have this ever happen to them. But it’s good to have this so we can relate and get our story out there.

    I lost my mother when I was 9. She had breast cancer, which she got through, but died of heart failure. I watched her die right in front of my eyes, she was sick that day, I could have done more, but it happened so fast.

    I loved her so much, she was everything to me at that age. There wasn’t much love with my father. My dad was and is still a very negative, miserable person. I recently stopped talking to him a few months back after he went off me for a minor thing. He is very short tempered and I am very calm and collective, which I got from my mother. I’ve been trying to get the negative out of my life. When I think of him, all I remember are negative thoughts.

    After she died, I repressed the feeling and her death for a long long time. My family doesn’t talk about emotions to each other, it is weakness. It came back in a big way 5 years ago after I was depressed that I couldn’t find a job after college (I’m 28 now). Just felt like, how things would have been different if she was here. Would I be happier? Not depressed?

    Her death now usually comes up at least once a day. Sometimes I get sad, sometimes I just think about it and go on with my day. But, I wish she was here, and yes I would give a year to see her for a day. I wouldn’t think twice.

    I’ve been struggling with women and relationships my whole life and my goal this year was to get better with them (I’ve never really had a girlfriend). Maybe her death has something to do with it, I’m not really sure. I can’t get connections with women, I’m threatened by them, I want security from them, I don’t want to make them angry.

    I’m rambling, but I’ve read a lot of these, and I shed a lot of tears for all of you. So hard, but we have to keep fighting.

  170. T said on March 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm ... #

    I think we are each living the same sad life. Over and over I read about being lonely and disconnected. About wishing to be “normal”. About no one understanding. About losing motivation.

    I want to cry for each of you. I want to hold out my hand so that you will not be alone. I want to say, I will listen. I want you to know you’re worth loving. The key is to forgive the past for what it did to you and begin to love yourself here in the present.

    I am old now and I’ve lived many years wondering why my parents had to die so young. Sadly, I tell you that the void will never go away. If you are blessed enough to have children of your own, they will mend your heart, but you will find yourself wishing you could show your children off to those you’ve lost. My son speaks of my dead father like he was a God among men..and, I suppose he was.

    My first step was to allow someone to hug me without pulling away. I guess its been 40 years since then, but that was the start to my recovery. I let someone in. It wasn’t easy – I resisted getting close for years, but she stayed..and she listened..and we cried..and now we carry this burden together.

    I am not alone anymore. I pray for those that are. I encourage you to grasp that hand when you see it and free yourself to live again.

    Its true that life will never be the same; and someday, that will be OK.

  171. Kayla Rose said on March 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm ... #

    I was 5 when my dad died of a massive heart attack. I still cant believe that happened to me, and am deeply impressed with how thats impacted me and my 4 older siblings, especially the brother just above me. Its been 13 years and 21 days since dad died, and my brother still cant talk about it; he still cries when he’s alone. I love people; I’m a total extravert, but I have such a hard time interacting with people who strike me as judgmentle (for fear of being rejected and thus feeling abandoned all over again), and I’m so afraid to cultivate long term relationships (the same fears being the reason) that I was faulsly diagnosed with Autism a year ago. I feel that losing dad has destroyed me. My quality of life is crippled by Fear. Someone looks at me the wrong way, and I’m launched into a complete panic attack. I think, “I did something wrong, and now that person hates me. They’re rejecting me for something I must’ve done, and now I’m being abandoned again, and its MY FAULT.” I’ve always felt that if I was truly good enough, if I was more lovable, if I was Worth more or truly was valuble, my dad would have fought to live. He should have lived for me. I’ve stayed off drugs, never drink, and I’m a virgin. Heck, I’m practically a saint: I’m involved with the church, I go on missions trips, and I work with the mentally disabled, but its not to please God. Or rather, it IS to please God, so long as ‘please’ means earn approval. What I’m really trying to accomplish through it all is to prove myself worthy enough to actually be loved and valued. For those who are wondering, its not working out too well.

  172. John said on March 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm ... #

    My mother died when I was 8 years old. She got angry with me that I would not eat my vegetables one night at the dinner table. She said she was going to lay down because she had a headache. My father had not gotten home yet from his blue collar job and when he arrived home he called an ambulance. The last image I have of my mother is being taken out of my parent’s apartment on a stretcher. She died the next day of a cerebral hemorrhage.

    My father became an alcoholic and verbally and emotionally abused me for 6 years until he found AA.

    I am 51 years old and struggling to get over my last break up from a woman that dumped me right before X-Mas, who told me she was tired of my victim mentality among other criticisms like I am not smart enough for her and I don’t act my age.

    The fear of abandonment has been with me in every relationship I’ve ever had. It never stops being devastating – it only seems to get worse as I get older.

    I hope that any of you here who have suffered the death of a parent as a child finds some kind of comfort and healing. Thanks for letting me share.

  173. Autumn said on March 21, 2013 at 4:42 am ... #

    i lost my dad to cancer when i was 9. I’m 27 now and i cant help but wonder if im doomed to a lifetime of feeling that void he left when he passed. I was in the room when he took his last breath. my mom is a nurse and growing up i always resented her, asked her why she just stood there and didnt save him. i thought maybe if she had done more he would still be here. i know thats not true, he knew he was going to die as did my mom. i can recall every moment of that day like it just happened yesterday. we were a close happy family and the person i was died with him that day and left behind the person i am now. i get angry thinking i was robbed of a normal life that i would be a healthy happy more productive person if he were still here to guide me. i go to school, try to be successful and hardworking because i know it would make him proud. at the end of the day i know there is still an emptiness and feeling of not being whole that nothing can ever fill. i miss my father every day, i would give a year, i would give 10, just to see his face again and hug him and tell him what an amazing wonderful father and husband he was and how much i love and cherish his memory and know that he is missed so much and i didnt grow up and forget him. i have so many happy memories and i thank god for those because when the darkness closes in i can at least smile and be thankful for those stolen moments in time. god bless all of you, we are all on this journey together and my heart goes out to all of you feeling this pain that no child should ever suffer.

  174. John said on March 22, 2013 at 4:18 am ... #

    I am truly moved by these posts and am grateful for every single one.

    My father passed away 2 weeks ago from a stroke at the age of 59.
    I am 21, and am posting here as a way of coming to terms with what has happened.

    He fought a painful month long fight before passing, and watching his intense suffering come to an end arrived as a mercy.

    Our relationship wasn’t perfect. There are things I know we both would have done differently if we could. But, underneath it all there was, and is, an overarching love seems to wash all the insignificant stuff away.

    I feel guilty by how eerily strong I am at this moment. My dad’s job required him to be absent for a majority of my life, however now, I feel closer to him than ever before. I like to think he is till here, in my heart, and thats the only thing that is getting me through this..

  175. courtney said on March 23, 2013 at 11:25 pm ... #

    My mother died of many illnesses when i was 7 years old. I was broken and every November 14(her death day) I break down in tears thinking of the mother I lost. I barely remember what she looked like or how her voice sounded. All I remember of her is that her last words to me were “I love you”. The next day Friday November 14 at 7:43am she died. My family hates to talk about her. I have never meant any of my grandfathers( They died before i was born) And now 4 years ago I lost part of me.
    I lost my Mother.

  176. Christine said on March 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm ... #

    My 42 year old son has terminal cancer. I’m so worried about his children aged 9 and 7. They love their dad with all their heart and soul. When I tell people that I worry about these beautiful little children, I keep getting told by almost every adult, “don’t worry, kids are resilient”. It’s as if they’re dismissing these sensitive children’s feelings. It’s as if they’re telling me that the kids won’t be impacted at all. Telling me that kids are resilient is so hurtful to me. I want people to have some compassion for these children who are about to lose their dad but people don’t seem to be concerned about the children’s feelings at all.I know that when a child loses a parent it can change who they are. I will support my beautiful little grandchildren the best way I can when the time comes because I know the impact will be huge even if almost every other adult tells me not to worry because “kids are resilient” I know people are trying to alleviate my pain but comments like that when I know my son also fears for his children’s well being hurt us to the core.

  177. Ashley said on March 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm ... #

    Hi I’m looking for advice or to talk to someone about my son. I am 23 and have a 16 month old son who lost his father to suicide about 3 months ago. At first he stopped saying everything besides dad. He would call out to his dad all day long. It breaks my heart. I know he’s missing him just as I do. He’s started saying other words again recently. He’s started saying mom again which is good. I’m terribly depressed and I feel like I haven’t been a good mom lately. I’m trying really hard and it’s slowly getting easier. It’s only been 3months and I know I’ll get even better. I’d just like to talk to someone who grew up without a father specifically someone who lost a father to suicide.

  178. Doug said on April 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm ... #

    My mother died suddenly of meningitis when I was four years old. She was a very warm and loving person. There one day and gone the next. I never felt close to my father, it was just all about my mother, and then she left. I waited for her to come back and she never did. After a couple of years I just disconnected myself. Played by myself in the yard. My father remarried and I tried to please my parents but there was no connection there. I got into therapy after an internet affair and my wife gave me an ultimatum. That was five years ago. My wife wrote a letter to my therapist saying I haven’t changed, I am self absorbed, and distract myself with things I develop has projects, and that my anxiety is not better, it is worse. I have terrible anxiety and feel like I can’t breathe and become nauseous, I also have waves of depression. I become discouraged that I was broken by my experience and although I have been successful in my career and have a family I wonder if I ever really knew how to connect? I went through a grief process in the first years of therapy but I still feel abnormal or like what’s the point? Someone told me their anxiety got better with therapy but that was anxiety related to a divorce, how do you get over the anxiety that comes with losing the person who meant everything in the world to you? How do you find a reason to live?

  179. Chris H said on April 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm ... #

    @ Ashley I lost my father to sucide when I was 11. First of all you need to make sure you find a way to deal with your own grief. THat’s the best thing you can do for your son. Things will get better. Your son is so young now that most of what he feels will be based on how you react to things. It was very rough for me losing my father to suicide. But I was older and had a firm grasp on what actually happenned. When your son gets older it will be best to talk abou his father in a positive light but also be honest about what happenned. If her were to discover the truth from someone other than you it would be an even worse effect. The best thing you can do is give your son all the love you can. And always remember that nobody is responsible for the actions of another.

  180. Ashley said on April 3, 2013 at 9:45 pm ... #

    Thank you Chris. That really helps. :)

  181. nipun said on April 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm ... #

    I am 35 and reading this page and crying. I ha ve done not a lot in my life and just drifted away. I lost my mother when i was 2 , her clothes caught fire and i am told i witnessed it and was afraid of fire but i dont remember it or her. i have her pictures but no sense of her. I cant remember her smell her hugs or kisses. i have a void in me. I feel different and awkward and m not good sociallly and am single. its nice to know that i can somehow relate to you and you probably can to me. i never realised how much impact the mothers loss can have.

  182. Irene said on April 11, 2013 at 11:41 am ... #

    Kayla Rose, I lost my mom when I was 8 and dad when I was 16. It wasn’t your fault that your dad died. Your dad wanted to live. I know that deep down you know that. If you want to help someone, do it in his memory, for yourself. Try not to do it because you feel you have to prove your worth. Just the fact that you miss him so tells me that he must have been a great guy and that he knows you were a great daughter. You have worth and I’m sure you see that in the people you have helped. Listen to your heart!

  183. Irene said on April 11, 2013 at 11:48 am ... #

    Courtney, you are right. You lost part of you when your mom died. But believe it or not your mom is still here in you. She is in your memory and in your heart. It is important to talk about her. In fact, in order to heal you must talk about her. If nobody in your family will talk try to find someone, a friend or teacher. Sometimes it helps to write things down or make up poems or write a song or draw a picture. I know it sounds so easy, but it is hard work to get over a parent’s death. It took me years as both my mom and dad died while I was still a kid, but living your life and being happy is what your mom would want for you.

  184. Palauan Wahine said on April 11, 2013 at 8:44 pm ... #

    Hello ! my name is Jennifer…. I’m 17 years old and i lost my daddy 2 years ago… I’m struggling but slowly I’m healing. I’m doing a term paper about THE EFFECTS OF EARLY LOSS ON THE ABILITY TO FORM RELATIONSHIPS… I was hoping to get some answers or feedbacks from those like me who lost a parent early… so please reply…. thank you !

  185. Christopher said on April 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm ... #

    I’m 52 years old and lost my dad to an alcohol related farm accident when I was 11. I now realize I have been looking unsuccessfully for a man to fill that void ever since.

    I am passionate about baseball and love coaching. I would like to form and coach a team of fatherless boys and discovered this site while looking for leads on how to do that.

    All the comments are just sooo much.

  186. k said on April 15, 2013 at 11:39 am ... #

    Jennifer: Effects of early Loss on ability to form relationships..

    Case study #123

    K lost her father when she was 2 years, 3 mos. He served in the USAF but actually passed from an accident where he hit his head on a curb, went into a coma and died three days later. Moved from Ga. to NJ then with mother and 5 yr old sister to live with grandparents. I’m 53 now and found out a few years ago he would have died anyway a year later in a plane crash he crew hit one night “perfect storm” but in the air. Pulitzer Prize winner David Wood wrote about this crash of “Buzz Four” when he came upon the B-52 crash site while backpacking in Maryland. His article gave me great insight into what my fathers life was like up there in the air. Painful, but insightful. I am forever thankful for his pen. See “Cold War Mission ended in tragedy for B-52 crew.” Hence, I am 53 now and went back to the corner where he died when I turned 50. I just separated from my husband of 25 years, but many of those years I was full of depression. Still am. Taking antidepressants which help. I think the death affects you more as you are older. wondering who you could’ve been, what life you would’ve lead. I’m happier by myself. Reading his letters to my mom while he was stationed in Germany (before they married) hoping to find myself and perhaps write a novel. I don’t remember him or a memory…just me being alone with mom and sis. Thank God for Grandma who lived downstairs. You never love yourself when you’ve lost someone like that. Contemplated suicide many times, first when I was 12. I just wish I had a memory. Like anonymous, I’d give 10 years for an hour. I’d give 10 years just to climb up on his lap. Sometimes I think I want to die just so I could see him. Relationships? Ha! We will never really love anyone because we don’t love ourselves. So YES1 it does have a profound affect on relationships….even 50 years later….

  187. nipun said on April 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm ... #

    Jennifer , I believe that early loss of my mother has affected my ability to form any sort of meaningful relationship with women. I feel a mother gives you warmth , sense of belonging , love ,and a safe place to retreat to when things get tough ( be it physically in her arms or a mental place that you can be in ). I do not have those things and another thing is that i somehow always feel like a fake person who is pretending to feel things and be someone who i am not and can never be.

  188. Palauan Wahine said on April 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm ... #

    nipun and k…. thank you sooo much! I’m still so young so i don’t really know what to say or give you advices to help you but you are always in my prayers! i know that slowly your wounds and scars will heal… although i lost my dad, i totally get what you said nipun! please just know that you’re not alone and don’t let those negative feelings bring you down! don’t feel fake cause you’re are YOU! you are truer than you’ll ever be. <3 much love from me ! :) God Bless !!

  189. Carl Church said on April 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm ... #

    I was 9 when my father was diagnosed with “(fluid in his lung)” Later tests reveiled that it was Mesothelioma. It only took 2 years to watch him go from a life loving father to a frail weak one. we lived in MA and the bullies in my quiet rural neighborhood of Tyngsboro, saw my weekness and preyed on it. I was beaten up and terrorized almost daily. After my father passed away we moved to florida to start a new life. My mother is a strong women escaping poland during WW2 and living a life that we can only imagine and never having much time to be a teenager. i was given lots of oppertunities to be a child and a teen and was spoiled as was my older sister. There are times when i feel i’m over it but more times that not i feel like i was cheated and have very difficult times with seperation be it with another person in my life or anything. it’s easy to say that it’s because of my past but is it really, or is that just a cop out. i always feel undeserving of a birthday or birthday gifts or christmas presents. I’m 46 now and have never had kids which is probably a good thing because if i had to loose them in a divorce i don’t know what i would do if there were a divorce and had to give them up. At this point in my life i’m not rich but am doing okay. but it seems like i’m always going to have these feelings of being a looser and not being good enough for anyone. It sucks. When i’m up i’m on top of the world. but when i’m down i’m one step away from suicide. but i do know that i would never take that step. I feel so alone and don’t like telling anyone because no matter how bad off you think you are there are always things that could be worse.

  190. Mary DS said on April 23, 2013 at 1:17 am ... #

    While it rings true, Carl, that there are always worse off does not necessarily sound the bell that our pain and our stories are somehow, in comparison, less significant. It seems why we are all here. Sharing is huge, even if it is our pain.
    I am glad, though, that you have moments on top of the world, at the crest of the wave, because it is breathtaking, is it not? I breathe deeply of those moments. And other moments as well, as I never ever stop trying to help myself arrive at another one.
    One thought that I have is have you considered being a role model and friend to a boy in need. Kids, even teens, are unaware the difference that comes from being accepted and liked.
    I say that due to the fact that you haven’t your own kids about you. I know that the bringing up of my two has taught me much about what a mother means, and it’s interesting the small details that they rest in, as I remain part of their lives. Yours would be perhaps learning how much you offer them, not as a father figure, but that ever important and significant male.Because truly, Carl, I can hear that you have such a heart to offer. Flap your wings, Carl, and fly higher.

  191. Carl Church said on April 23, 2013 at 7:52 am ... #

    @ Mary…Thank you for your kind words. I actually have thought about getting involed in something like that but truthfully my life is such a rollercoaster ride i’d be too afraid of letting yet another person down, or in. Sometimes i think i enjoy dwelling in sadness when it comes. Like i deserve it. I don’t want anyone to have to deal with that. And quite frankley i wonder if i’m just a nut, or if my behavior really does stem from that past. I’ve tried anti depression meds. I think they’re more of a psycological thing. I never felt any difference. They always tell you ” well you know it’s going to take a couple weeks to take effect” Which to me is comical because in two week i’ll be over it anyway. Only to have such feelings resurface in a couple months. i don’t know…it’s just they way i’m wired i guess.

  192. Mary DS said on April 23, 2013 at 10:19 am ... #

    Fair enough, Carl. I’ll come in from another door then, or squeeze through a window.
    I have many of the same thoughts and I try to keep them as works in progress, be that if I end up having lived a life that is somewhat different to what the core of me believes it wants.
    Unlike you, however, being separate from people is my habitual food for comfort. Oh, I interact with the world head on, and people would never know I am damaged. People coming close is where my past rears its ugly head in a way that is like a noose threatening to cut off my air supply.
    You are not a nut. It is simply difficult to see yourself in a different light or contemplate becoming some ‘new’ person.
    I am forever attempting to stay ahead of my inabilities, my shortcomings, my self perspective of myself, the kindness that I lend myself.
    I will be back…the roller coaster has an empty seat and I need to be on it.

  193. Mary DS said on April 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm ... #

    I would give up the year of life to feel the embrace of my mother. And the next year of life, I would live like it was my last.

  194. kristina smith said on April 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm ... #

    My mom passed away when I was four from alcohol and drug abuse. My whole family has suffered from drug and alcohol problems. I am fifteen years old now. Id have to say as I get older each and every year my grief gets worse and I have no idea how tobegin
    to cope with it. I get suicidal very often just for the fact that i want to be with my mom. I feel lonely in this world without a mother. My father is not in my life either. He chooses to do drugs to cope with the loss. It still feels like it was just y esterday i walked up to her castket not knowing i would never see her again. I have lived a rough life ever since she passed. I have my head on straight.. i dont want it to mess my future up. The depression is awful. It never stops. I dont know how to cope and dont think i ever will.i would die to see my mom again. Just for five minutes even.

  195. Em said on May 1, 2013 at 12:04 am ... #

    Hi Ashley – I wtote back in November about my dad’s suicide. I agree with Chris, your son’s memories will be based on your perception of things and the way you speak of him. My sister grew up thinking he passed away from a heart attack and I had to break the news to her when she was 12. My mom often made negative comments about my dad and compared me to him. My best advice is..talk about him to your son as he gets older.. Don’t make him feel like he can’t talk about him or suicide. Make sure he understands depression is a mental illness. and a disease that no one should be ashamed to talk about. Remind him of good memories about his dad or good traits about him. My sister was 3 when he died and she is 22 now. She’s beginning to realize that part of her identity is missing because she never knew her dad or heard about him. It’s been difficult for her because she has questions that will never be answered. The best thing I can say is talk to your son about suicide but also talk to him about his dad..,

  196. Paula said on May 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm ... #

    To all of those who are wondering what to with their child/brother/sister who has lost their parent at a young age: I don’t remember anything from my mom who died of epilepsy when I was 5, 27 yrs ago. Well, I have one faint memory. Her face is blurry. I think it is a dream I had that I thought was a memory. All I know of her are the stories of her. Stories from her friends and family. Please keep communication open. Let them know its ok to ask questions. It’s ok to ask the same questions over and over again. It’s ok to have pictures out. Make traditions, memorial gardens, etc. Don’t let the deceased family member’s extended family pass on also. Keep as many lifelines as possible. It leaves a huge void. It shapes who you become. There is no denying that part, unfortunately. It’s hard! But it’s harder being in silence about the death.

  197. Mary DS said on May 3, 2013 at 12:53 am ... #

    Kristina, if I may respond. Christina Pinkola Estees has a CD called ‘Warming the Stone Child.’ In it I found much solace for my internal struggle and pain. Please look it up and purchase it. You will not regret that. I have listened to it many times, and each time I glean something more from it, as I shift internally and am ready to receive more. Let me know if it touches anything for you.
    Also, for much of my life, because my guide did not come in the form of a mother, I turned to music to guide me– uplifting music, powerful music, music that sometimes made me expose my pain, other times helped me to sooth it and look instead at the road before me.

  198. Berenice said on May 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm ... #

    I lost my mom to cancer when I was 2, she was 36, I don’t remember her at all, if it weren’t for the pictures and the things people have told me about her, I would be utterly unable to describe her. I’m now 18, and for many many years people have told me, “well at least you don’t remember her” and it only recently hit me how preposterous this is, I would gladly give up a year of my life for just one true memory of her, and not fuzzy emotions or hints… And nobody in my family seems to understand that it is still terribly painful, every time I try to talk about it, about how I feel about it, they always tell me “oh come on it’s been 15 years” and change the subject, so I got used to bottling things up, and kind of made peace with it, but sometimes I stumble upon her wedding ring or my Dad’s in a drawer, and all the grief comes rushing back to me, and I end up searching sites like this on the internet…I wish I had heard about those camps or circles earlier, it might have helped me, because 5 years of therapy certainly didn’t…

  199. Bridget said on May 5, 2013 at 8:56 am ... #

    My husband is 54. His mom died when he was 12 yrs old. He would talk about it once in a while but not much. Recently we went to a marriage counseling weekend and he really opened up, I never realized how hard this loss was for him and continues to affect his whole life. He describes how she was taken away in ambulance and told him she would be back but she never came back. He describes neighborhood women yell at him for doing normal boy things. They would scream at him” if your mother could see you now you would be a disappointment”. I love him and want to help him and have begged him to seek further professional help but he refuses. I would do anything to save our marriage. He treats me so badly at times, I tried leaving once and he was so scared I had to go back. I think he is so afraid of losing another person that he just erodes my self confidence so I don’t have the courage to be on my own. I don’t think either one of us was conscience of this until recently. I cannot believe how far down he has pulled me while he seemingly remains in tact. He is a professional firefighter and also has his own business, so he works more then he sees me, just needs to know I am in home. How do I help him? Keep trying to get him to talk?

  200. Regina said on May 5, 2013 at 9:48 pm ... #

    My mother died of cancer at the age of 53 n I was 13.. We were not suppose to tell her that she was dieing n I so wanted her to know how much I would miss n love her. I was with her when she died n it felt like I was in a trance especially when they put her in a body bag. I wanted to tell them that she could not breath in that bag. I often wished that I would have had some counseling but at that time you were expected to keep on without help. Entering junior high three days late was a scary situation especially since I did not know where any of my classes were. My dad n I ate at my married sisters for a while but then I became the cook, washer, n cleaner. My dad n I use to go fishing a lot in his spare time. My dad got to enjoy being with my two daughters. But even at my current age of 60 there are times that I tear up missing my mom. I have often wondered wht my life would have been like if she had lived longer. It is comforting knowing that other people feel the same. Bless you all n thanks for telling your stories. Hugs to all.

  201. Maxime said on May 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm ... #

    I lost my Dad when I was 14. He had been ill for 2 years and died of cancer in 1987.My mum was loving and caring and I thought I could deal with that but fear and Anxiety started to rule my life at 21 and never let me in peace.I had 2 psychotherapy and a CBT and things are going better with time, despite that I have a good job, a beautiful wife and an adorable 6 years old daughter, my Dad death has left me with scarfs forever.I wish he was there to help me go through life, I wish he could see his grand daughter and tell me that he’s proud of me.
    I’ve been please to find this website and to read your comments.

  202. Crystal said on May 9, 2013 at 12:05 am ... #

    When I was 7, my mom died from breast cancer and when I was 8, my father committed suicide.

    I had a rough childhood. Both of my parents were alcoholics and I was often babysat by my stepfather and maternal grandmother who were also alcoholics. I was treated like crap and left dirty. My mom would take me with her everywhere she went so I went to bars a lot. Never consumed alcohol, just played the virtual games the bar had. When I was 3 and coming back from the bar with my mother stoned, she fell backwards on a fence and cracked her head open. The residents had to call the ambulance. My father was in and out of jail and the hospital. My mother didn’t go to my kindergarten graduation because she was in jail for DUI. There are a lot more stories but I’m not getting into it now.
    My father and I bonded so much in the year between their deaths and I still remember the last day I saw him and his funeral and everything. I feel terrible because I was a spoiled brat who treated him like crap, but loved him dearly. He fell into a depression after my mom died and at some point he just had enough. It’s terrible sometimes I think “Was I not enough to keep him here?” What I came to find out later was that he did so much for me and he was so worried about me and all he wanted was for me to be stable in every aspect, but didn’t know how to get that for me because he felt he had to fill the role of both parents.

    Sometimes this question pops into my mind: What’s worse, having your parents die when you’re younger or when you’re older?

    If younger (like myself) you have this lack of experiences and memories shared with them & there is just so much you don’t know and wish you had. If older, you just lost a piece of you that you have been with for x amount of years and all those memories and the building of the relationship over the years.

    I’m 16 and my dad’s death affects me more than anything nowadays because teen suicide is so prominent that I can’t help but think of him. It triggers me.

    When my dad died, at first I cried all the time and had nightmares and death scared me. Over the years, I built up this wall in which I hid my emotions or I converted my sadness into anger because I hate to cry or expose that side to my fraternal grandparents (who I live with now) because they’ll start worrying and stressing out & stuff & I just don’t want that. I watched violence and death and tragedies. I tried to desensitize myself.

    All the emotions and feelings was hiding rose to the surface when my close friend starting cutting her wrists and was suicidal. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen and it forced me to face reality and stop hiding it. I fell into a depression and was suicidal myself, but I remembered how much pain my dad’s death caused me and I can’t do that to those I love.

    Sorry I’m writing my life story on here but I need to purge. I’m seeing a therapist and things are a lot better but these strong emotions will never go away and will intensify as I get older. Just have to deal with it.

    I’m dreading mother’s day on Sunday. I just want nothing to do with it. Crawl in a corner and just stay there all day. I’ve never felt this way before.

    A thought that’s always in the back of my mind is I’m 16 now, I’ve lived half my life with my parents and as of now half without, and the time without will increase more each year and the time spent with them will always be the same.

  203. Crystal said on May 9, 2013 at 12:20 am ... #

    One thing I hate that people tell me is “Life goes on.” I know it does, but it’s made to seem like “It happened, get over it.” Like no. They were my parents. Both dead before I was nine their deaths not even two years apart and all this other stuff and someone sees me crying in a corner & tells me that. That’s why I’m in a corner alone. I HATE hearing stuff like that. I know I’m only 16, but I think I’ve heard it all.

    I hate how people think I should just shrug it off. That’s what I did for eight years and this is where I’m at and they act like I let that dictate my life. It’s because I ignored and shrugged it off that the pain became overwhelming when something triggered it. The hardest thing for me to do was just let my true emotions flow and not care about other people’s opinions in that regard.

  204. Berenice said on May 14, 2013 at 5:17 pm ... #

    @ Crystal, I absolutely understand what you’re going through, my mom died when I was very young, leaving me the only girl in the family, I was forced to grow up surrounded by man, always hiding every thing behind a smile, and If I ever were to, god forbid, show my emotion, they would just mock me for being weak. And that made me completely insensitive, until very recently I was almost unable to express my feelings, they were bottled up so deep inside of me I fell into a kind of numbness. But today, reading all of your story, I finally realize that I’m not alone in this, other people have lived through it and made it out alive, and it just brought me so much relief, I cried half the night, alone in my room, but still I let it out, and I just felt so much lighter the next morning :) but upcoming mother’s day really scares me I don’t know why, maybe because it will be the 15th time I spend it hearing people telling me how annoyed they are that they HAVE to buy something to their mom, and then give an awkward sideways look, expecting me to fall into pieces right on the spot…. Anyway, if you managed to move past your troubles, even a little bit I’m very glad for you, and I hope it’ll only get better from then on :)

  205. Kelsea said on May 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm ... #

    My mom died in a plane crash when I was 12. It was very hard, and because of that my dads alcoholism got worse. It changed our lives but not for the better. I’m 22 now, and as I’ve gotten older I’ve struggled with wondering if she was a good person, or if I really ever liked her in the first place. My family has always had a lot of problems (cheating, fighting, mental/physical abuse) and I wasn’t around either my mom or dad a lot. Her dying didn’t help, but sometimes I wonder if it didn’t hurt all too much either.

  206. Lori said on May 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm ... #

    I’m 54 and I lost my mother to cancer when I was 14. She was just 33. It has affected my entire life. As a teen-ager I was very depressed, in fact suicidal. The only reason I didn’t take my life was because of my father. I felt responsible for his happiness, and I couldn’t do that to him. The depression lessened for several years, but lately it seems to be coming back. Counseling for children really wasn’t much of an option in 1973, so I didn’t get any. I’m wondering if it would help at this late stage, 40 years after her death.
    I’ve also felt like I’m living on borrowed time, now that I have lived past the age she was when she died

  207. nipun said on May 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm ... #

    I was 2 and half years old and I saw my mother screaming in terror as the flames engulfed her fragile and delicate persona. She wanted to live but god if there is one had different plans. Scary and traumatic as it was I do not remember anything of it. I do not remember the smell of nylon burning nor the smell of flesh being consumed by the fire. It was an accident a very silly one at that too and in one twist of fate she was no more. I cry or at least I try to but the tears are hard to come by when you do not know what you are crying over. I have no memories as such .of either her hugs or her smell or her sound. Its a void and a very painful one at that. I hope my mother you are safe and sound and in peace. I want to know if you approve of what your son has become. My life has not amounted to much and I have made mistakes. I still cant help but slip up..but when I do , getting up is hard cause I don’t have your safe and warm arms to go into. I miss you my mother and I wish our lives had been different. I suppose all I can do is wait for my time and hope that you be there.

  208. Bonne said on May 24, 2013 at 11:39 am ... #

    I saw my mother die when I was 4 1/2 looking out the big picture window in our living as she put my brother on the school bus. That bus rolled back on her as she was crossing the highway from behind the bus, killing her. Soon I will be turning 63, and I still cry and get sad, thinking I how I hardly knew her and have very little memories of her. My mother had a hard life, far harder than mine and I think of her as the bravest person in my life, My life has been so blessed, I have so much, have traveled, have a family and good husband, and live in a county where I have “freedom” from fear, from want, of worship and of speech.

    My heart however is always longing, for belonging, always feeling alone and the “outsider”. I find hard to connect to people, although I have friends, I don’t have close friends and find it hard to feel at ease.
    Yes, I would give a year and more to have know my mother, and do feel that my life would of been different. My family won’t have been broken, as she was the glue that held the family together.
    My father had a nervous breakdown, years of guilt, and my older sister couldn’t deal with my mother’s death either as she went through the holocaust with my mother. She became bipolar, and her life was roller coaster, dealing with her illness.
    Being so young, I was sent to live with my well being aunts, who loved me; but I always missed my family – not really knowing what happened. I didn’t go to the funeral, and never grieved until my 40’s when my step mother died on the same day – a cold January day.
    I am sitting here crying, and my mother died over 59 years ago, so you never forget and you never really feel “whole” but your do go on and live your life to the fullest. Always in my heart when I feel sad or really alone I think of my mother wrapping her arms around me and telling me how she loves me- so her love is always with me.

  209. Patricia said on May 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm ... #

    I am 65 years old. My mother died when I was 11 years old. My father told me and my siblings that we could not tell her that she had cancer. He told us this when we were in the elevator at the hospital on our way to see my mother. She died four months later. I remember how she suffered. The day that she died, my father told me to run to the church and tell the priest to come to our house to give her the last rites. The priest was saying Mass, so I sat on the grass across from the church waiting for Mass to end, and then I talked to the priest. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

    My father did not do well after her death. He was gone a lot, and we were neglected. I grew up very fast, and learned to take care of myself. I have very few memories of my mother, but what I do have, I cherish. I wish that I could remember what her voice sounded like.
    I missed my mother so much when I gave birth to my own children. I worried and prayed when my children were young that I could live long enough to raise my kids. I never wanted them to go through the same pain that I did. My prayers were answered.

    I was married to a man who abused me, but after 16 years I finally got smart and divorced him. This was another time in my life when I needed my mother for comfort. Growing up without a mother is devastating. I have many insecurities, and I believe these have something to do with not having a mother. I have abandonment issues even as old as I am.

    God bless all of us motherless children!

  210. WillfromSF said on June 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm ... #

    I’m 67 and have lived my life somewhat in the willful ignorance of the impact of losing my parents as a child, perhaps because I didn’t want to use that excuse for my failures in life. So I’ve decided to do a little research on the subject now.

    My dad died in 1952 at 44 when I was seven. Three years later my mom died at 47. Both of heart attacks. So at ten, they both were gone. I went to live with an aunt who wanted neither me nor her adopted son, and my uncle who, though he tried, was no match for his wife. They lived like hermits. My friends were not allowed to visit. My sister, two-and-a-half years older, went to live with the cool aunt and uncle.

    I remember nurturing myself on self-pity and denial during the first three years after my mother died. I felt completely alone. Then I willed myself out of that and made the best of my life.

    My adult life has been one of underachievement and fighting depression and coping with addictions to marijuana and alcohol. I never had kids of my own. Yet I’ve been married to two powerful women (not at the same time), and as I look back I know I have been very lucky.

  211. Shan Thomon said on June 5, 2013 at 12:57 am ... #

    I lost my mum suddenly when I was 22 and lost my dad suddenly when I was 24. I was an only child, and had no one. No aunts, uncles, nothing. They were only children too. It has been 30 years and I still lose it frequently, cry for them, cry for the years missed, and have struggled with depression. I did make something of myself though and had 6 kids, adopted half of them, and have made a difference in the world professionally as well. But I did it for my mum and dad, not for any other reason, I just wanted to honor them. I was at a very low point in my life a few years ago, very very low, and thought about taking my life because I just wanted to be with them. I almost did it. Wouldn’t want to ever get that close again. But in the end I just live day to day and am thankful, very thankful for the time I had with them. Thankfully my faith tells me we will see each other again.

  212. megan said on June 5, 2013 at 1:22 am ... #

    I’m so glad I found this. My mom died in October 2012 (just about 8 months ago). I was 19 and just turned 20 in may. She’s been in the hospital since I was 18 fighting a very rare and horrible flesh eating disease. The last 6 months of her life she couldn’t talk due to a ventilator and couldn’t move from the neck down. She’d been disabled for years due to an autoimmune disease but it wasn’t anything like the last year. While she was very sick they believed she was getting better and her death was sudden – she had a seizure one night and went brain dead. I know it hasn’t been that long but I just can’t get past it. My brother is deployed to Afghanistan and I try not to burden my dad with my feelings because he is still trying to recover himself. I feel very alone. My mom was my best friend and confidante, even when she was sick. I have a wonderful group of friends but I keep my feelings to myself because I hate to burden them, but I’m sure they know I’m hiding it.

    I’m all but failing out of college. I have no motivation, I just can’t find it. I would give up a year of my life just for one more conversation. I miss my mom every second of the day. I don’t know how I will ever move on.

  213. Dave said on June 15, 2013 at 6:23 am ... #

    My mother died a day after I was born 2 years later my father past. I move to Canada with my sister to live with my aunty but that lasted a year. I been bounced around from foster home to foster home and I’m now 20 years old losted and anger I kno little about them I don’t remember them only what I’ve heard If god or heaven was real I would give my life to meet them. The only thing that keep me straight is knowing I still have a sister that I think still loves me she has hers day like we all do. I look at her wonder how she is so happy and successful if she needed a heart i would give her mine ASAP I would prefer her to live and continue being happy than losing her and I continue living feeling the way I am or worst if I lost her.

  214. Nicole said on June 20, 2013 at 9:08 am ... #

    My father died from a cerebral hemorrhage suddenly when in was 3 years and 2 months old. My mother moved on and married around a year later to a man I despised throughout the remainder of my childhood. The mention of my real father was treated as a taboo subject in our household so I held my grief, loss and feelings inside. I was an angry teenager and had suicidal thoughts for a few of those difficult years. My step father was out of the picture when I was around 14 but my real father continued to be a taboo subject that my mother could not deal with. Fast forward to my early 20’s, I got married, had a son of my own and moved on with my life.
    I am now 46 years old, successful in my life, marriage and business but still feel that emptiness inside, longing for my fathers love.
    After reading all of these stories, I am weeping, realizing I am not alone. I have always thought I would give almost anything for just 1 day with my father, for some real memories that I could treasure, and just get to know who he was. Thank you all for sharing your stories, and to my father James Ritchie, “till we meet again”.

  215. Rob Turner said on June 21, 2013 at 10:50 am ... #

    WOW. Maybe I should have typed google search “mom died when i was young” years ago. I was 10 when my Mom died unexpectedly; she was 36. My Dad suddenly had 4 kids to take care of on his own. Perhaps as he was an only child, the best grief counseling we got was, “we need to deal with this and move on”. After 2 weeks of some fantastic church casseroles – and now I’ll be a bit extreme here – it was as if we all felt that forgetting was the best medicine. I am 51 y/o now and still have intense anger/frustration with my family for “just forgetting about Mom”. About 10 years ago I began my bout with MDD/anxiety and it’s gotten progressively worse. As a husband/Dad myself now for 20+ years, I can’t imagine anything worse than our wife/Mom dying and the thought of actively forgetting her. I remember each of our kids at 10 y/o and can’t believe that was me when my Mom died. Funny thing, my Dad is continually amazed at my sense of nostalgia and my ability to remember the most ridiculous level of detail from “years ago”. Never entice your children to forget anything in their life – it’s who they are! And to obscure something as significant as losing their Mom or Dad is a pretty good way to kill part of who they are.

  216. Floyd said on July 2, 2013 at 12:33 am ... #

    Father died when I was. 5 mother went to rest home when I was 12 died there when I was 16.I am there only child, now I’m 53 years old, what the #**# just happened. ??

  217. Kerrie said on July 3, 2013 at 3:26 am ... #

    I lost my beautiful Mam aged 58 just over a year ago very suddenly from a bleed on the brain. Mam was a very beautiful youthful women,elegant, fit, caring, loving supportive, she was my back bone! I cant describe the pain you feel from losing someone you love it brings you to your knees it’s a constant battle to function. The sadness is so raw…..there is no hope as this loss is forever!
    I am 36, a successful business women but I feel like a child ,an orphan. The person who brought you into this this world is gone.
    I’m single no children, Mam and I lived together we had an unusually close relationship we were best friend,all my time was spent with Mam.
    I try to hold onto the words I told her often…..I love You Mam thank you for everything you do for me!

  218. Traci Whelpley said on July 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm ... #

    It is true that when you lose a parent when you are under the age of 20, it impacts later events in your life. I lost my father when I was 17 years and what I had left of a childhood was gone. I felt alone and wished I had a support group of some kind of counseling.. However, I doubt I would have listened to anyone back then. My father died on his birthday and my parents wedding anniversary of cancer. Six years later, my mother was hit by a car and left in the road for dead. She survived (barely) but after extensive rehabilitation she was never the same. I literally felt like an orphan. As an adult, I still do. Anger was the only feeling I knew for most of my life and high school was joke to me. I fell into a life of drugs and hid behind them like a shield. I would give a year of my life for one hour with my father. I felt like my whole world crumbled down around me. After reading these posts of others who have lost parents when they were young, I realized that I am not the only one who feels like if I can live to pass the age my father was when he died, that it marks a great achievement. I am almost 45 years old now and feel like I only have 7 years left of my life. Which is the age my father was when he died. 52 years old on the that day. Why is this a symptom? I don’t understand why we children of lost parents feel this way???

  219. Chris H said on July 14, 2013 at 6:08 pm ... #

    @ Traci I didn’t realize it until relatively recently but I have been subconsciously counting down the years until I reach age 45. My father was 1 month short of reaching 45 when he died. My mother was 2 months short of reaching 46 when she died. It will be a great relief once I pass age 45. To be honest I’ve never told anyone this but I’m terrified of not living passed the age my parents died. My father shot himself. My mother had a drug overdose. A part of me has always feared that I was destined to take my own life too. Or that I was destined to die young because that’s what happens in my family. I think the age our parents were when they died has a huge impact in our minds in ways we don’t even realize, especially if we lose them young. I’m just saying you’re not alone. I still have a few years to reach that age but now that I’m aware of how it affects me, I try not to let it get to me.

  220. Nancy Baker said on July 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm ... #

    So many sad stories . . . What an amazing thread this is!

    Only a person who has experienced this kind of loss knows what it feels like–and understands the lifelong impact. I lost my father to cancer when I was three and didn’t officially grieve the loss until I was 41. I wish someone had told me before then that childhood grief is present and powerful even when the child has no memories of the parent.

    My whole life, I have wanted to know him and wanted to know what part of me is a reflection of him. My father’s death was so painful to my mother that she did not want to talk about him and thought I was disrespectful to my step-father for wanting to know about my father. I don’t have a single memory of my father. Whether I would be the same person or not had my father lived, I don’t know, but I have wrestled with anxiety, depression, and hypochondria my whole life. I half-expected to die young–a little too late for that, now, thankfully–but still think that fates will suddenly snatch my hopes and dreams away in the way “they” did to my father.

  221. Dustin Curry said on August 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm ... #

    Great site. never really reached out like this before but I feel as though nobody in my life understands this. I have serious abandonment issues due to my mother committing suicide when I was 8. Went to therapy because I thought it was my fault. Its not.. If anything its the environmental factors and quite possibly the genetic predisposition from her father who committed suicide when she was 5. I do have a great life so i always ask myself whether i should thank her or not… i want to stay positive and say i could thank her because i wouldnt be where i am today. But recently i feel like its been affecting my relationships with frinds and girlfriends. So many people have left me behind and maybe it wouldnt get to me as much if this never happened.. I miss her to such an extent that ive been spending a lot more of my thought process on her and hate that i never got to get to know her as an adult. She took care of me by herself and i only saw my dad a couple times a year before i had to move in with him. I’ve accepted all of this for the last 14 years but now as an adult i feel like not having adult advice or any sort of adult perspective from her is complicating and destroying the man i could have been.

  222. Russell said on August 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm ... #

    36 Years and Missing my Dad

    Yes, 36 years have passed. I am 54, my dad died when I was 18. Well, even before that he was non-existent. My dad left my mom when I was 11. Just in time for me to enter Junior High school needing someone to teach me the ropes of becoming a man. I had no male mentors in the small town I lived in. My mom was over protective and was part of the problem as to why my dad left although I dod not know this at the time. She was abusive emotionally to him. I felt conflicting messages throughout my youth regarding who my dad was and what he thought of me. If you have ever watched the movie “Hearts in Atlantis” you will see the story. I was the boy and the mom in the movie was my mom, telling me what I should be. Anthony Hopkins in the film is the dad I wish I would have had or SOMEONE male to take up the slack.

    My mom would tell me my dad was bad and then tell me I needed to see him more often. It never happened. He never picked me up to do anything with him during those years. I sometimes felt bad for not coming to my mom’s defense when needed without him there. I felt hopeless. This along with missing school painted a very negative picture. I dropped out when I was 16. Dad came down with cancer when I was 18. My mom said he wanted to see me FINALLY but to talk to me about the facts of life which I already knew. I was embarrassed and did not see him. 3 months later, he died. OH IF I ONLY WENT TO SEE HIM!. So many years that thought has echoed in my mind.

    Mom lived to be 82. She remarried only once when she was 78 and then treated her new husband just like she treated my dad. She later apologized to me saying that she was sorry for the way she treated my dad. WHAT ABOUT THE WAY I WAS TREATED? But heck, I will never know how he felt since he was never close to me. And I never expressed my true feelings to my mom.

    What happened to me? Well I eventually completed my GED, I now have a Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associates degree. Relationship wise though I am totally confused. My career is in shambles. Have been seeing someone for some time who knows me well but I feel like I don’t belong. I feel like I am existing and can’t seem to engage my life at all.

    However, FINALLY, thanks to this wonderful site, I am discovering the anger I have held for 36 year that has at times turned to sadness and depression. Other guys have similar stories I know but I feel betrayed and emotionally raped by a mother although I guess she meant well, abandoned by a father, and left alone. It makes me feel vulnerable, cowardly and not in charge of my own life. It has affected my relationships with women throughout the years. The irony of this is I LOVE MY DAD, I just never knew if he loved me in return. THANK YOU SO MUCH for allowing a group to survive that gives me a voice that I have not had in 36 years. I do hope that somewhere along the line I will be able to release this anger, but how? Who do I direct it towards?

  223. jane said on August 9, 2013 at 12:36 am ... #

    My mum died of a brain tumour 9 years ago when I was 7 and there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t thought of her in some way. I struggled through this loss until my grandmother, my mother’s mother, passed away earlier this year. Since this loss I have felt empty and as if there is a huge void in my life. I regularly awake in early hours and cry for an hour or so before self harming, recently I’ve suffered many suicidal thoughts but tried to ignore them as I don’t want to put my father losing a child too. The worst part is, being only 16 I feel as if I haven’t felt the full force of this grief and emptiness on my life yet. Any advice for how to get through this difficult time would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jane.

  224. Vic said on August 13, 2013 at 5:33 am ... #

    This pains me so much because my daughter lost her dad at 11 years of age and to this day I still walk past her bedroom a d here her crying, I don’t intervene because I tried once and she just screamed at me and was all mad and up set at me. So I’ve been try to find ways tohelp her, but when around other people she acts like she the happiest kid in the world. When we get home she issolates herslef to her bedroom. I’ve tried many thing, trying to get her to scrapbook, watch viedos, and keep a diary but everything either ends in tears or a screaming match. I just need some advice on how to help her. I can’t stand to she my baby like this.

  225. K said on August 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm ... #

    I came across this site while looking for organizations to volunteer in, and I haven’t been able to stop reading all of your stories. So, I’ve decided to share my own:

    My dad was killed in a logging accident when I was only 8 years old. He owned his own company and his employee who was falling trees for him apparently didn’t realize where my dad was in the woods and fell a tree in his direction. He was killed instantly. My mom and dad where high school sweethearts. They had a great life together and where the best parents I could ever ask for. My older sister took it hard and she has never really been the same. My mom got re-married several years later, but she still misses my dad a lot. I remember my dad. He was a great person, he was my best friend, I remember silly things that happened and I remember wanting to grow up to be hardworking just like him. I’m almost 25 now and I still have his horse who I think has helped me through a lot of my grief. On my wedding day when I stepped out into the sunshine in August it started sprinkling, and I just smiled and looked up because I just knew that he was up there looking down on his little girl getting married. I walked back down the isle and it didn’t rain another drop. The thing about grief that people who haven’t experienced it don’t understand is that it never goes away, it fades, but you learn to live with it. I wish more than anything that he could have been there to walk me down the isle, or I could have called him to tell him I got into nursing school. Honestly I would give anything just to talk to him again.

    To those of you contemplating suicide I tell you this: No matter how bad your life or circumstances are- your family NEEDS you, your child NEEDS you. Circumstances CHANGE- once you are gone that can never change, you can never come back. Your family needs your presence. Period.

  226. Joanne said on August 26, 2013 at 10:34 am ... #

    I am glad that my daughter alerted me to this site. I thought I was unusual because at the age of 81, I am still so affected by the death of my mother and father, who passed two months apart at the ages of 36 and 39 of illnesses. I was 9 years old and my siblings were 6, 7 and 15. My mother suffered from cancer and was bedridden for a long time before she passed. My dad chose to bury his grief with alcohol and died of heart failure after we watched him see rats climbing up our stove’s chimney which weren’t there. They took him away in an ambulance and he died that night. It was 58 days later that my mother gave up her fight and also passed. I remember I was in a school play for Mother’s Day when someone came to get me to take me home. No one comforted us or told us what happened. We were all taken by various relatives to spend the night and attended the funeral the next day. For a year after that we lived with an aunt and uncle who took us to get the insurance money. We were taken away from them by the state because of neglect. We were placed in foster care for awhile and later we were all separated to never come together again for decades. I always felt alone, umwanted and sad with no one to talk to. I went to eight or nine diffrent schools and lived in as many different homes in the first four years after our parents died. I never felt a part of anything or that anyone cared about me. Today, no one can believe that I still hurt and still feel like that nine year=old little girl and am told it’s time I got over it. How do I do that. I try but memories come back or I see a girl doing things with her mother and the tears flow and I feel like my heart is going to break. I am old and soon will move on and feel I have never known what it felt like to have a mom and dad that loved me or cared what happened to me. I have little family as my relatives gave up on me and my siblings after the death of our parents. I recently went through open heart surgery and now the depression has gotten worse than it has ever been and I don’t know what to do about it. I have a grown son and daughter and thre grandkids and I am grateful for them every day but can’t get pass this feeling of hopeliness I have every single day. I have thought about taking my life but haven’t for various reasons, I don’t want to hurt those I will leave, I don’t want to go against God’s commandments (as God has always been my reason for living and has never let me down) and I don’t want to go through anymore physical pain as I spent two months in the hospital after heart surgery, had four blood transfusions, was put on a ventilator three times and nearly died. There was so much pain I can’t go through any more. I even wrote a book about my childhood thinking it would help and it did for awhile but the depression and feeling of hopeliness has been so bad since my surgery. All my friends have all passed and I have no one to really talk to anymore. I keep being told I should just be grateful for what I have and I know that is true but the heaviness of this despresion takes over. I now have a difficult time walking and don’t go out much anymore as I am so tired and never feeling very good. Is there anything left for me now. I feel there is not but I will try to hang in for the sake of what little family I have left. For those of you who are trying to work through the same issues because of the loss of a parent or both parents, I suggest you get help early on which I did not do. Good luck to you all and I love you and know just how you feel. You are not alone.

  227. Anonymous said on September 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm ... #

    Hi everyone,

    So glad to discover a site like this that pays the so necessary attention to children grieving the loss of a parent or both parents. I’m wishing every one of you here so much strength and love, reading all these heart-breaking stories. Maybe this is the place and time to share my own.

    On September 18th I’ll turn 40yrs, 6months and 2days… the exact same age my mother died of heart failure, twenty years ago. I was 20, not a child anymore, but still too young to handle it all (while then I thought I had to be able to handle because I was already 20).

    Especially with 4 younger siblings I got partly legal custody of (one of them, my 14yr old brother, died three weeks later in surgery he needed because of a muscular disease) and a father (with whom I shared the custody) who had always been very distant and couldn’t handle this in any way (and still can’t today).

    I (and the people surrounding me at that time) knew not the slightest thing about grief and we all just tried to move on. Studied (but failed), got to work, got married and divorced again in two years. Got sick after six years with a (luckily benign) tumor in my belly, got better, went into therapy and started grieving.

    But still today, these black pages in my life (loss of my mom, brother and all of my grandparents in a few years’time)generate a big black shadow in my life. No matter how much therapy I’ve been into for the last 14 years. Especially now I’ll be surviving the most important one for me, my mom.

    I went back to college in my late twenties and now work as a counselor with traumatized victims and people who suffered traumatic loss of beloved ones. I consider this to be the good thing I made out of it, because this really is my kind of job. But there’s an other side to it…Clients are mirrors and lately it really hits me how this early loss still affects my life today profoundly.

    I have no children of my own, my relationships with a partner always turn problematic, so I’m a not-so-happy single and I have quite some self-destructive habits (like smoking and too much booze) and sometimes get overwhelmed and panicky by life and all its challenges… Like I’ve always been too scared to really start living.

    Today I realize how sad and unhappy all of this makes me and how I’ve lost my appetite for life.

    I’m not sure if I have permission to become older than my mother. Rationally I know I can of course, but emotionally… well it just feels so wrong and surrealistic. Especially because I have a lot of unfinished business with her, since we had a kind of complicated relationship when she was alive, and I have so many questions that will stay unanswered.

    Now the day I’ve been dreading for years is nearby… I will get older than my mom ever got. And I want this day to be a new beginning, a symbolic start of a phase where I’ll start making healthier choices for myself.

    Has anyone here got experience with this?
    – How does it feel to survive your mother?
    – Is it guilt-ridden as I think or can it also be liberating as I hope?
    – How do you cope with all the unanswered questions?
    – Has anyone done any special ritual on the day he/she ‘survived’?
    – Do others also experience this fear to ‘live’, the habit to put everything on hold,the self-destructive behavior? (ex. to not have a family of your own out of fear of losing/abandoning loved ones?)

    I’ve never planned to ask these questions on an internet forum. But somehow I got here and it feels good to just act spontaneously and do this. Therapy has been really helpful, but people who share comparable loss can be even better to help out.

    Thank you for reading this and if anyone has any advice I’d be very grateful.

    Bless you all!

    PS: sorry if my English is a bit ‘rambling’, I’m from Belgium, Europe.

  228. Mark said on September 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm ... #

    I just found this website today and have been reading all the stories and hearing about all these emotions and thoughts that others have I thought I was the only who had these thoughts. When I was eight or nine I lost my father to a brain tumor I don’t really remember what age I was because I blurred everything out and became stone I feel like. When I think of my childhood I remember my dad coaching every sport I played (soccer,basketball and baseball) and my mom was always the scorekeeper or helped out in some way then it was like all of a sudden he was having seizures at home and then he was in hospice at the time I didn’t know what that place was I still thought he was sick and was going to be my dad again everyday that I would go to see him, but one night I was told to go to sleepover with a friend at first I thought that it meant he was getting better I don’t know why I thought this I am such an idiot I remember rushing my good bye with him cause I wanted to go hang out with my friend, but I remember not sleeping that night knowing something was wrong and when my mom came to get me that morning she didn’t have to tell me I knew what happened. After that I learned my Mom was terminally ill with cancer we moved within that year up from Florida to be closer to family and Boston so she could get the best help and it worked for a while for her. Watching her go from this strong athletic person to needing help with just walking around. I remember spending summers watching movies with no sound just subtitles because the noise would hurt her head from the radiation and chemotherapy treatments she was getting. I would try to make her as comfortable as possible but I hate myself for the thoughts I would have like when I couldn’t wait to go sleepover a friends house just to get out for a bit. She was the strongest person I will ever know she did everything for me to try and help me she would always ask if I was okay and I would say yes because I turned my emotions off and just learned to copy what others were feeling around me. I graduated high school and went off to a tech school and learned a trade and when I came back her condition worsened I was working 60 hours a week and when I wasn’t I was my Mom’s nurse I would try and take care of her everyday needs the best I could. Then one night I came home from work and my Mom had fallen and broke her arm and couldn’t get up and just stayed there until I got home 8 hours later I will never forgive myself for that because this I feel like was the incident that sped everything up she needed even more help than I could provide. We lived next to my Aunt who has her own business out of her house and even though we lived so close we couldn’t be further apart. She only ever stepped in to help when it was the last resort she would tell me she would drive by and give us a couple thoughts. Then my mom took a bad turn her kidneys were failing causing hallucinations and other problems she needed to be in a hospital but there was no way she was coming out of it she would do fine hooked up to fluids. Then my Aunt came to me and talked to me and being the coward I am I let her talk me into talking to my mom to persuade her to go to a hospice house and taken off the fluids about a week later she passed away. I was 22 at the time I am now 25 and didn’t know how much this is affecting me I had a girlfriend/fiancee for years who tried to help me through this but her and her family don’t really know anything about this and I pushed her away emotionally and I guess when that didn’t work I had an affair to try and sabotage everything and get her away from me and it worked the real me never wanted this but it was easier to push her away than to let her in. I feel hard to trust people I am jealous of everyone and I hate myself for the actions I have taken always the easy way out and not letting any one in I want so badly to be normal and not have these thoughts. I feel so alone and don’t know where to turn I do think of suicide to see my parents again I really don’t know what I am holding onto anymore.

  229. brian said on September 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm ... #

    What an amazing find. As I contemplate writing my thoughts my mind swells with all the possible ways to start and all the things I could say. The beauty of it all is there is no right or wrong. These are our feelings. Its amazing to me to see that these comments began in 2010 and are still going to this day. Guess I’m not the only one after all. The suffering each of us encounters never ends and there will always be new members to our ‘club’ to post their thoughts. It must be cathartic but after 54 years of dealing with the loss of my dad, there just never seems to be any easy answers to explaining how I feel about it all. Unless you’ve experienced it personally, no one truly knows how you feel. I haven’t read all the stories above but I found myself in so many that I did read.

    My dad died at 46 in 1960 when I was four from multiple complication but died of a ruptured abdominal annurism. In those days there was little thought of therapy or counseling, just move on. I’ve surpassed his lifetime and survived a heart attack of my own.

    While mom was loving she had to take over running the family of four, get a job and make ends meet best as possible. To say the least she had a hard life. She died this year at 92 with dementia but lived an exemplary life. I once named her as one of the three heroes in my life. I was glad to have had her that long and learned a lot from her. She carried a torch for my dad all those years from which I learned much about love and commitment. But somehow, there was always a void. I have very little recollection of my dad and in fact was almost stunned recently to see the only photograph known to exist of all of us as a family – one picture!!

    I have played the what if game far too often. I always felt that my decisions were made in a vacuum and could have benefited greatly from his advice. But I moved on and made my own life, got an education, got married, traveled, and raised two fine boys. And that’s where some of my issue began to surface – and since I’ve not seen anyone else mention it I feel more unreasonable.

    One of my sons moved away vowing to never return to his hometown – not because of bad relations, in fact we have a good relationship, but he wants to move on and see new places; experience the world. Thing is I can’t blame him and that’s what we were supposed to raise him to do. But I still struggle with not having him in my life on a regular basis – feeling selfish for thinking this way, but it feels like another piece of my life is gone. For so long I’ve wanted my dad in my life and dreamed of being a dad so that I would have the relationship I lost. Yes there is a relationship there and he is in my life. Yet he’s not. The older I get the more I feel like our chances to live and experience life together is passing by.

    I’ve felt unreasonable about this so I began googling questions about these feelings and found there are very real issues that many confront over having lost a parent at an early age. I would be glad to know if others have experienced similar feelings, relative to distant relations with one’s own children, and what worked to really accept what is.

    It would be unfair to not add that I do have the presence of my other son near enough who is married and expecting our first grandchild. So, life can be good and rewarding in the absence of a loved one – no matter the reason for the absence. The hole left, however, can sometimes feel like a chasm.

  230. Wyatt said on September 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm ... #

    When I was 6 my mother was killed in a car accident trying to help someone else. I am 18 now, I suppose that what has happened since then is better than what it could have been, but the thought that I cant remember her rises every so often and I will be depressed for a day or two. The only thing I can do now is to look at pictures. I will say that talking to a specialist the few years after may have helped, but it wont fix anything. The best a parent can do is talk to their child and answer questions. To this day I am the only one in the family that avidly talks to my mom side, I don blame anyone there, but she was a nurse and her brother who is now 52 just got a degree, it is his passion and I think his way of grieving. As I sit here now I know that the best way to grieve is cry and write out your feelings. I still cant remember anything about her, and feel selfish because of that.

  231. Chris H said on September 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm ... #

    @ Wyatt I have found crying and writing is a good way to release feelings. If that’s what works for you then you have an audience here who knows what its like. I want to tell you that you shouldn’t feel selfish for not being able to remember anything about her. Maybe your mind is blocking the memories out and with time they may come back.

  232. June said on September 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm ... #

    I cried as I read these comments. I never knew my mother. She was a public health nurse. Apparently, she saw a bottle of alcohol catching fire. She tried saving the people in her ward by trying to take the burning bottle outside of the building. Before she reached the outside, the bottle burst and burned her entire body. She suffered for three days and died. I was only a little over 1 year old. My mother just came back from maternity leave when the accident occurred. My younger sister died of meningitis when she was three years old.
    I however, blocked these tragedies from my mind. My life went on, my father remarried. I did not realize that blocking my mind from these tragedies would mean that I had not gone through the grieving process. Three years ago, I gave birth to my daughter. It was in recognizing my love for my daughter that the dams of grief over my mother and sister, but primarily over my mother, broke. For a year, not a day went by, without my breaking down in tears because of the lost opportunity of loving my mother and receiving her love in return. I may have eluded grief for 46 years, but grief caught me in the end.

  233. Natalie said on September 22, 2013 at 2:00 am ... #

    My father died when I was 25 from a 7 month battle with melanoma that spread to his brain and lungs. It’s been a little over a year and I still hurt so much. My dad was amazing! He was the rock of our family. My dad was diagnosed while I was pregnant and died 10 days after I had my baby. My baby came 2 weeks early. My dads funeral ended up being on my due date. The horrible things and I saw and heard during my fathers battle haunt me. I lived with my parents while my dad was sick. I remember him having a seizure in my arms after he fell out if bed. Picking him up after falling. His screams of pain and him seeing things and not remembering things. My father never knew he was going to die. He couldn’t remember because of the cancer. I might be over the age in this article but I would give a day to see my dad again in a heartbeat. I miss him so much. I’m still not sure how life goes on. We did everything with him. He was like a father to my oldest child. I should have had more years with him. No one around me understands. They want things to be fine. But I don’t feel fine. A piece of my works is gone. I want it back!

  234. Lisa said on September 23, 2013 at 5:53 am ... #

    Glad found this site to see so many people have the same struggle as I do. Never met my mother, she passed when I was one year old. I am now 44 years old and grieving has been a thorny road for me. Sometimes, I still don’t understand why I am still alive. Still can’t even talk about it, not even on this site. I will not be able to stop sobbing if I continue.

  235. Benjamin said on September 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm ... #

    My mom committed suicide in a unfathomable violent way when I was ten years old. She stabbed herself in the heart. I’ve never gotten over it. I have had suicidal thoughts since the age of 16. Intrusive thoughts about being dead, how I would die, when I would die, why, they have plagued me throughout the years. I think it’s all attributable to my mothers death. My dad and my mom divorced when I was three. I used to see her every summer after that until I turned 10. In February of 1996, my dad sat me on his lap in the living room, and told me my mother was dead. I didn’t cry. I never cried over my mother dying, to this day. The only emotion I’ve ever felt regarding my mother is anger. The what-if question too. Anger though, especially when I drink. When I drink, I definitely think more about my mother and how her death has impacted me. I wonder why my relationships with women are not satisfactory, and whether that was related to me losing my mom. I felt anger over being abandoned. I even feel like it was my fault, since my parents divorced shortly after I was born. I miss my mother more than anything, I would love to know what set her off, why was she so depressed. Why couldn’t she just hang on, and delight in her children and the fact that she had a life worth living. I hate it when people talk about not liking their parents for petty reasons. Gets me seething inside. People take it for granted, having parents. Not all, but some. The fact that she committed suicide has definitely impacted me differently then had she died not of her own hand. I’m still confused as to how I feel about the ordeal. Have I even grieved? Asked God to forgive me for being angry at my mother. For giving me strength to see why, and get over it in a proper way. Blessings to you all, may you forgive your parents if they wronged you, and may you be strong and courageous in your life, and never stop loving or yearning for knowledge.

  236. Zach Stubbs said on September 30, 2013 at 2:14 am ... #

    My mother died when I was 7 years old. She was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2000 and passed away in 2003. I am now 17 and it seems like i can only remember bits and pieces of my childhood. I was never given therapy or any support other than my father doing his best to help me and my sister through it. He is an incredible father and all the real family that I have left, but he is not the type to share emotions. I’ve kept my thoughts and feelings bottled up for years. I can’t distinguish things that I think are memories of my mom from dreams anymore. I think that I remember her in tears asking me not to forget her, and i feel like I failed her. I just today tried remembering something about my mom but i cant. My sister has so many memories and stories but I have none. I feel as if i’m substituting pictures of her into madeup memories because I don’t know which memories are real and which aren’t. I feel like I did lose my childhood because my way of grieving was just to forget and move on, but now it scares me to think that I still have this habit. I am a senior and I struggle to remember things from my freshman year. I would without a doubt give a year of my life for one day with her, just because I don’t know if I said goodbye or told I her that I love her. I would give anything to make one solid memory of her that I could keep forever.

  237. Sara said on October 1, 2013 at 4:31 am ... #

    My mom died when I was nine, my sister was five. She had a seven year bout with breast and brain cancer. There are some days/months that are harder than others. Some days are so easy and light and some are heavy and completely filled with anxiety. I, more than anything, despise the inconsistency.
    The primary step in my management of grief, it’s still hard for me to even admit that I AM feeling pain, is sobriety and making healthy choices. This gives me power, this power gives me strenth and the strength gives me energy to realize I CAN LIVE a happy and satisfying life if I want to. It’s challenging but I refuse to crumble. God gives me strength.

  238. Ross said on October 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm ... #

    I recently stumbled across this site while searching for ways to help deal with this trauma. My dad passed away from a heroin overdose when I was 2 years old, I was sent to live with my grandmother (who was divorced)and who seemed to take me in because it was her christian duty and she didn’t want to make another “mistake” like with my father, she tried to make me into him. Then as my mother moved on and away out of my life she was killed by an abusive boyfriend when I was 8, the details surrounding the death were never fully brought into the light and the man was never convicted.. I am now 26 years old, living on my own 500+ miles away from any other family (I moved out soon as I turned 18) For many many years I held in all the pain, living in disbelief and ignoring everything. Never talking about it and never dealing with it. I have always felt alone, didn’t do well in school, I did graduate but barely slid by. I am now engaged to my loving fiance and she understands and cares a lot but as the years go on I feel more and more anger, resentment, I feel so distant and alone no matter who I am with or what I am doing, I cry a lot more often and have an explosive temper. I feel it very hard to let any good emotion in and our relationship struggles because of it. All of these years later and I feel it is just now starting to really impact me, I am looking for somewhere to turn and some way to help it all. I will hopefully start seeing a therapist soon and perhaps that will help? Regular doctors have put me on every type of anti depressant and bi polar medicine known to man to no avail. Who has any ideas of what can be done? This is such a struggle..

  239. Chris H said on October 11, 2013 at 7:08 pm ... #

    @Ross I think therapy will have a lot more impact in helping you deal with all the past traumas you experienced. I think you would be surprised how much actually talking about something painful can help. All the more beneficial with an experienced therapist. Medications may only dull and temporarily numb the pain. The root cause is still there. The pain, anger and trauma, along with many other buried emotions you never you had must be brought to the surface. That is so much pain for a young child to endure. When one doesn’t deal with it and buries it, it will always remain just under the surface trying its hardest to come out. You are very fortunate to have a loving fiancée who is there for you. Have you tried talking to her? I know she couldn’t possibly understand without going through it, but perhaps she can be supportive of you. You owe it to yourself to deal with all the pain you’ve tried to hide from yourself for so many years.

  240. Emilee N K said on October 14, 2013 at 2:19 am ... #

    I found this site when I was looking to see if there were other people with a passed like mine. When I was 5 years in 1997 my father died of a sudden heart issues. No one ever told me the real details, because in my family my father is a subject never to be spoken of but by me. Which is because I have only a few memories with him but I don’t know if they are real or just dreams. When I was in the first grade I hid in the brushes after recess I broke down crying. This was my 6th day of school I kept thinking why do they have two parents and I have one, I felt like if I ran home he would be there, ready to pick me up. So after they all went inside I ran home, I made it all the way to my front door knob. When the principal scooped me up in his arms and walk back to the school like that. I only live a good 8 blocks away from school. He told me he saw me running through the windows and took off after me. I didn’t tell him my reason for leaving..I never told anyone in all my yrs of elementary. Frankly with how often I didn’t get picked up when I was little should have told the teachers something..no one ever asked.

    The strangest part of all of this is my mother says I look, act, and walk just like him. Which isn’t a lie other family members have said those things before briefly in mid conversation. My older sibling look just like mom with almost black hair..I’m the black sheep with his red hair so to speak. It’s weird being just like someone and not knowing why? When I was younger I was mad all the time my main thought it was gods curliest joke ever. Now I love it, I understand that his time was short but subconsciously he had a big impacted on me. I believe that my mom aren’t close because I’m a living reminder of the man she lost. Yet I want to be like him, a man that in his life time saved to strangers from a two story burning building without a second thought a few days before I was born. I hope her and I can somehow find common ground to start working on our issues.

    I know that the scares I carry are deep, and painful. Yet oddly enough If I could trade a year of my life to see him again I wouldn’t because I know it wouldn’t be enough it would leave me even more empty. Also I wouldn’t want to life as if he shorted my life. I just hope that one day if I live my life right I’ll make it to him.

    Thanks for letting me share these thoughts that have ever been spoken aloud.


  241. cloud said on October 17, 2013 at 9:06 am ... #

    all of these stories are beautiful i used to think my parents wanted to torture me when they sent me for extra help but now i will appreciate them because i dont want to lose them

  242. Jim said on October 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm ... #

    Crying uncontrollably for a bit as I read this. I lost my Dad when I was 13, complications from a routine surgery.

    He slipped into a coma after a blood clot went to his heart. My mother never let us go see him in the coma before he died. I am still angry with her for that even after she has also died.

    We as a family, mom, me, and my 11 year old sister decided it was best to remove life support since the doctors felt he was brain dead.

    I never really understood my dad and I never got along well with him. Just after college I made an offhand comment to a cousin, about how I am sure my dad would have disapproved of me.

    He could not believe I thought that. He thought my dad would have been very proud of me, but I an still not so sure.

    I always thought my dad disliked me and everything I did was wrong. I never connected with him or understood him as a kid.

    I guess I never will…

  243. MELJUN said on October 22, 2013 at 5:41 am ... #

    my sister in law and her husband died because of vehicular accident (they were riding in a motorcycle while a chinese national hit them with his honda accord) last sept 20,2013, they left me a 4 year old boy and a 12 year old girl. at night when the boy sleeping, he woke up crying and calling his mother and father. the girl, my wife, my only son and me cried too. it was hard for us to think what the boy had in his mind. i hope there is a foundation or group that can help us learn how to comfort them. we are living in the philippines.

  244. Sophie said on October 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm ... #

    I lost my parents and 2 siblings in a car crash when I was 10. My mom was in the coma for 2 years and some family numbers thought it was best for me not to see her so instead I would record my voice on a tape that a nurse would play to her. She never woke up. I was in the wreck too and woke up with tubes everywhere and broken bones. And a huge broken heart. My body and my soul remember the feeling of helplessness when I was told everyone was gone. Never to come back. Nothing I could do. But go on with life alone. My upbringing wasn’t so bad considering the fact I was raised my an aunt that loves me and wanted the best for me but at the time she had to deal with her own pain and issues, she didn’t allow me to grieve , didn’t know how to be affectionate and by trying to ” make me” a good educated person, I turned into a really insecure woman that doesn’t believe she s good enough to be loved or really achieve anything in life. I have times where I think things are falling into place, that I am at peace inside, that i found a way to be ok with the past. dont get me wrong i have veautiful monents too. ..but it doesn’t last long. I am 38 now and eventhough I have friends that love me and assure me I m worthy to be loved, when I meet a man , things shift. It s like this 10 years old little girl is reaching out to be loved and my adult self becomes victim of her fears of abandonment and insecurity. I can’t seem to approach a romantic relationship in a healthy way. It never ends well. I do too much too soon and put so much hope into it that I end up pushing the other away. Oh I wish I could meet someone to build a new life with. It also affect my work life. I do have many dreams but halfway through I give up by fear of failing. I get really anxious and it has started affecting my health. I don’t breathe enough. I have gone for mental health treatment but apparently the answers are in me. At times I really ask myself, why was I left behind? I don’t know if things will ever get better. I used to think I would get married and have my own family but now it seems that loosing the one I had made me into a person that is not capable of creating one at all.

  245. Doug said on October 23, 2013 at 11:37 pm ... #

    GREAT BOOK!!!!!Just wanted to pass along some info on a GREAT BOOK that I recently read just for people like us.Its called THE LOSS THAT IS FOREVER: The Lifelong Impact of the Early Death of a Mother or Father by Maxine Harris (I got mine through amazon.com). This book sheds a lot of light on questions and thoughts that we all have about ourselves. Its not a how-to book or anything. But its an examination of 66 adults who’ve lost a parent(s) before the age of 18 and how its affected them decades later. It examines our childhoods and adulthoods but also the kind of parents and partners that we tend to make in adulthood, and theres a good chapter on emotional repair as well.This book would also be of value to surviving parents and partners of someone who lost a parent before the age of 18. Im 42 years old now and was an only child when I lost my dad suddenly when I was 11 and still have issues over 30 years later.I got alot out of this book. I highly recommend it!!!!

  246. ubu said on October 27, 2013 at 3:20 am ... #

    yesterday was 15 years since my dad died.. i have a 18 year old brother, he was just shy of 3 at the time of the death. i am 27 and i look at him and i am so proud and yet so saddened at the same time. he seems to be more of a functional adult than i am. we have diffrent moms and my stepmom made me go live with my mom he day after the funeral. through out the course of things i have become a drug user, emotional drinker, co dependant because i was raised by a woman who was also a drug user/ codependant. im just really really sad, and alone. thanks for listing

  247. Aman said on October 30, 2013 at 9:23 am ... #

    Hi. I lost my mother when I was 8 years old to ovarian cancer. I’m 18 right now, but I miss her every day. The worst part is that I didn’t know she was suffering from cancer. My father never told me. My dad told me only after she died. I was numb. My sister, who was 5 at that time, didn’t even know what death meant.
    I was completely broken. My dad remarried a year later. I don’t have anyone to share my feelings with. I love my dad, but he was never there for me emotionally.
    In ten years, I have never talked about it to anyone. I have a lot of friends, but I’m very uncomfortable talking to them about my mom. I have literally raised myself. Luckily, I was blessed to attend a wonderful school. I used to forget all my troubles there. It was home. Right now, my dad is still married to that lady. She has two children from a previous marriage. But we aren’t a family any more. We’re just a bunch of people living under the same roof. I just miss my mom so much. Thanks for listening. Reading all your experiences made me feel that they are other people who have gone through the trauma and know how I feel.

  248. Aman said on October 31, 2013 at 2:48 am ... #

    @Zach Stubbs I know EXACTLY what you mean. I have such little memories of her that I start to make up memories. My dad never talks about my mom. I want to know more about her. I hardly remember anything before she died. Just glimpses of her. I don’t even remember her voice. I never said goodbye or told her that I love her. My grandparents and aunts keep telling me what a lovely person she was and how much she loved me and my sister. But I don’t remember anything. All I have is photographs of her and that’s my treasure. I keep imagining how different and wonderful life would be if she was still alive. I keep wasting time like this and it affects my academics. I want to get into the top law schools but I just can’t concentrate. I have perfected the art of faking a smile. I have been wearing that mask for so long that people don’t even know that I’m grieving. I am totally lost.

  249. Suzanne said on November 15, 2013 at 8:52 pm ... #

    I am stunned and humbled by all the messages on here. Compared to most, mine is almost nothing. My mother died when I was 11 having heart surgery. I am now really quite old and should have got over it. But I never have. I miss her and I miss the growing into another person that I would have been. It also had a massive impact on my siblings (one no longer talks to me).
    Losing a parent when you’re young makes you lonely all your life. I have chased love with men, trying to fill that void, made myself feel bad, dulled the pain with alcohol.
    I wish all of you on here the very best that I can. I hope with all of my heart that we can heal ourselves and find some good after the heartache. Blessings to you.

  250. Mary said on November 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm ... #

    It is sad and comforting to know that others understand what it feels like to miss someone so much. I am 30 years old and my father passed away from a heart attack when I was 10. He was 42. I sobbed in silence on the drive home from the hospital. I remember how I felt the day after he had passed away, I made my bed and from there I never took the time to deal with it. I can look back and see that I have been stricken with immense grief when I have thought of him. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I had a fear of abandonment which I have seen play out in my relationships.

    Growing up, I always felt my dad’s presence in my life. I knew that he was there and I sometimes wondered what he would think of who I grew up to be. I strongly believe that our parents love us no matter how or why they passed away.

    You are all such beautiful and strong people. Although, we may never meet or I may not know you when I am in your presence, just know that I am sending you my love. I try to start each day with gratitude and I am grateful to have known so many amazing people even if it is simply through a few words.

  251. Lauren said on November 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm ... #

    My father died when I was 5 years old very suddenly. I remember him well. Therapy and counseling has never helped. I have cried for him since the day he died. People dont understand because they have not been thru it. They think since he died when i was young it is somehow. Easier to deal with. It is not. I did not have enough time with him. It is a heartbreak that will never heal.

  252. Shar said on December 1, 2013 at 12:10 am ... #

    My dad died of cancer when I was nine…I am now the same age my dad was when he died, 39. My 40th birthday is less than 3 weeks away and I know this will be the most difficult yet…not cause of the number. I look back now and wonder how I made it through..we had to pretend like it never happened and I had no support. I feel like most of you..it’s been 30 yrs but I still feel so much pain and loss. I have been struggling with anxiety, depression, insomnia among other things. I just can’t seem to let go..I feel like if I stop being sad that I’ve forgotten about him. I’ts comforting to hear I ‘m not alone and maybe I’m not crazy.

  253. Christina Coler said on December 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm ... #

    When I was 4 years old, my father committed suicide. Although I am incredibly lucky to have my mother, there’s always been a void that he left. I didn’t know that he willingly died until I was 14, so in these past few years, I haven’t been the same as before. I’ve had problems with trust and I feel like everybody I ever get attached to will abandon me. I have a lot of anxiety. I don’t feel happy ever and I still want to take my own life, as well. I self-harm, but not as much as I used to. I’m a senior in high school this year and my term paper is on the death of a parent. As triggering as it is, it gives me a way to learn and discover what other people have studied about this subject. This article shows me that truly, there’s so many people with the same general story as I and that none of us are alone.

  254. Sarah said on December 12, 2013 at 12:32 am ... #

    I was 3 months old when my dad died of drug overdose from taking my mothers pain pills. I am an only child and am now 16. I have been told that he was addicted to pain medication but to this day I still get conflicting answers to whether or not he committed suicide. Because he died when I was so young I have no memories of him, and all the people who knew him won’t talk about him. My mother is the kindest person I know and is an amazing mother but she works year round at several jobs so I spent all my time at her work until I started school when I turned 4 (pre-school). My mom has struggled with alcohol addiction her entire life. My earliest memories are of living with friends for about a year when I was five while she was in rehab. I have not met most of my dads side of the family because they blame me for his death which my fathers parents told me when I was 6. Growing up I never was able to go to daddy daughter dances, learned to ride a bike, or had a fake wedding with my dad. The closest thing I had to a dad was my best friends father, which was my only view on a whole and loving family, they are currently getting a divorce. Because of not really having any men in my life I don’t trust men. In my life men have always abandoned me. When I was 10 my five-year-old cousin was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor on her brainstem. As the oldest my mother was put in charge of everything, during this time she started to drink again. During the two years my cousin fought for her life I only talked to my mother for a couple minutes a week, my mom was there physically but not there as a mother. I would steal money from her to pay for groceries. I was virtually on my own for that entire time I would have gone hungry if I didn’t know how to cook. I didn’t tell anyone what was going on because I was terrified of being taken away from my mother, I was her entire world and she was mine. The worst moment of my life was when I woke up one morning and couldn’t find my mom, she was passed out on the ground next to her bed with a huge empty bottle of rum next to her and she would not wake up no matter what I did, so I called 911. After that I went to live with friends for a few months while my mom went through rehab again. I am now in high school and I have never even seen a picture of my dad, and I now realize that by not having a father I will always be missing part of myself. I told my story not for my sake but to inform people that missing a parent is one of the worst feelings in the world for a child or adult and the thing I want most in the world is to see his face, hear his voice, and have one conversation just to numb the hole in my heart.

  255. K said on December 17, 2013 at 6:22 am ... #

    My dad was killed in a work accident when I was 11 months old. My mother was criticised for telling me the truth. I am now 28 and a psychologist who helps people with grief and other issues but I struggle every day with the loss of my dad. Mostly because I never really got to know him and people constantly say I am so much like him. I feel like my life is great but always there’s s hole. He wasn’t there to see me graduate or walk me down the aisle at my wedding. Us Father’s Day is always a constant reminder of what I don’t have.

  256. CN said on December 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm ... #

    I have viewed this page several times and have been touched by everyone’s stories.
    I my mother passed away when I was 4 years old. My brother was 2 years old at the time and my sister was almost two weeks old. The circumstances don’t matter, but it was a death which could have been avoided. I don’t remember her much (only one snippet of a memory) but know she was a fighter and pushed to stay alive as hard as she could for her family. Our lives were torn apart once she was gone. My father had a hard time with the loss. He did what he could but he ultimately had to resort to family overseas for help. My siblings and I lived with our paternal grandparents a few years and another few with one of my mom’s sister’s who became a mother to us. Our father visited us a few times out of the year, but it wasn’t enough. At least for me. I remember having great love for him but feeling uncomfortable at the same time. I felt many times like I had no parents. My sister was the poor little one who never met her mother ( something which still hurts her, having no memories, no photos with mom…) and my brother was the little boy. I just always felt I had to suck it up and be a big girl, like people worried more for them because they were younger and therefore so should I. When I was 10 my dad brought us back to live with him and with a family friend and her sons. I gained a mom and more siblings and lost my second mom due to distance. My aunt passed away when I was 17. It was a blow. My family never spoke about my mom, and now my aunt, our second mom passed away and all my father could tell us was she was sick, when in fact, she had passed away at least a week before. I had to go through the task of telling my sister that her soulmate, the person she had the strongest connection to in life, was no longer with us. That she died not having her kids around. (which is what she told everyone we were – her kids. Our mom.) My siblings and I had to go through the grieving again. (obviously my dad did too.).
    I always thought that despite everything I coped well with the loss of my mom at 4, that was until we lost our aunt. There had been thoughts of suicide previously, but those were fought and gone. I now started failing university courses, distancing myself even further from friends and potential friends, resenting my dad and step-mom for not being there for us emotionally all those years….
    I now have children of my own and I talk to them about their grandma, their aun-grandma and the grandparents who we lived with as children who have also passed away ( one on one of my kid’s 2nd birthday and the other a day after my other kid’s 3rd birthday). I talk to them about my childhood experiences and answer any questions they have about death, feelings, etc. I want them to get to know things about us – our quirks when we were young, trouble we may have gotten into , our interests at their age…. Nothing is off- bounds as long as we can maintain it age- appropriate. I worry that if one of us goes in some form or another that they will have regrets that they didn’t ask more or that we were not willing to share enough. My children are the only ones I have no fear of being vulnerable and open with. Maybe this is because I am in fear that they may have to experience loss at a young age. I always did think I would not make it past 35…. Now I Do all I can to make sure I’m here for my kids until they have grown ones of their own. I still grieve for my mom, my aunt and the grandparents who raised me. I am sad I know next to nil about them, but at the same time I find there are good thing that came out of it all. I was able to bond with family members I never would have had such strong ties to. I have another mom, and more siblings, and many nices and nephews. Our family and extended family now is closer than anyone’s I know. We get together every week! I experienced life in a different country, can speak 3 languages rather than 1. There is a positive to be found everywhere. We just have to acknowledge our emotions and realize that what we have left is still goog. Better than goog actually…. We could have been born anywhere to any one in any period in time. As bad as we have had it or have it….. Someone has it worse, has had it worse and has turned it around. That is the way I look at life. It makes it worth living. Things will get better – you have to want it and acknowledge that grieving is good for the soul but living YOUR life to the fullest is better. Think of it as honoring those you came from or those who raised you.

  257. CN said on December 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm ... #

    I meant to say what we have left despite our loss is still good – not “goog”.
    My father has old super 8s and my mom is in some. I once found one and had it converted to DVD. It was the strangest experience ever. It was nice to hear her voice, but didn’t lessen the pain. It is not the same to see someone you do not remember in a photo or video as to be able to recall moments with them. As much as I loved my aunt (2nd mom) I would not give up a day of my life to have some more time with her. I don’t think she would want it and she wouldn’t need it. I have fond memories of time with her. I would however give up a day, but only if my children were grown and mature, to spend time with a mom I do not remember.

  258. Mulvey26 said on December 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm ... #

    I wanted to start out by saying how brave and strong you all are. I work in an ER and deal with death often and it pains me to see the families reaction at the loss of their loved one. I have never dealt with the pain of losing a parent and I honestly don’t know how I would deal with it. I’m looking for help with a loved one who has… I want to begin by saying, my boyfriend of a year and a half, is very special to me. I’ve never felt this sort of connection with anyone else and I love him dearly. I want to do whatever to make him happy.. However I feel I fail often or that it’s not enough. The 1st date we had he asked what my parents do.. I shared what my parents occupations were and I asked him.. He only mentioned his dads job. I asked about his mom and he mentioned she died when he was 12 and that it was a long story… I felt horrible for asking about her but had I known that I never would have.. However throughout our relationship he has shown signs that he needs to talk about it.. He will drive past her old house and show me it. He makes little gestures like that.. Me not wanting to be pushy, I don’t try to pry anything out of him.. However a year into our relationship he broke down and told me she committed suicide and how it was on his birthday.. He was sobbing telling me and I was devastated… I had no idea what to say.. I just held him. Although about 6mons prior when we celebrated his bday I knew something was wrong.. I had all these plans and he just wasn’t interested whatsoever. I had no idea to what extent.. But he did start to get upset the night of his bday and when I asked why he said it was because he has never been a fan of this day.. I didn’t understand.. I told him this is a very special day, it’s your birthday and you are very special so you should enjoy it. I knew it had to do with his mother and I didn’t want to pry but I asked him to tell me why he wasn’t a fan and he told me he didn’t want to. I understood and I just told him if he ever does just let me know. 6 months later he broke down and opened upto me.. Signs in our relationship have shown the effect this tragedy has had on his life.. I wouldn’t say anything to significant.. Like I’ve never had to worry about him hurting himself or anything.. But he is so closed up. He hides things from me. He says how much he cares and loves me but I feel and he’s told me he is scared to get close to me.. And that I’ve gotten closer than anyone else. He talks to his dad and his sister but he has no connection with his moms family. Im very close with my family and one of the struggles we have had is he isnt close with his family. I have a big family and he has only met my sisters and my mom twice. He had never met my brothers. I have only met his sister & his grandmother once and never met his dad. His excuse all this time was he works so much. Which we both do.. however he recently admitted to me that he has never had a family that wanted him around. My family asks about him all the time and would love to get to know him. He says he will put in more effort to see them. I would like to get to know his family as well. He talks about forever and I could see it but I want to make sure he is okay. I care so much I don’t know if he needs to talk to someone or how I can help him in the long run. I’ve recently tried to talk to him about it because the holidays and his bday are coming up but he tells me he doesn’t want to talk about negative things and that I shouldn’t try and pry it out of him. If you guys have any suggestions.. Please let me know. I really just want him to be happy and know he is okay and if you guys could share something that someone you care about could do for you to help with the pain please share. Nothing I do is going to take away the pain of the tragedy he suffered however I would just like to be there and for him to know that.

  259. Theresa said on December 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm ... #

    I am 63. I lost my father when I was eight. I don’t think I ever missed him. Very shortly after he died my mother became very cruel; not physically cruel,only mentally and emotionally. I have a sister who was 6 when my father died. My mother was not cruel to her. Today I was sitting on my couch… Which is almost the only thing I do besides work… I am apathetic and I rarely do anything I should around the house. Today I realized that my father’s death had a lot to do with who I am and who I am not. Why should I realize this now?

  260. Theresa said on December 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm ... #

    and can I do anything about it?

  261. Enrique said on January 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm ... #

    I lost my father quite early in life – he succumbed to a heart attack when I was only 11. But my short history with Dad is truly the most precious thing I own. I’m far from being wealthy but I feel so incredibly rich whenever I look back at the memories I shared with Dad.

    My Dad wasn’t perfect – he certainly had his blemishes – but I was always his little shadow, his buddy in life, his little “ricky” – a nickname I will proudly hold forever.

    Dad was a typical father in that he loved his family completely and nurtured us throughout his short life. But he was also an atypical father in the sense that he treated me like an old friend. I remember it like it was yesterday – he was a physician by profession – working long hours at the hospital – yet, he always made it a point to come to my room and lie beside me and tell me (in detail) about his day. Then he would kiss me on the cheek, pat my head and assured me that I was the best son the heavens ever made.

    The night before he died, he came to my room as usual and told me to feign sickness and not to go to school tomorrow. He and I will be playing hookey to go the zoo and watch World War 2 movies all afternoon. He died in his sleep the following morning of a heart attack. He was 42.

    And so here I am, embracing my middle age, married to the love of my life, no children of my own but have a battalion of nieces and nephews I adore, a profession I’m devoted to, yet I go through my day thinking of my father, every second, every moment of my life.

    I cope with my loneliness by believing completely that Dad is watching over me, sitting inside his fabulous suite at the Marriott Hotel in Heaven, beaming with pride as I go through my day. I talk to him everyday and its comforting to know that in my heart of hearts…he hears me loud and clear.

  262. Denae M. Storms said on January 1, 2014 at 9:58 pm ... #

    As I was trying to learn more about our father’s Antique Shop prior to his death I received help from someone who will remain unnamed. That I opened it today, 8 days before the anniversary of his death was difficult. More so, the details of his death. Until now his firstborn children, me, Renae & Joanne Lee never saw this. I believe our mother did not save his OBIT because we are not even mentioned as his surviving children!!! My heart is breaking right now. Maybe I shouldn’t post this but the irony is that a non-family member also tried to omit us girls in our Grandma’s recent Obit as her firstborn grandchildren! We had to fight very hard to get the Obit done right. In the end my sister, Renae, ended up paying for and putting Gram’s Obit in The Olean Times Herald so we were rightly acknowledged. This is no way affects our wonderful, loving relationships with our sister Becky and brothers, Lee & Sean. “Our” father loved all of us!! Please, regardless of any animosities among adults, take this as a lesson to put the kids first. I am 52 and I feel like the 11 year old I was when our beloved father died. And God bless our mother, may she Rest in Peace, for sparing us this heartache all of these years. On behalf of my sister’s and me, as his firstborn, in the order of Denae M. Storms, Renae J. Foster (Storms) and Jodi Lee Ross (Storms).

  263. Johnny X Wang said on January 17, 2014 at 1:37 am ... #

    I was 15 when my mother lost the battle to breast cancer. This event had forever changed the course of my life.

    My family originates from Beijing, China and both of my parents life journey was centered during the cultural revolution. This was a time period of tremendous upheaval, both mentally and physically. During this time of revolution and cultural evolution, education of any sort was somewhat frowned upon by the ruling political party whose image of the east did not involve those of an educated background. Both of them met while studying traditional medicine. The medical field may seem a profitable enterprise now but during this time it was a dangerous enterprise. I was born during the time of Tienanmen square and was actually there on my dads shoulders during this time.

    After 1989 we immigrated to the United states in the hope of a better life and found it in a quaint town called Seattle.

    prior to our emigration to the states, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was five years old at the time. Being immigrants and not speaking the language they managed to survive. During this time my mother fought bravely and valiantly against the touch of death, one which we will all face in time. unfortunately she lost that battle. I was 15 at the time.

    surprisingly, what hurts the most isn’t her passing but the manner in which she passed. We had friends in the medical field in china and as fate would deem it, she went back for medical treatment. During this time she deteriorated more and more. The medical facilities lacked proper treatment facilities and properly trained personnel. This ultimately ended up with her receiving chemical burns on her right hand from chemo. leaving her right arm permanently swollen and the bones of hand lain bare for all to see. She lost her valiant battle before the age of 50.

    The sadness in ones heart at the sight of his mother in tremendous pain cannot be expressed within the limitations of verbal or written language. For it only scratches the surface of such pain.

    There is much more in all of our hearts.

    I only can hope and perhaps one day can achieve a level of serenity that “normal” humans can feel when they see, touch, feel, and sense the family they hold dear to them.

    I will end by saying that if you read this… you are not alone in your struggle in life. I, along with all those you hold dear, whether in this life or the next… whatever that may be, are with you.

    I may only hope that you find your place in this life.

    you are not alone. we are here. all are here.

    only a technicality that i may not share the same pain. but We are here.

    dream the hope my friends. All of you are forever in my heart. As I hope I am in yours.

  264. Ian said on January 25, 2014 at 1:17 am ... #

    I was 11 when my father died of lung cancer 6 weeks after diagnosis. My mother who loved him said he smoked himself to death. I am now 2 years older than he was when he died 40 years ago and I still long for time with him even though I accepted his death when it happened. I mourned for a year and moved on at 12 but I still miss him and the love he held for my mother and my brother. I was depressed in my teens after he died but teenage years can be tumultuous so I don’t know if his death was the cause of my mental health issues. I know I still have a deep longing to be with him because I dreamt about him a few years ago near the 40th anniversary of his death and I felt a deep sense of peace during my dream like I did when he was alive and not like I have since he died.

  265. Anonymous said on January 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm ... #

    Hi, Im ——-. Just turned 14, November 2013. My dad died before I was even old enough to know he was my dad. My mom just recently died. Both of suicide. It took a big peice of my life. When i see others with their parents i want to cry. When my friends yell at their moms/fathers. I wanna yell. I currently live with my aunt that took me in right after. I can honesly saw i am depressed. I talk to one person and read constantly. i have never thought of cutting or suicide because life is a gift, but some people take it for granted and throw it away.

  266. Roger said on January 25, 2014 at 7:13 pm ... #

    I was 14 when my father was murdered, soon after my mother and 17 year old brother were charged with his death.Its all to easy to fall into depressive rumination.Find a passion or skill that you have and try to enjoy this life you’ve been given.In the words of Fleetwood Mac ‘Dont Stop’ thinking about tomorrow yesterday gone.Your future is in your own hands do not waste it.I’m 42 now and have more good days than bad ones.There is nothing wrong with getting depressed now and again as long as you remember there is absolutely nothing wrong with you allowing yourself to be happy.

  267. T said on January 29, 2014 at 12:11 am ... #

    At 16 I lost both parents to cancer – a few months apart. It was so, so sad when they cried; like they were apologizing. They would weep together at times too (these were “bad days”).

    I really miss them. My dad and I used to fish together when he was well. When it snowed, he would build a huge fire in the ditch and all the kids and parents would come over. He taught me to drive in the backyard. He talked to me about girls and about girl’s daddys. He was a great parent and we would have been great friends now. My mom took me to church. She made cakes and taught me to save money. She was quiet and taught me how to listen. She would be proud that I graduated, which no one expected.

    I can’t change their deaths, but I wish I could go back and dry their tears and tell them there’s no need to apologize. They were great parents.

  268. Charles said on January 31, 2014 at 3:15 am ... #

    I would give my whole life up, if my brother and my sister could just have mom back… its been 14 years, We lost her when I was 7…
    I wish I was able to give her just one more hug, and maybe she could read me the three blind mice once more like she used to..

  269. Jason said on February 1, 2014 at 12:21 pm ... #

    These stories are all heartbreaking. Im 32 years old and thankfully have not lost a parent yet. However my wife lost her mother when she was 9 years old.

    8 months ago she came home one night and said she had enough and was leaving, I let her go and kind of even encouraged it as we had not been happy for quite a few years. After a few months I asked if she would like to work on our relationship to which she said yes but didn’t put in much effort. She later told me she didn’t want to even try to fix our marriage. Just a few days ago we were talking and she said she thinks she just snapped one day and doesn’t care about anything. We had talked about trying counseling but she said she’s scared to find out what is really wrong. A few days ago we had a big fight and she said I woke up one day and realized my life sucked and my mom died in her forties so I’m probably not going to live much longer and why should I be miserable in my last years. This fight happened before she told me she was scared to find out what was wrong. So I’m thinking she still has not gotten over her mothers death.

    Since we have known eachother she has never once told me a story about her mom other then when she died and that was only once. The summer before she went to high school she lost a bunch of weight because she wouldn’t eat and if she was forced to eat she would throw it up. We had been real good friends for probably 5 years before we started dating and I had never really seen any effect of her losing her mother. However when we started dating she had these ticks always and absolutely could not stand any word relating to death. Both of these kind of went away with time.

    To my knowledge she has never seen anyone about this. I don’t believe that these things go away or that she’s getting over it but that she tries so hard to suppress it for so long that eventually she can’t anymore and almost has a nervous breakdown.

    I would like to help her through this as much as I can. I don’t know if our marriage will be saved but I do love her and if we end up getting divorced hopefully she can at least cope with her mothers death easier.

    Sorry for the novel but I’m wondering what advice do you guys have for helping to cope with this, to my knowledge there are no videos of her and I don’t know where any pictures would be. Any help would be greatly apreciated as I believe this is killing her inside.

  270. scott said on February 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm ... #

    My mom died when I was sixteen. She was 49. Stricken on a Monday and died on Thursday. In 1967 they knew less about meningitis.

    There are no words to express what her death has meant to me and the positive and negative influence on my life and directions I have taken.

    I’m now 63. I miss her every day. I only wish she could have known my loving wife of 41 years, her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

    But, most, I regret that she never had the joy of seeing me as an adult who cares and shares. When she died, she only knew a selfish 16 year old male, full of testosterone who wanted the car keys.

    Lessons learned. Regrets are futile. Thanks for listening.

    This is the first time I’ve ever expressed these feelings in print.

  271. Katherine said on February 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm ... #

    I lost my dad when I was 7 to complications from juvenile diabetes and my mom when I was 14 to breast cancer.
    It has totally affected the way I live my life. I wish everyday that I could see them just one more time. My mother most of all because she became my rock and best friend after my dad died. It was just the two of us. I wish she could see her grandchildren and I wish they could have been there when I got married. This past year I turned 33 which was the age my dad was when he died. It felt so weird to know I had reached that age.
    I have tried to develop a motherly relationship with my mother in law, but she already has two daughters. I don’t think it is intentional but I tend to be left out of plans and forgotten. They all spend time together and very rarely do they call me.
    It really hurts and I just think if I still had my mom I wouldn’t crave the attention and mother relationship like I do.
    You never get over losing your parents and the hurt never goes away. You just learn to deal with it.

  272. Sharina said on February 12, 2014 at 11:30 pm ... #

    My mother died in 1985, 3 days after my 10th birthday and I cry to this day because It wasn’t fair. It still hurts so much and I don’t know how to make it better. I have had the most awful relationships with men and won’t let many, if any one, get to close to hurt me. Is this the extent of me , my life, who I am? I don’t know why but I know I have made many, many stupid decisions over the span of my life….. Life sucks sometimes and the deck of cards we are dealt is out of our control…..

  273. SarahB said on February 23, 2014 at 1:41 am ... #

    I was 8 when my dad suddenly died. At the time I honestly didn’t realize what was going on. As I grew older it hit me more and the pain became stronger and stronger. Sometimes it just hits me like a ton of bricks and a sadness just washes over me. I get so jealous of people who have a dad. I just feel incomplete and empty and lost in a way. I have a few faint memories of him. Life certainly went downhill after he died.
    My whole family became affected. My mum still hasn’t remarried and is searching and I’m scared she’s going to be alone her whole life. Me and my siblings never talk about it. I’m the youngest so I feel lonely sometimes because they’re so busy in their lives. We moved countries after his death so I barely ever see my dad’s side of the family anymore and my mother has a bad relationship with them. I feel like no one understands how I feel and what I’m going through. I’m 16 years old now and I feel like time doesn’t heal all wounds. I feel like my childhood was stripped away and I was forced to grow up fast. It’s hard to talk about it to strangers and mention that I don’t have a dad.
    It makes me feel uncomfortable. I used to lie and say I have one and pretend he never died. I feel so alone sometimes and I wish I could meet people my age who have gone through this. I don’t know anyone who knows what I’m going through and it hurts to have all these feelings inside. Please help.

  274. Christian Wiede said on February 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm ... #

    How does one grieve for a ghost??
    How do you get a grip on sadness that seems SO toxic, that it colors everything in your life, even the happy moments, with its reach?
    How do you fill the gaping hole, the chasm in your heart caused by the rejection, the abandonment and the pain left by a long-since dead parent, especially by one you can’t even remember??
    And perhaps most important, how do you NOT allow that past pain to destroy your present AND your future??
    For me, two ways.
    One-on-one therapy, and
    a real, authentic relationship with Jesus Christ.
    Try it. You’d be surprised……

  275. daniel nutley said on February 27, 2014 at 11:52 am ... #

    i was 2 when my mum n dad died, me n my mum was involved in a car accident, a lorry came from the opposite direction, lost control n turned over onto our vehicle, my mum tried protecting me by putting herself between me n the oncoming lorry but she died trying to protect me, i was severely injured with multiple head injuries as well as having spinal fluid pouring out of my nose n multiple fractures, this happened less then 2 weeks after my 2nd birthday.
    less then a year later my dad committed suicide, 2 days before my 3rd birthday, they was both only 25 years of age when they died..
    i will be 38 years old in a few days time, but i have found as ive grown older, every year consecutively has been more harder to deal with, then the last, especially around my birthday..
    i only have pictures of them n would give everything up to be held n comforted by both my parents, something that happened so young in my life when i bearly knew them, has caused me so much emotional torture and still does. not a single day goes by without me thinking of them n wishing they was still here

  276. Debra Moyer said on March 4, 2014 at 9:39 pm ... #

    I have read a lot of the comments left here and I feel such sorrow for so many. I lost my mother when I was 27. I consider that early in my life. It makes me so sad that she was not here to see so much of my life….my children and grandchildren whom she would have loved so. I feel lucky that I had her for 27 years and that she was so good at mothering me and my sisters. Our father was there for us too, and the loss of our Mother brought out the very best in him so many times. He passed a few years ago and we are all still grieving his passing. I miss them both every day. I don’t think that you ever get over the loss of your parents. I think that with time you get used to the idea….but never the actual loss.

  277. dekuji said on March 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm ... #

    My heart aches and I am so grateful to all of you. I am in love with a wonderful man whose beautiful mother died when he was 11 years old. He told me he is ‘over it’ but I see so many things about him that lead me to believe otherwise. He was the youngest of three children. His parents were madly in love with each other, a loving and active family, always doing things together.

    She had breast cancer and was moved from Alaska to Texas in hopes of better treatments. She was flown, the rest of the family was to drive but their vehicle broke down and it took over three weeks to get to Texas. She died the day after they arrived. My love never even saw her. As a mother of three myself, I can only imagine how painfully alone and heartbroken his sweet mother was – unable to hold her babies (even as grown as they were) to say I love you so much and I am so proud to be your mama. Or maybe that’s just what I would want to do with my boys.

    I so appreciate your honesty and courage. Thank you for giving me more understanding. I know so little.

  278. Louise said on March 23, 2014 at 8:12 pm ... #

    My father died in a car accident before I turned 2 in 1974, and I have no memories of him at all. My brother was 7 and my sister 5 at the time. My mom was devastated of course, and at that time where I lived, counseling was not considered. So I lost my father and in many ways lost my mother too, since she did not cope well with the situation when we were children.

    I am now 41 and still feel the effects of his death. Growing up we hardly ever talked about him, and when I would ask my mom questions she would start to cry. I stopped asking because I was afraid she would fall apart and I didn’t know what would happen if she did.

    I always felt like a terrible burden because people would make comments to me growing up like, “It must be so hard for your mother raising 3 children alone.” Even as a child, I knew this was a terrible thing to say, but I internalized it and felt like I was a big inconvenience.

    I have feelings of abandonment that I do not know what to do with. I don’t know how to get past the feelings and I find it hard to form deep relationships with people. I have an underlying feeling that at some point people are going to get tired of me and I will never see them again. I feel of little worth to others.

    My mother got married when I was 25 and I have a good relationship with my step-father which has been helpful, but not a replacement. It has been surprising to me through the years how people have focused on how hard it must have been for my mother to lose her husband, but I do not feel the same sympathy extended to me and my siblings. Losing a spouse is not easy, but the spousal relationship can be replaced, but the parent-child relationship is much more difficult to replace.

    I am a teacher, and over the years I have had 3 students who have had a parent die while they were in my class. Trying to help them process their loss has been helpful for me.

    I have read through many of the previous posts and I am glad to hear that I am not alone in these feelings and in having this experience. Thank you to everyone for sharing.

  279. Mary Jo said on March 25, 2014 at 1:05 am ... #

    I was 7 when my father was diagnosed with cancer. (1977). I believe it started out as pancreatic cancer which over the next 4 agonizing years spread throughout his body. He fought it for all that time until he lost the fight in 1981, I was 11.
    Dad died in the home I grew up in. My mom came in that morning to wake me for school or so I thought. She told me “Daddy’s gone” . I immediately thought and probably asked, “where did he go?” Then my mom walked me out to the family room where my father lay, in the bed from Hospice. He looked so peaceful. I knelt beside the bed and said a prayer… I’m still not sure how I feel all these years later with my mom making me look at my dead father.
    I miss him EVERY DAY!!!!!! Im the youngest of 5 and feel cheated that I have such limited memories of my dad.
    My mom was an amazing mom. I lost her to cancer in 1998. Luckily had more time with her.
    Losing a parent sucks regardless. Losing one at a young age is horrible. Im sure my clingy behavior with men in my life has a lot to do with it.
    I WOULD give up a year of my life for one more day with my dad and mom. We have a lot to catch up on.
    Miss you terribly J&C

  280. Jane said on March 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm ... #

    My father left when I was a toddler. My mother remarried a few years later, and after a year of trying to reach my father for agreement, my stepfather adopted me and my sister. Shortly after that, my father was murdered. My school performance tanked and never recovered. My home and school life were awkward, puzzling, and cold.

    I have made a good life for myself despite lack of external support and understanding of grief issues. Helping others does help me to make sense of my own pain. That works in a general sense but my relationships with men historically have been turbulent and difficult. I have had terrible abandonment issues all my life and at one point was ordered to a nine-month DBT track, which was very insulting at first, but extremely helpful.

    For any of you struggling with emotionalism, DBT is worth looking into; it will help you manage the awful feelings of loss, without compromising the legitimacy of those feelings. This will help with your relationships — and time will help, too. You may find as you grow older that other losses (of friends, family, coworkers), while sad, are familiar ground for you, and your lifelong walk with your own grief is going to be a blessing for others who are more or less grieving blindly or for the first time. You may find your old grief puts you in a gentle leadership role — even while unearthing so many facets of your old loss. And look to God to hold you through the rough times; He always will.

    This time of year is annually very troubling for me; we do not have a fixed date of death for my father. This is the week his body was found in 1979. I can’t really talk about it with anyone who matters, because it was 35 years ago.

    I would not give up a year of my life for my father. I am not sure *what* I really need, to close or soften the impact of this old issue. I think my first marriage ended in part because I had no clue what a natural birth father’s relationship with his daughter really was supposed to look like. Not that I was jealous of my child — but that because I was raised coldly by a stepparent, I felt alarmed at how close my child’s father was with her, and how there seemed to be no boundaries, where boundaries were all I knew.

    I’m grateful for other people’s sharing here, because someone in my life is indicating that 35 years of grief, or annual remembering (and concurrent situational depression) is not normal. I don’t know anything else; I can’t imagine that my grief is pathological. It’s reassuring to hear from others that no, we remember, and that is both common and ok.

  281. Dipesh said on March 31, 2014 at 3:01 pm ... #

    I lost my mother to suicide when I was 6 years old, my father to multiple-organ failure when I was 19. I do consider that I was lucky to lose him at 19 as he had a major heart attack 4 years before, and we were warned by the Doctors at that time that he would most likely not make it through the night – he certainly did not want to give up that easily.

    Although my mothers death occasionally upsets me, it is my fathers which has had the major impact on my life since. Nobody knows why mum did what she did, there was no note, no reason – one minute there, the next minute gone. Do I hate her for it, no; can and will I ever understand it, no.

    My dads death deeply affected me, and it still troubles me today, although seeing as it’s only been five years and I see comments on this forum from people who lost their loved ones many decades ago, it appears these emotions will stay with me forever. It was many years before I truly accepted his death. I was never sure whether I had, but when it finally hit me, wow, it was without question the toughest year of my life. It’s funny, I thought I had got over his death, but in reality I had been hiding from it the entire time, but you cannot hide forever, you cannot keep yourself distant from your emotions, one way or another, they will always come out.

    Now that year has been and gone,I feel more at peace; but I still struggle with some aspects of his death. I hate having to talk about it, to be honest, I haven’t spoke to someone about it for a long, long time now. I don’t even like to mention it to my friends. I had a friend at University, and we were fairly good course mates, but I did not tell him about my parents deaths for over 2 years. I’m not sure why I find it so hard, I do not know if it’s because I am ashamed, or maybe it is because it makes me feel very vulnerable and that is not the impression I like to put across. If people ask me a direct question about my parents I will normally tell them, but if I can get away from having to do that I will try. Maybe it’s just the awkwardness of the whole conversation I hate.

    I’m pretty good day to day with the whole thing. I accept the fact that this is the situation I, and my brother and sisters, are in, and the best I can do is to get on with life. But every now and again, anniversaries of deaths, special occasions, seeing the extended family (who live in another country), hearing stories about mum, or dad, or even completely random occasions, like today, where a deep sadness emerges that cannot be shaken, I find it very difficult, and I think I always will.

  282. vishal said on April 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm ... #

    Hello all,

    I’m 24 years old I lost my Dad(I used to call him papa with love every time) when I was 11, The memory never fades away the day he was taken away from me, I never used to go to school on the special occasions, The day was November 11, 2001 day sunday, My bloody school on the bloody year kept a children’s day meet on sunday,Usually it happens to be on Novemer 14th every year, due to festival on 14th of the month they preponed it.

    My memory is as fresh as yesterday, I swear i never used to attend any special days meet in the school, I dnt know how i went to school that day, It was 8 am in the morning, my father pressed my dress and we were supposed to go to my grandparents house after coming back from school,My bus came an picked me up for school.

    I don’t remember my fathers last sight, my uncle came to my school on my father’s scooter and picked me up before my school left, it was 11:30 am, I was standing infront of the scooter and my uncle said my father passed away and i really felt the journey from my school to my house was that long, every one was there weeping in the hall, I did the cremation of my dad.

    I asked my mother only once, hw did this happened, she said it was just seconds and she said he held the back of the neck and screamed “pain” thats it.

    The day i left my school was my last in the school never returned to school to meet my friends, after 10 days of death we never returned to the home we lived, I always thought my father will be back again and will spend some time for many years i believed that some miracle going to happen.

    I even used to tell every one in my new school that my father was there. I stayed away from my dad and mom for four years in my granny’s house when i was in 1st grade till 4th grade, my dad used to come once a month to see me (he used to work for the government in a remote area where there were no schools), he then used to take me for a movie, i used to sleep beside him all the time, when i used to love throw my legs on his pot belly all the time when i used to sleep, he snores alot he snores loud like a bear.

    I’m writing this to get a bit pain away as I never shared it to any one.

    If there would be another life anywhere, I been praying all this years, to be your son till i die first.

    Love you papa.

  283. Amber Johnson said on April 21, 2014 at 8:19 pm ... #

    My mom died when I was 5 years old and I’ve heard her voice one time since, and that was on a video tape of my birth. I’ve stopped being a kid since then and I am 15 years old now. My grandparents have tried to fill in for her but obviously that’s not the same as having a mom. My dad has worked his butt off to take care of me and my two sisters, one older and one younger, and at times it’s been a struggle to keep up with bills. It’s better now. A few years ago I finally really realized that I don’t have a mother and I’m on my own. I know I have a family but I mostly try to take care of myself and be independent. I think I would probably take a year of my life to be with my mom for a day, but once I’m older and have a family of my own I will want to be with them for as long as I can and not take a year off my life. I will be with my mom forever in heaven and I will love it with all my heart. The day when I leave this world will come. Maybe today. Maybe in 80 years. Hopefully in 80 years, but you never know. Thank you for letting me share a little.

  284. Bri said on April 26, 2014 at 4:46 pm ... #

    I Was 16 When I Lost Both My Parents In An Auto Accident. I Feel Like I Tried To Be Strong For Too Long and now The Reality Is Crashing Around Me. I Feel More Lost Now Than I Ever Have And It Has Been Nearly 7 Years.

  285. Louise said on April 27, 2014 at 10:36 pm ... #

    Bri–I am so sorry for your great loss. I hope you can see from all these posts that you are not alone in your feelings. I posted earlier about my father’s death. I lived in denial of my true feelings about my father dying for years. He died when I was 2, and I didn’t really acknowledge my pain until I was in my 30’s. I hope you can find people to help you process your pain. If it helps, I will pray for you.

  286. chris said on April 29, 2014 at 6:39 pm ... #

    This year will be 40 years since my Dad died from cancer when I was 7. As I get older I wonder if Im like him, I feel sad that he has never seen his beautiful grandchildren. He missed so much.
    I had a few issues when I reached 38 the same age he was when he died. Im 46 now and on the outside am fine, have a lovely family and good job but every so often im down and wonder how my life would have been. I dont know his shoe size, his favourite colour or food. Questions I cant ask, Even now I can barely speak about him without tears.
    I try to keep positive, my Mum was amazing strong woman who loved my brother and me, and worked so hard to give us a childhood.I often think over that without his death I wouldnt have a stepdad whos fab and a sister I adore.
    I know now that this hurt is a part of me and will be with me forever.

  287. Vonn said on April 30, 2014 at 11:35 pm ... #

    I’m 34 now and lost my mom when I was 12 years old. I had the unfortunate pleasure to witnessing her having a stroke when she was making breakfast for my sister and I before school one morning. I’m still dealing with how that one single event has changed my entire life. I’m one of those kids that lost my childhood after her death. I grew up real fast and had to help my Dad on the farm after my mom passed.

  288. Angel said on May 1, 2014 at 5:18 am ... #

    Im 32 now and I lost my father when I was 12 years old. I still cry over it a lot… The wound never heals… But when my husband told me that he never wished to marry a girl who had lost her father(coz according to him, such children will not understand the value of relationships), i lost my life. I want to die and go to my father’s place now.

  289. patricia said on May 5, 2014 at 12:57 am ... #

    I was nine when my dad died of a heart attack. I was the only one at home when it happened. I was so afraid of my mother “losing it” that I never really grieved my own loss until much later in life. As a child I felt responsible for my mother’s emotions and remained hyper-vigilant concerning her emotional needs all my life. As you can imagine, this set me up for some serious codependency issues! I can see by the sheer length and breadth of this column that I am far from alone. I think it should be noted that the developmental age of the child at the time of the loss has a great impact on the effects of the loss in terms of how the child is effected.

  290. Chirs H said on May 11, 2014 at 10:53 am ... #

    I’ve written about my story before but sometimes it helps to write about it again. I was 11 when my father committed suicide by shooting himself through the head. I found his body. My mother died 4 years later from a drug overdose. I didn’t really come to terms with it all until many years later. I don’t think I’ve ever fully come to terms with it. There’s still so many emotions I feel that oftentimes I’m not even aware of.

    I agree that the developmental age of the child does have a great effect on how the child handles the loss. I also think the environment they are in following the loss effects how it is handled. When I was a teenager I did all I could to avoid getting the help I now know I truly needed. It’s amazing that several decades later and I can still feel the effect of my parents’ losses.

    Nobody who knows me now knows even half of he things I went through as a child and a young adult. Part of me is still a child inside. Part of me is still in the room where I found my father’s body in shock. Part of me is still sitting on that couch getting the news from my social worker that my mother’s body was found after she overdosed. There is a pit deep inside me that will never be filled. I can keep it covered most of the time but I can never fill it.

    I don’t know if I could give up one year of my life just for one more day with my parents. If my life is going to be as empty, lonely and meaningless as it is now I probably could just to have some answers and closure. If my life was filled with love and happiness probably not. But it’s a rhetorical question.

    I really feel for all of us who were children when we lost a parent and are still suffering. My heart goes out to any child who has lost a parent or loved one. You are not alone. I hope my writing may help someone even if just to realize you are not alone.

  291. Mary L. said on May 13, 2014 at 9:05 am ... #

    I wish I found this site a long time ago. Reading everyone’s post has had a profound effect on me.
    My mother died when I was 5 years old. I am 62 years old now and growing up without a mother is a challenge that no child should have to endure. I received no support and I probably should have been in therapy a long time ago.
    I realized now at 62 years how the loss of my mother has effected my relationships with female friends, my career and my general attitude about life.
    Reading the posts on this site has really opened my eyes. I am sorry to read about all the pain this has caused so many of you. But now I don’t feel alone anymore.

  292. Hi said on May 22, 2014 at 4:33 pm ... #

    Hi… so sorry for all of u :(

  293. Yoyo said on May 22, 2014 at 4:34 pm ... #

    :( :( :(

  294. Natasha masterson said on June 2, 2014 at 7:31 pm ... #

    Wow what an amazing site. Wish I’d found it sooner. So many sad stories, some that even make me feel that actually I don’t have it that bad, having lost my mum to cancer, when she was aged 50, I was 18. 3 days before Christmas one day before my birthday. Being an only child and living with just my mum all my life it hit me hard. She had been ill for many years. I am now aged 38 years and struggle a lot with not having her around. Our relationship at the time she died wasn’t perfect (as is probably normal at that age, teenage stuff) but I was holding her hand when she passed. Being an only child, I was next of kin and had the responsibility of decision making with regard to funeral arrangements, this was tough. I don’t remember much. I got back to normal life’ alone fairly quickly and it is only now that I’m realising I don’t think I grieved properly. As 20 years on I am struggling with life in general; my marriage is having problems and I feel this as a result of somehow of my unresolved grief. I do have a gorgeous 10 year old child who I love with all my heart, but worry about if I die why she is young. Tomorrow I am going for my first bereavement counselling session…. 20 years on!!! Not sure what to expect but I’m going to give a try.

  295. Connie said on June 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm ... #

    Hi Chris H.

    You and and I have something in common. Both my parents died the same night from a horrific tragedy. Suicide was the case. I am probably no the same girl I would have been if they raised me. Instead I find myself resilient, stubborn at times, depressed when things affect me and most of all I huge sense of lost, void in my heart. I’m an adult but as you mentioned in your story, part of me is also like a child, stuck in the that time when I lost them and I was the older sibling and cried calling the police for help. I was envious of people that had help from parents during important life changes and for the ones that did it normally but I was like them. Normal. Graduated high school went to college. But I’m just warn out now from not having them near. I don’t have motivation and am stuck in so many ways. I hope one day you will find peace , a partner or a network of friends that will live life fully with you and not just by you.

  296. Jason said on June 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm ... #

    Hi My name is Jason. This article drew me in on the first sentence. I am 32 and I lost my mother to cancer when I was 9 and my dad to suicide when I was 23. My dad fought for years to save my mother did everything he could to learn up on leukaemia and the drugs and treatments assosiated with it. But in the end the dessease was to much for my moms fragile body to handle. He was never the same after that day in 93, he never planed to raise 3 young boys by himself. I being the baby never really recovered and still have problems dealing with it today. I was ok with my mom maybe cause it happened when I was so young or maybe because it out of her control and we and the Dr.’s did all we could do. My dad was a whole other story tho, he was my rock and my hero. He was in Vietnam and seen many things that no one would ever want to see and to watch a prod man like him deteriorat in front of me and eventually take his own life screwed me up more than I could ever imagine. That day changed my life forever and now I’m scared I will never be normal again. It affect my job my love life everything and I’ve tried for the last ten years to get over it and just when I think I’m ok the depression and anxiety creeps back up. At this point I don’t know if I’ll ever be normal again and if I had the chance I would give up 10 years of my life to see them both again for even a moment. I fear of being alone the rest of my life, I fear I’ll have the same fate as the old man cause I’m so emotionly scared I’ll never be able to love again. I’m entering therapy shortly because my newest relation is failing because of these fears. If that doesn’t work then I’m at a loss cause I will not go back on meds. That’s an easy out and fixes nothing.

  297. Chris H said on June 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm ... #

    Hi Connie,

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you find peace too. Like you said, I did things the “normal” people my age did. Went to college. Got a job. But I still feel so lost and so like I’m not normal. It’s funny because most people who know me come to me for advice and call me the voice of reason. If they only knew how I really felt inside.

    I don’t have motivation either. I have been stuck in so many ways for so long. I know I’m the only one who can make things change. Whenever you feel lost or stuck I hope you remember that you’re not alone. You’re not that same girl who lost her parents that night. You are resilient because you’re still here. You’ve done things to better your life. You and I are different from others in what we’ve had to endure, but that doesn’t mean we are any different. It may be hard to feel differently at times but it’s true. I’ve felt that same envy too. But instead we should feel proud that we’ve made it as far as we have.

  298. Chris H said on June 12, 2014 at 9:11 pm ... #

    Hi Jason,

    I’m sorry to read your post of all you have been though. I hope therapy helps. I can relate to a lot of what you said. You at least have taken chances on relationships. Something I have a difficult time even trying.

    You have to remember that you are not your father. You do not have to follow the same path. We all have choices in life. We are not predestined to do what our father’s did. Never give up hope. Your Dad has been though so much and couldn’t deal with life. You don’t have to follow the same path. You don’t have to be alone either if you work on it in therapy.

    I hope you find some way to come to terms with all that life has dealt you. Life isn’t fair. We just have to make the best of it. You’re not alone.

  299. Deniz Demirel said on June 17, 2014 at 4:10 pm ... #

    Touching stories indeed. I lost my dad at the age of 8 during an earthquake (1999 Turkey). I never received help .. neither from family , I had to cope with it myself. I did drugs and made alot of mistakes. It was a rough ride. Suicide was always in the back of my mind. The feeling of being a kid was gone , yes .. It hurt really bad because when I went to swimming lessons no one was there for me .. while all the other kids had their mother hug them and cheer for them , I was alone. These little things have big impacts on a kids life. I’m 23 years old now and wiser. Life goes on .. I try to see the positive side of things , even when there aren’t any. It made me strong but also a serious and boring person.

    My advice , families should pay attention to their children , even talk with them about their feelings. We have a saying in Turkish. Cocuk kandirmak , which means ”fooling a child” by telling a lie to cover the truth. But you can’t fool a child .. a child can hide so much .. I know I did. Laughing when you have a broken heart inside. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about it , but also a smile. I’m still alive and well.

  300. Ammie said on June 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm ... #

    My best friend’s father died of cancer when she was 3 years old, she has a twin brother and older brother and her mother. She is 16 and now realising the effects of her father’s death on her and how she goes about coming into contact with people especially boys. She feels as though because her father and other male figures in her life have left her she does not want to love someone because she is worried that she’ll have her heart broken again.

    As her best friend I want to know whether this can be overcome, and what I can do to help her because I can’t bare to see her in pain because of her father’s death.

    Thank you

  301. Perla said on June 27, 2014 at 12:30 am ... #

    Hi Everyone,
    I lost my father when I was three from an accident. He was assaulted and killed and was found three days later. I didn’t know my dad had passed away until months later. My mom had told me he was in out of town but time had passed and I realized he was taking to long. We went to Mexico that year for the summer where he was supposed to be at and wasn’t so my mom then told me the truth. She wanted to protect me because she knew I would be devastated and I was. The death of my father created a big impact in my life.

    Today, I am 17 years old and there’s not one day i do not miss my father. My fathers presence died when he died. Nobody really talks about my father at home and when my mother does, she somethings brings out the negative things he did to her when he was alive. I was my fathers favorite and the strongest thing of all is that I look like him and act like him. My sister was younger when he passed away but her effect has not been as big as mines. My older brother was not affected as much either because it was not his father.
    My mom is a wonderful woman who has cared for me and my siblings. She met someone a few years later who she had been dating for years and finally married about a year a go. I love and respect my step dad but it will never be the same.
    Since my father died, I him been living a lonely life. Most of my family seems to be happy now but I do no find happiness in my life.There are moments in my life when I do feel happy but still feel like I have something missing.
    I have anger problems sometimes and sometimes I just want to be mean to others because I feel like life is not fair with me. Although I love school and I have good grades and plan to attend college, I have a hard time keeping my relationships with people. I get tired of people easily and push them away from my life. It also makes me mad when I have friends my age who always talk about their dad and spending time with them because I don’t know what that feels like.
    Recently, iv’e had a few problems with family and school and the absence of my dad has hit me even more. I feel very lonely and I feel like I have nobody to talk to. I wonder what my life would be like if my dad was alive because i’m sure he would be so proud of me. I am scared that I wont find happiness in my self for the rest of my life.
    My mom has been suggesting for me to seek for professional help for a long time already but I don’t want to. I am glad I found this website because I feel like there are our people out their who understand you, although I wished I would have found it sooner.

  302. Toni said on July 1, 2014 at 10:33 pm ... #

    hey everyone,
    i lost my mother at the age of 12.(im 20 now). she was always very sick throughout my childhood. she was always in and out of hospitals and had a lot of close calls, but always pulled through she was a fighter(she had type 2 diabetes, asthma, lung problems and heart problems) so not even a month after my 12th birthday the worst happened i losr not only a mother but a best friend. the day started off happy we were celebrating that me and my mother were moving into a new house in a better area and then night hit and we were driving to my sisters house to drop her off and we had to hurry and get home cause my mothers oxygen tank was getting low. somehow we lost the car keys and it took about and an hour to find so we hurried up and left after that, but on the way home she rolled down here window and was struggling to breath. i had a bad feeling expeshally after she told me she needed a hospital.(she hated hospitals and only went when nessary) i told her i loved her and she said it back. then she went uncountios at the wheel(she pulled over first)i didnt know what to do. i had no phone available and it was pouring rain, lightning and thundering out. i rolled down my window and cryed for help. no one would at first but finally someone did.( i had a panic attack for the first time that night) i rode in a cop car to the hospital and stayed the night. the next day they said she wasnt going to make it. a lack of oxygen in her brain and that she would be a vegitable. so we took her off life support. i have never cried so hard in my life. plus on to off all this i was still dealing about my parents devorce. it was just soo much to take in. after that my grades started to slip, i became a loner and didnt socialize as much as i used to. i also started bottling up my feelings. i felt alone. i have an older brother and sister but they coped with it better they understood more.(they are nine and ten years older than me)i even talked to a shcool conserler but it didnt help. i just felt like no one really understood what i went through. you know? now i am 20 and i am a little better since then but i still have nightmares of that day and i always tause and turn in my sleep and never feel 100% rested.i still keep emotions bottled up and i hate it. i lash out on people i love and i dont mean to. and it hard this year becuase im getting married in a month and i wish she could be there soo badly. i get depressed and dont have the drive to do anything and on top of that icant find a job it sucks. my fiance says to see a professional but now since i found this website i dont think ill have to. it has helped me cope a little better and not make me feel like im the only person goin through this. i hope my story helps others with grieving better. we all just have to take it a day at a time. its all we can do. we are going to have our good days and bad days. i just wish i found this site sooner.

  303. Annie said on July 5, 2014 at 11:38 pm ... #

    I lost my mom to cancer when I had just turned 17 she fought a losing battle for 2 years. She was my dads best friend he couldn’t cope & turned to alcohol that first couple of years after her death. I carried around so much guilt about her death for years. I was a typical teenager so I wasn’t exactly pleasant to her most normal teens grow up & get to make up for those hellish years I never got that chance , I also felt extremely guilty that my mom even though she was out of it most of the time died in the hospital late ast night alone that guilt eats me up even now even 25 years later. When I was 19 my dad married my stepmom I will admit we had a rough start but I grew to love my stepmom I have 2 kids & she was their grandma, she was in the delivery room when my daughter was born. She was my stepmom for 23 years in 2011 I go a phone call from my dad that my stepmom was being life flighted to a major hospital, she had an aneurysm/ stroke I stayed at that hospital with my dad for a week sleeping on hospital couches staying up all night holding her hand reading her the bible she loved to read the bible I was determined to not carry around that guilt again I spent every possible minute I could just holding her hand and talking to her & when decisions had to be made it was my shoulders that mostly carried those I had to id her body before creamation because I couldn’t stand to see my dad suffer anymore my stepmom was my mom for over 20 years she’s been gone 3years this feb the worst part was having to tell my kids- and now my father has his girlfriend’s (of maybe 3 months )daughter facebook message me that we are going to be step sisters cuz he thought that would be funny & that’s how I found out he is now engaged to this woman I barely know- I realize he is lonely & no I don’t want him to be alone but I find it unfair of him after the 2 hells I have already been through to ask me to accept another stranger as family into my life, I can deal with his “lady” friends as long as I have that buffer ya know that’s his part of life don’t include me please….. I just cannot cope with thinking about having to pick up the peices again. And I’m not exactly thrilled with how he thought id be ok with how he told me then when he knew how mad I was he put her on the phone I can’t even go into that conversation let’s just say I was speechless- sorry this turned into such a vent but after coping with losing my mom then my step mom I kinda just wanted to have a relationship with my dad not dad plus “new” wife. I am having a very hard time dealing with this almost to the point I just want to disassociate from him & I don’t want to do that I love my dad very much!!!!

  304. S said on July 5, 2014 at 11:49 pm ... #

    The article and many of the comments hit home.

    My mom died from cancer when I was 15. I was her favorite child. I can say this because I was her only child. :) Well, I was my dad’s only child too. As far as I know.

    Anyway, this paragraph of the story fits me to a T, and is what prompted me to leave a comment:

    “The early loss of a parent can make some people more resilient, responsible and independent, the research shows. But there are risks there, too. Kids who get through by being stoic and behaving like adults often “pay a fierce price—namely their childhoods,” says Ms. Hughes. They focus on trying to keep their surviving parent happy or on stepping up to handle the responsibilities of their deceased parent.”

    Being an only child, I already was independent. After my mom died, my independence increased exponentially as I did the laundry, the cooking, etc. I cared for my father much more than he cared for me. I venture to say I was one of the only 15-year-olds around to have his father’s credit card to buy the necessities. It was the early 1980s.

    My childhood ended at age 15. Well, actually, about a year earlier … when mom got sick. It sucks. And it really sucks since I have no siblings.

    Enter eventual stepmother into the picture. She and my dad met in the worst place imaginable: a grief-support group. They began dating less than a year after my mom died. The first time I met her was when they had come to our house to use the oven because hers was on the fritz. My dad didn’t know how to turn it on, so I had to show them. I wish I were making this up. I was, as the newspaper story says, stepping up to handle the responsibilities of the deceased parent.

    Dad and stepmother got married between my junior and senior years of high school. The years that followed were, looking back, unconscionable. After I went to college, they changed the locks on the house and told me to ring the doorbell and use the front door — of my own house! You should’ve seen the look on my first therapist’s face when I told her that one. Stepmother banished my dog to the garage and then had her “put to sleep” because my pet was elderly and started peeing on the carpet.

    This was the “thanks” I got for taking care of my father.

    And oh it gets better. Or worse. After I got my first job at age 22 in a small city three hours from their home (it wasn’t *my* home because they left that town and moved to a fancy suburb), it took them nearly two years to come visit me. The two decades that followed were — looking back — a concerted effort to drive me away, and to bring her kids in closer. I won’t bore you with the details. My therapists have already heard them … and my second one flatly said that he was surprised I had turned out “so normal.” :)

    Why the effort to drive me away? For 25 years I wondered, but now, well into my 40s I have more than a sneaking suspicion: Because there’s family money in the picture. My dad’s. Stepmother has been been feathering the nest since the early 1980s. And I didn’t start wising up till I started to get gray hair. Sad.

    So Dad died a few years ago. The preceding years were punctuated by several instances of complaints about me not being there for them, not meeting their expectations. What a load of crap.

    By then, the damage had been done. He was barely my father. I miss my mom about a million times more than him. My dad simply was not a strong enough person to be able to maintain a relationship with an only son and a second wife at the same time. That’s the sad truth.

    For a quarter decade I blamed myself for this. I thought … if only I had been a better son, etc. Well, that’s B.S. I’m the one who came out of this situation stronger. My father is the one who came out weaker. His death was, in many ways, liberating.

    Still, in the last year in particular, I’ve been thinking how things would’ve been different if my mom were still around … had she not died when I was 15. I don’t care about the family money as much as I care about vindication and validation … that I’m OK, and that this whole damn situation is not … and it’s not my fault.

    So … I still grieve for my mom, though it’s been more than 30 years since she died. Sorry, I don’t grieve for my dad. When I hear about a kid whose parent has died, I cannot help but hope for the best … that mom or dad won’t get married to soon, and for the wrong reasons, etc.

    Because I don’t wish this situation on anybody.

  305. Riatsala said on July 10, 2014 at 6:24 am ... #

    This is such a great place for sharing!

    I am a 32 year old teacher who lost my mum when I was 16. I was probably her favourite and have a younger sister and older brother but it hit me the hardest. For years I was numb, I didn’t cry at all when she died and it didn’t appear to affect me, although my motivation declined to a level I was doing the minimum to get through. I think I still do this because deep down I don’t really care about much.

    I had a relationship a few years later that I thought was the one, but when that failed again I just shut down my emotions – for 7 years (amazing how a smile can fool people!) It took another bad breakup to unblock many of the emotions and I went through major depression and nearly ended it. After battling through that I have reached a point of compromise. I don’t feel great but I don’t feel numb or depressed so much.

    My mum was with a friend when she started having a fit. I called the ambulance and my dad to come over. They left and I carried on as normal. After my mum died my dad got a new relationship 7 months later to a woman who went on to emotionally abuse me while my dad did nothing. The overwhelming emotion is anger but I know from experience anger is so futile.

    Talking about it does help me to manage my emotions – it’s like turning down the gas when the pot is boiling over, but it will never help me to resolve it. You start to realise as you get older that you have to compromise your emotional state and you may never be ‘whole’ again.

  306. Kiki said on July 19, 2014 at 12:50 am ... #

    I lost my father 14 days before turning 3, on the worst December of my life, 27 years ago. And here I am looking for help because I cant get over it. Its really hard trying to explain the feeling of abandonment, how sad it is to dream at night my father was returning from work, that he is there to defend you from mean kids and promises he’ll never leave again… and then you wake up. To hear your mother say she has dedicated her life to you over and over, therefore making me feel like shit because I ruined her life, like it was my fault that she could never move on. Having people tell you your mother has been both mother and father, which couldnt be further away from reality, as she became a provider, I did lost her “motherly” side, she was always exhausted, worried, angry and of course depressed.

    There was never a good time to discuss my grief, because I felt that if I spoke about it I was hurting her, and being a burden was already enough. I grew up to be a bit cold as I felt I always had myself to stand up for me and nobody else, to not wanting a relationship because I feel like he will eventually die and I’ll be miserable like my mother, and to not wanting to have children because I dont want them to suffer like I do. I know that is nonsense to think the stories will repeat, but I cant find a way around that fear, if you have any ideas please share. I wish for all of you the light I havent been able to find.

  307. Jimmy said on July 21, 2014 at 9:40 am ... #

    In march this year I lost my wife unexpectedly, we have three children ages 6, 2 and seven months. The boys are doing good so far it was rough the first couple months on them. It’s hard.

  308. Jess said on July 31, 2014 at 12:20 am ... #

    I lost my mom to a brain tumor when I was 15. I’m 23 now and I’m just starting to come out of a serious depression/depersonalization.

    The doctors found the tumor on the day I was born. My parents couldn’t take care of me while this was going on, and my dad recently told me that I didn’t live with them until I was four months old. One of my earliest memories is when I was 4 and I saw my mom having a seizure on the kitchen floor on top of my newborn baby sister. I was alone at the time and I somehow was able to move my mom into my sisters crib. I don’t remember how I did that, but I do remember putting my sister to bed in her babydoll’s wooden rocker. I didn’t think much of it then, but the images from that day have started to haunt me lately…

    I remember things very clearly and have a near photographic memory when I focus on committing things to mind and I think it’s because of that early experience. There was never a time that I can remember not knowing about my mom’s illness. When she died, I shut down completely. I faked my way through emotions when I had to but I spent a solid 9 years not feeling much of anything (I was 13 when Mom started to really decline and was verbally abused and emotionally neglected by her and my dad for most of Middle school, then souley by my dad for High school and early College). I’m getting better, slowly but surely, but it’s my little sister that I’m worried about.

    She tells me that she can’t remember much of her childhood and since Mom died when she was 11, I worry that she might think she doesn’t remember her either. We’ve talked about our childhood and growing up together, and she’s told me things that I had forgotten so I know she DOES have those memories in there. I just don’t know if she knows that…

    My sister is 19 and a very… extreme person. Where I dealt with things by shutting down emotionally and retreating from the world, she did the opposite. She threw herself into the social scene of drinking and doing drugs (pill-popping, mostly) and started cutting herself, smoking cigarettes, and putting on a lot of weight since she hit puberty.

    I’m very worried about her but I don’t know what to do to help… It’s only recently that I’ve even started to FEEL things again and I worry that it was my emotional distance that contributed to her self-destruction. I just want to help her, but I don’t know what to do other than lead by example. I’ve lost nearly 60lbs since last year and have been trying to improve myself in all aspects of my life but my sister has just seemed to get worse. Now I worry that she may be becoming resentful of me for my old memories and new successes.

    We live together in an apartment now. It was my choice to move, but a few days after I had told him of my plans, my dad kicked her out after he found out she had stopped (or never started) going to College. He just proposed to a woman with the French spelling of my sister’s first name a few days ago… (The name thing REALLY bothers her and I don’t blame her for that). We’ve been out of the house for less than a week and even I can’t help but feel replaced at this turn of events.

    I just want to help her. She’s sweet, funny, clever, loyal to a fault and willing to do anything for someone she cares about. But she has no self confidence, self esteem, or self respect and I don’t know how to give those things to her…

    The stress is getting to me. I’m not okay either, and learning to have emotions again is hard enough without seeing the state my sister is in. Like nearly everyone here I will never get over what happened to my mom or to myself when I was younger… But I don’t want to lose my sister, too so I have to be strong. She shouldn’t have to worry about me. I’m her big sister, I have to make sure she’s okay.

  309. Carl V. Lewis said on July 31, 2014 at 5:00 am ... #

    I, too, am humbled and saddened by these stories. I lost my dad to melanoma at 22 (he was 48) and my mom to medical malpractice (negligence) 15 months later after a nurse forgot to remove her PICC line before discharge for a minor fall. She was also 48, and a beautiful woman inside and out. And now my dad’s family and business partners are trying to embezzle every penny my parents left my brother and I. We get nothing. They planned it all along while my dad had melanoma. We just have to pay taxes on it that we can’t afford nor have any say in.

  310. Joan Johnson said on August 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm ... #

    Stay strong, life does go on. My mom passed away from an anoxic brain injury after getting a cavities filled at a dentist office. Went into a coma and passed away almost 5 yrs ago in 2010. I grieve everyday for her we were very close. I am working on becoming a Nurse and music teacher. I am 30 yrs old she passed away when I was 25 yrs old and in college. I keep strong in my faith and know we will connect again in heaven and this keeps me strong everyday. Joanne my mother is a great person and nice in every way.

  311. John Carlson said on August 13, 2014 at 10:34 am ... #

    I wish there was this support “back in the day”. My Mom and Dad were divorced before I had any memory of my father. My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer, in 1977, when I was 13. Later that same year, my brother, my only living relative, left home for college and I became my mother’s caretaker. She passed away when I was 16. I went on to attend college, get married, and have two children. All these years later I only recently have realized that I had become a caretaker for the people in my life, from my mom to my wife (who was comfortable in the role of being cared for), and then my children. But I was lonely. What I lacked was someone that knew how to take care of me. I fell in love with a women who had lost her father when she was 12 and her mother years later. My marriage ended badly, of course, but I finally found a real partnership and relationship. I lost many friends in the process, my friend’s parents who were my “adoptive” parents, and my daughter won’t talk to me. I think I was so busy trying to please everyone, looking for a kind of parental approval that I can never remember receiving. If you’re just starting down this road, make sure you don’t ignore the so called “Orphan’s Syndrome” of replacing love with approval or acceptance. Peace to all.

  312. hard said on August 26, 2014 at 8:42 pm ... #

    My mother died when I was 4 and my sister was 1. I have no recollection of it, except for an incident where blood was on the fridge and there was a lot of crying and screaming. She died of misdiagnosed breast cancer and had the BRCA1 gene. My father remarried, and that was a botch. That cow took everything he had and mistreated me and my sister. After that, he became a recluse and died an alcoholic. I was not permitted to ever ask questions about my mother, ask her name or anything of the sort – I didn’t know her name until I was in my late teens and a relative told me. The relative (and aunt who also died of breast cancer) told me that I cried for a year when my mother died but I have no memory of that. My father tried to strangle my stepmother at the foot of my bed when I was 10 and I think he was jailed for that or there was extreme trouble. I left home at 16 and started injecting morphine, taking acid, pot, mushrooms, sniffing petrol everything I could get my hands on. At an earlier age, I would capture stray dogs at night (I would have been around 12 or so) and torture them with cigarettes, cut them etc. I was extremely intelligent – still am. I achieved scholarships to uni etc without really trying. I was aimless and hitch hiked a lot, all over the country, and met my future wife. I went back to her city (hitchhiked around 5000km to get there, including over a desert), completed my tertiary studies, became an exec and made a lot of money. Then I got caught for sex crimes and went to jail. That was 15 years ago. I now work, we are happy and live in a mortgage free two storey house in an excellent suburb. Two kids, 6 grandchildren. I am hard though, hard in the heart and probably the soul. I don’t have a lot of mercy. The loss of my mother, the effect on my father, the strange way I was brought up – basically, not having a mother in your life and losing her at an early age can harden your heart to other people’s suffering. However, I don’t feel animosity to the world – or at least, I don’t think I do.

  313. Navjot said on September 5, 2014 at 7:00 am ... #

    Hi all..I am from india..my mother died on 18th august this year to cancer..my father died 3 years back to Parkinson’s disease.
    I loved my mother a lot and she is my heaet.
    I looked after her for 8 months..and being in medical profession, I thought that it would be easier to cope with this loss.
    I was so wrong..I feel devastated all the time..nothing gives me happiness.
    All I remember of is when my mom collapsed in front of my eyes.
    Not a day in my life of 32years had passed that I hadn’t spokeb to her but now that won’t be anymore.
    My whole life seems a waste when I cant even talk to her or hear her voice.
    I think I would not be able to be happy again.
    She left me and took away my happiness with her.
    I miss her every second.

  314. Marie said on September 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm ... #

    Just found this forum it’s wonderful. I lost my husband 5 years ago after a long battle with cancer (10 years) my daughter was very young and since he passed she has been struggling with depression. She is now 16 1/2 years old. She has been to counceling during his illness, after his death and still is today. I lost my father (we were very close) when I was 13 1/2 and burried him the day before my birthday. He died at 41, was hit by a car.
    I did struggle a lot during my teenage years, but it made me resilient and stronger but not without scars.

  315. Joe said on September 26, 2014 at 6:47 pm ... #

    I lost mine at age 11, mom on xmas day, 72, dad a week after my 11th B-day. it was awful too. I help others with it, as there are so many of us with this experience. Kids esp need all the help they can get, I did not get any help as the town in lived in had little support save for alkies.

  316. emerald said on October 7, 2014 at 2:31 pm ... #

    i lost both of my parent at the age of 4. my mom was killed by mom dad and right after he shot himself.i have 4 other sister and 3 of them are older but the youngest one was in thye room when it happened. i dont remember any of exept for my parent on the groung and the phone were all dead so we couldnt call for help. it affect me through out my life and i will kill for a another day with my parents. i dont even remeber what they looked like. ever since that day i have became angry all the time. people always telling to go talk to someone but it doesnt help.i am tried of being mad all the time.

  317. Deborah Goodman said on October 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm ... #

    I think we all have a choice, whether we can see or feel it at the time, but eventually we know we have a choice to either SINK or SWIM when it comes to dealing with life after the death of a loved one, and in particular, a beloved family member, a parent, a sibling or both. Certainly, losing a child is in another category, which I saw from my mother who lost her daughter, my sister, when she was 22 (I was 17). My mom died nine years later.
    She told me to have a good life, and I honor that request as best I can.
    Its better to help others than to obsess on the pain. It is lonely when you are younger and no one else in your peer group can understand your reality anymore, and yet..we must go on, and in so doing, go on to be more than we thought we could be. Thats what they want for us. Lets all try.

  318. Maria said on October 7, 2014 at 10:57 pm ... #

    Raised by my mother, my father passed away from hepatitis c when I was one and a half years old. I am now 42 years old and a great part of me can’t seem to let go of the anger, the feeling of being cheated, or the never-ending sense of abandonment. Since I have no memory of him, as a child I created a persona that consists of everyone else’s memories of him-a superman of sorts. A man who can do no wrong, a father who would have protected me at any cost. Our family patriarch. I struggled academically through out my childhood. My mother became a widow at 26 and never dated/married again. Her depression was all consuming. My mother’s family from Italy moved in with us when I was 6. There was no structure and they took liberties discipling me. I grew up desiring the nuclear family. Less chaos, less noise, less dysfunction. I wanted to be Vanessa on the Cosby Show, shoot, I wanted Bill Cosby to be my dad. Because of my broken home life i seeked refuge a the community college where i began to excel in my studies and eventually went away to a 4 year university and earned my BA. Here I sit a grown woman grieving for someone I don’t remember or know for that matter.I once had a dream that he and I spent the day together, I do not recall looking him in the eyes, however in my dream there was an intense feeling of his presence. In the end he told me I had to go now.I don’t remember much more but only that I wanted more time. I observed the relationships that others have with their fathers and instead of being logical about the situation I become bitter, slighted, saddened by this unfortunate Fate.I do not blame others, God, or the doctors. It is what it is. The phenomenon that I long for someone I do not know, a father and daughter relationship that was never meant to be, and a past, future, especially a present that we will never share leaves me with a hollowness I cannot fill. I live a life that I as a child would have envied. A supportive husband, two intelligent and loving children who make my life worth living to the fullest. Sometimes it’s just hard being stoic and feeling like most people will never understand this grief. I am very happy to have found this site. Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings and thoughts. It’s a difficult thing to do.

  319. MM said on October 28, 2014 at 2:10 pm ... #

    I just found this forum today and I’m grateful. Yesterday was the 28th anniversary of my fathers death from a heart attack. I was 15 I’m now 43. It still affects me in certain ways. I’m finally realizing that in the past few years. My mother died 9 years after my dad. Both were sudden, no warning. My sister and I were left with the emotions, grief and mess after that plus our 88 yo grandmother we had to take care of. Although I was older, 24, when my mom died it was much harder in a way. I always compared it to losing an eye (weird but it works), losing a parent is like losing an eye, you still have one left but after losing both your completely blind. I always suppressed the idea that these two events should affect my life long term. How could it not, right? But I didn’t want to use it as an excuse in life for sympathy or special treatment. Now, I realize, why the hell not?! Of course it affected me, not just in the traditional bereavement sense but a more deeper phycological one.

    I completely relate to the idea of “touchstones” they helped me out tremendously and still do. Also, the idea of behaving like adults and being stoic but losing their childhoods, trying to keep their surviving parent happy and stepping up to handle responsibilities…My sister and I did this after our father died. With our mother we were adults although young but just starting out with our lives. Two crucial times in our lives.

    How has it affected me? I believe when I was in high school I took on that stoic, adult like quality. Not that I thought I was better than anyone but I also took on an air of “I know something about life you don’t” and all the usual high school things that kids go through and just enjoying that time was somewhat lost on me. I thought it was petty, stupid and I couldn’t wait to get out and on to college.

    College…I know for a fact that if my dad had been still living I would have gone away to college but my sister and I both commuted to college. We both felt bad about leaving our mom alone. We wanted to stay and help her take care of the house as well as our grandmother. My life would have been much different had I gone away and not just that. Gone away knowing both my parents were still around.

    After college things were good, I was ready to take on the world. A year after I finished student teaching my mother died from an aneurism. My sister and I were now blind, emotionally speaking. We went into high gear and was almost automatic and did what we had to do. Deciding on pulling the plug (brain dead), deciding on organ donation, dealing with creditors (they come out of the woodwork when someone dies), taxes, the house, our grandmother. My sister was married only 6 months prior and living an hour away. My brother-in-law and I built an apartment for my grandmother in their new house.That’s what I did that summer at age 24.and then we sold our mom’s house which I was living in…moved in with them for 1 1/2 years.

    After that it was several years of taking care of our grandmother and eventually deciding to put her into a nursing home which two grandchildren should NEVER have to do.

    I read another post on here where someone lost their dad when they were young and realized that they know nothing about women and get paranoid when things are good that the other shoe is about to drop. I can relate to that. When a 15 year old boy loses his father that father-son connection is gone. Fathers have a way of kicking their son’s in rear (metaphorically) to get out there and experience life and to learn from them.

    I have good friends but they don’t really understand what its like. They all have their parents…still and my friends are in their 40’s. Sometimes, hanging out with friends and their mom and dad on special occasions I want to leave because I wish I had the same thing and it just reminds me of what I don’t have and haven’t had for a long time. Thank God I have my sister she’s the only one who understands what it’s like. And we got through it together. I’ve told my sister out of all that negative there can be positives and we came out of it closer and stronger with the great memories of our parents.

    I’m doing well but once in a while all this creeps up on you even after 28 years. I realize it will never go away completely but as you age you learn more about yourself and this forum has helped.

    To get life advice from either parent, to be nagged by them, hear corny stories from them, hear from my mom if I’m eating enough, have a beer with my dad…

    Lose a year to spend with either of my parents? How about 2 years for each. That’s a no brainer.

  320. Alan said on November 2, 2014 at 6:58 pm ... #

    When I was seven months old my Dad was killed by a drunk driver . Am nearly fifty years old and still hoping to awaken and to find this was a nightmare . There have been many challenges, where I think having the influence and guidance of my Dad would have made a big difference . I have two older brother who left home as soon as they could , and moved far away . They rarely visited and stayed distant . This made me feel like I should stay in this little town and take care of our Mother . Soon after her funeral not surprisingly I have not talked to my brothers since . My brothers are successful I am not .
    Am depressed ,hopeless ,negative , and usually near broke . Have had so much family heritage and influence taken from me by the drunk driver who killed my Dad .
    I Do enjoy life it just gets tougher to feel as the years add up .

  321. Amber Wilson said on November 7, 2014 at 8:52 am ... #

    I was almost two when my mom died in a car accident. I’m 20 now. My sister and I were in the car with her, but we both survived. For a long time I thought my mom was trying to kill us bc she knew my dad was sexually abusing us. I could deal with that thought. But, here in the last few weeks i found out that before my mom died she was going to counseling bc she was gang raped by a few of my cousins when she was my age. It had never bothered her until she had two lithe girls & she become terrified it would happen to them. So, that let me know that she did not know about the abuse. My dad became a single father of two girls that he never even wanted. That lead to him drinking and doing drugs. He was arrested for psychical, psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse on both mine and my sister’s account when i was 8 years old. He plead guilty and got 20 years no parol the summer before i turned 10 years old. I went through a rough patch a couple years later and got into a lot of trouble, but something within me told me that if i kept going down this road i would be in the same place my parents were; either dead or in prison. So, i got my 14 year old life together & got involved in sports at school and graduated in the top 10 of my class. I came straight to University and I’m studying to be a social worker. I would like to open up a foster home later in life so i can help some of the kids that were like me at one point.

  322. Winter Inside said on December 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm ... #

    I lost my father when I was 2 years old due to a drug overdose, after that my mother sent me off to live with my grandmother on my father’s side and she took off, continuing to do drugs and drink she was in and out of rehab centers a few times and eventually moved across the country with a new guy, 6 years passed between my father’s death and her move. At 8 years old I remember late night/early morning getting the call that she too had passed away, she was abused and beaten by this guy and eventually thrown down a flight of stairs. I remember feeling nothing at the time, neither for my father’s passing or my mothers. I continued to be a quiet emotionless but well behaved child for all my time growing up, never given any outlet for any grieving or any way to cope I just buried it as time went on, I moved out on my own when I turned 18 and still continued in this cloud of an emotionless detached haze, only as I approached my mid 20’s have I started to really delve into the feelings I buried for so long, at first they started to flood back, it has been so hard to deal with, now at the age of 27 I feel the effects of everything, I have a loving fiancé now for the last 5 years but I fear that because of everything I am a detached individual that has problems opening up, trusting, or showing any true emotion, I can see these problems and yet cannot change them. I wonder all the time what life would be like had they still been alive, and I fear I will be like this forever.

  323. John said on February 5, 2015 at 11:16 am ... #

    I am glad I found this forum I thought I was the only one but now I know I have community. My father and mother passed away when I was one years for unknown reasons. It was forty day in between their death; I have done well for myself managing my live from small town in one of the poorest countries in the world through civil war, refugee camp and adjusting live in the USA. I can’t put In Writing all the experiance I went through to make long story short. With all the success i manage to have I have hard time relating to people. Plse keep running the page for us. This is my community.

  324. julie said on February 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm ... #

    I’ve felt less lonely reading your stories. The only happy memory I have of my childhood is the time passed with my maternal grandfather who died from cancer when I was ten.
    The other memories are horrible: my parents fighting, my mother insulting me, tears and sadness. My mother always abused me, she was very cruel and very ill. She was mentally unstable and killed herself in a violent way when I was 16. She was 42. I don’t miss her, but I miss having a mother. I’ve never had that kind of love most people take for granted.
    My father never protected me from my mother’s abuse, he has never cared about me when I was a little girl but he thinks to be perfect and a saint. I don’t have anyone I can call family, no siblings, no one. My maternal grandmother is like my mother, she always says horrible things and I prefer to have no contact with her. My relatives witnessed what I went through as a kid but nobody helped me.
    People don’t believe someone can have such a horrible childhood without anyone noticing it or helping but it happened to ME. It happened to me but it’s like it never happened.
    I felt sorry reading your stories. Kids shouldn’t suffer so much.

  325. lil764 said on February 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm ... #

    I was 17 years old when my dad died from a terminal illness last year. He was diagnosed when I was 12 years old, so I lost a huge chunk of my childhood helping my family care for him. To be told as a 12 year old Daddy’s girl that he is going to be taken away in the very near future is something I refused to come to terms with. I shut it off from the outside world, even from my friends as it was such an intense topic to bring up at such a young age, when their biggest fears was moving to high school. After watching him suffer for 5 long years and feeling so helpless, the weekend finally came when I laid in his bed and held his hand fighting back the tears because I didn’t want him to think I had given up. I woke up on Monday morning, my mum telling me he had perked up a little bit, so I went to college as normal. When I came home, my mum and grandad were waiting for me on the driveway, eyes full of tears and arms wide open and I knew what was coming. I collapsed onto the driveway and screamed and screamed, unable to get up because my body had become paralysed with the realisation and the heartache. My two older siblings came out and we just sat on the floor and held each other, until my brother carried me inside. I haven’t spoken to anyone about that day just over a year ago, and it haunts me every time I go to sleep. It’s the loneliest feeling in the world, as I am the youngest of 3 and I am the only one still living at home with my mum.
    I struggle with the loss every single day. I completely agree that not enough support is given to people my age when losing a parent. When I returned to college, a presentation was given about the “meaning of life” with Leona Lewis’ version of Run playing in the background. I was so upset, I was forced to walk out in front of hundreds of students, which caused me further embarrassment. I should never have been put in that position, but obviously I was expected to “be ok” at that point.
    My relationships have been affected, I find it too easy to push people away because I’m so used to dealing with things on my own. My relationship with my boyfriend who I was with through it all broke down, and he was the one person I could turn to at any point to make me feel better. Now we don’t even speak.
    People seem to think that at a young age you’ll just “bounce back”, but I know this will damage me for a long time. I’m expected to build my future at this critical time, get my qualifications, decide what I want to do with my life, yet at the same time I’m trying to face losing a part of me that I’ll never get back.

  326. Johnnie said on February 16, 2015 at 10:59 am ... #

    I was 8 when I lost my father, to a short battle with cancer. Oldest of two, brother hearing impaired, mother 27. I stepped up, became the man of the house and moved on without missing a beat. I’ve had my dark days, but I chose to live in the light. I don’t know how an 8 year old can process that kind of event and move on. I’ve never had a problem talking about it, I’m happy, I like me, others like me, I feel I’ve come through such tradgedy pretty well. However, I’m now 46 and am finally ready to settle down, and am finding some emotional issues that I think can be traced back to the early passing of my dad. We are a vulnerable species, and a peculiar one.

    Ever since I was a boy, when I’ve kept a journal, each entry always started Dear Dad,. Just a collection of letters written to my father. Day to day stuff mostly, sometimes some head stuff. Anyway…I hadn’t written for years, and now that I am dealing with some relationship issues, I have returned to writing my dad, and it has helped a lot. It has helped me process somethings that I am feeling, some things that I am letting go of, and some things that I am addressing.

    For me it was a choice to move on and live in the sunshine. But not without its consequences. New day, good day

  327. Jeff said on February 16, 2015 at 4:52 pm ... #

    Great resource here. I lost my mother at 19 two days before Christmas to allergic reaction to medicine. That was the day I stop feeling like kid. It has taken me 18 years to realize it. Lost my brother to suicide five years ago next month . I am so happy to realize how I have felt for years is understood by others. I have suffered with depression and anxiety and being a alcoholic . I sympathize with the people here.

  328. Emilee N K said on February 18, 2015 at 8:47 pm ... #

    I found this site when I was looking to see if there were other people with a passed like mine. When I was 5 years in 1997 my father died of a sudden heart issues. No one ever told me the real details, because in my family my father is a subject never to be spoken of but by me. Which is because I have only a few memories with him but I don’t know if they are real or just dreams. When I was in the first grade I hid in the brushes after recess I broke down crying. This was my 6th day of school I kept thinking why do they have two parents and I have one, I felt like if I ran home he would be there, ready to pick me up. So after they all went inside I ran home, I made it all the way to my front door knob. When the principal scooped me up in his arms and walk back to the school like that. I only live a good 8 blocks away from school. He told me he saw me running through the windows and took off after me. I didn’t tell him my reason for leaving..I never told anyone in all my yrs of elementary. Frankly with how often I didn’t get picked up when I was little should have told the teachers something..no one ever asked.The strangest part of all of this is my mother says I look, act, and walk just like him. Which isn’t a lie other family members have said those things before briefly in mid conversation. My older sibling look just like mom with almost black hair..I’m the black sheep with his red hair so to speak. It’s weird being just like someone and not knowing why? When I was younger I was mad all the time my main thought it was gods curliest joke ever. Now I love it, I understand that his time was short but subconsciously he had a big impacted on me. I believe that my mom aren’t close because I’m a living reminder of the man she lost. Yet I want to be like him, a man that in his life time saved to strangers from a two story burning building without a second thought a few days before I was born. I hope her and I can somehow find common ground to start working on our issues.I know that the scares I carry are deep, and painful. Yet oddly enough If I could trade a year of my life to see him again I wouldn’t because I know it wouldn’t be enough it would leave me even more empty. Also I wouldn’t want to life as if he shorted my life. I just hope that one day if I live my life right I’ll make it to him.Thanks for letting me share these thoughts that have ever been spoken aloud.-Emilee.


    Forgot to put mail on it. Also it is very saddening and strangely comforting to know their are other people who understand..though I sincerely wish they didn’t know it

  329. Annie said on March 1, 2015 at 3:13 am ... #

    I’m 48 years old and lost my dad when I was 4. He died suddenly from a heart attack. I didn’t attend the funeral and only have a couple of memories of him. My amazing mom had me, my younger brother who was 1, and two older brothers ages 7 and 18 to raise on her own. She didn’t seem to grieve and rarely gives any details about him or of their marriage. My aunt (my dad’s sister) who lived next door didn’t share memories with me either, which I find quite strange. My dad was loved by many, so it wasn’t like he was a bad person who people wanted to forget. Maybe it was typical of that generation to grieve that way–to just not talk about it?

    I am happily married and have two children who are ages 19 and 22. I find this year has been really hard for me. I think of what life would have been like with my dad. Just to be hugged, held, and loved by him. I imagine him walking me down the isle 25 years ago when I was married. I have some pretty deep crying sessions when I am alone. Why now? I feel sad for my brother who was 18 at the time as that must have been so hard for him to lose our dad at the age. A senior in high school. What about my brother who was 7? I wish I knew what he was feeling. I am very close to my siblings, but we never talk about my dad or his death.

    I usually don’t participate in things like this, but I have to say, it feels good to write it down and to see that I’m not alone. For those of you who have written your feelings, thank you. You have helped me. For all of you (those who write and those who only read), may you find peace. God Bless.

  330. Sarah said on March 26, 2015 at 9:05 am ... #

    Hi. I lost my mom when I was 13, and my dad passed away 6 months later. I have never really looked too deep into the affects it’s had on me as an adult. I have to write a cause and affect paper for my college comp class and looked to this article to hopefully find some affects my parents deaths has had on me. Silly dont you think? That I wouldn’t just know those things? It’s really much harder than it sounds when you have to put it on paper. I am thankful for all the input on here, it helped me identify with myself a lot the more. Hopefully I’ll get a decent grade on my paper.

  331. Dolly said on April 2, 2015 at 1:54 pm ... #

    Hi! Was a bit today. Started missing my parents whom I lost at young age.I was 17 when I lost my father. Life was not easy since I hated the idea of people sympathising with me or my elder sister.People who gave us big suggestions rarely knew what we were goingthrough. Within 5 years we lost our mother too due to ill health. Life became different. Responsibility and responsible behaviour became vital ingredients of life.till date it’s the same. At times its very tiring. Parents love is the only unconditional gift of life. I miss that. Death becomes a reality and not just a text book word. The loss taught me the basics of life. For example life is precious and relationships are very valuable.I know nothing not even a miraccan bring them back.I miss them when I am very sad.I miss their love For us.I miss them when I am very happy cause I could have shared it with them too.I miss them when I do good. I miss them when I am not well. The only time I feel fine about their loss is when I see people of their age going through immense physical or mental pain. Cause I feel that thank god “my parents” did not become as helpless as them. I dislike people of my age who exploits their parents for their vested interest.life is not a cakewalk for both of us. However we regret that we could have been gifted some more years with our parents. It’s surprising that there are do many people walking similar path of life. Parents are the best gift of God. I miss them.

  332. kimm said on April 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm ... #

    So, today marks the 14th anniversary of my mothers death. I was ten when she died. It was two weeks before my 11th birthday. My parents devorced when i was about seven or eight but they faught so terribly that i was serverely traumatised from before i can remember. My parents continued their fighting well after their divorce. Pushing and pulling their four kids (including myself) in a game of manipulation. My mother began a relationship with a 24 year old ‘man’ who abused us terribly and caused me many psychological scars that i still carry to this day. I witnessed him forcing a garden hose down our puppies throat and turning it on as far as it could go, as punnishment for her eating strawberries from our garden.. he caused us a lot of physical harm.. and despite our pleading, our mother refused to believe us or to sepperate from this dreadful individual.

    Mum was diagnosed with cancer. She assured me she wouldnt die. It was silly to think that she would. I believed her even though i knew deep down, she was in denial..

    She died.

    My father spiraled into a deep depression that he never really recovered from until he was remarried 12 years later. My older siblings both became distant. This left me to care for my younger brother, who was only seven at the time. I would cry all night and be a mum/student/house wife all day. I missed out on being a kid. My dad drank so heavily that our relationship became quite volitile. He could not see past his depressive state and ended up making some terrible financial decisions, including selling our big family home and moving us into a caravan.. it was awful. Living in such close proximity to a depressed alcoholic was exhausting.

    I left home at fifteen due to our fights becoming more and more violent. My little brother was not the target for my dads rage so he was safe, actually safer without me there.

    I spent four long years drowning my sorrows until, like my father, i began having violent outbursts, such as smashing my belongings in a drunken haze, screaming, crying and physically harming myself. It was clear that alcohol was not going to aid my broken heart. So i quit. But the reality was that i was completely gutted by the loss of my mother. I was suicidal and had no desire to live. This continued on and off for many years. Even after i had my daughter at age 20.

    I ended up caving in and accepting medication which i had sworn against with an abselute passion! And i swear, it was the first time i began to see clearly in so long. It changed me. I was rational, content, focused and i felt what i always thought ‘normal’ might feel like..it was in this time that i happened upon the only man that has ever beenthere for me. Unconditionally. He and i fell madly in love, as did our two little girls who identified one another as sisters immediatly, with no encouragment from us whatso ever! With this beautiful mans help, i began to unintentionally explore the traumas i had experienced as a child and anylise the causes of my pain and emotional taunts.

    Upon realising how furious i am with my mother for chosing ‘him’ over her children, for cheating on my father with our family doctor (which i had found out on this journey of mine) and for ridiculing and belittling me as a child, creating a lot of the mental struggles i still have issues coping with today – i realised…

    I was not grieving for her anymore. I was grieving for my lost childhood, for the sadness that still haunted my memories and for the sheer fact that there was never a day where i didnt feel pain, sorrow and complete anguish.. id lost my ability to feel complete.

    I was always the clown, the best friend, the deffender and the outgoing girl, to everyone else. But beneath my big smile and my general bubbly naturs, i was lonely, alone, powerless and tormented. I couldnt bare to be alone for long, before the ghosts of my past would come back to taunt me..

    Since taking mum down of the pedastool i had placed her upon, i have been able to see her for what she really was. Selfish. I dont know if this anger i have is just another belated stage of grief.. but the anger sure feels better than the longing and the uncontrolable sadness. I feel as though my ability to see through my mother has enabled me to see the true root of my grief..

    So much sadness is such a poisonous thing for such a young mind. It changed me. All i had was sadness. Its all i knew. I was always unsure, unstable and unheard. I had no control in anything as a child. I was a pawn. To have all of that plus the sadness of a lost childhood and pretending to know how to raise a grieving seven year old into a stable, well rounded young man and all the bits and pieces in between.. any wonder i was depressed. Losing a parent so young is mind, soul and life cripiling. It takes a powerful person to push through to the other side. Its hard as hell and it damn near kills you. Im not guna lie. But i feellike ive been given a second chance at life. Between my family, my medication and my new found clarity, i know it wont be too much longer before i can kick the last of my grief.

    I honest to god thought id have killed myself before i turned twenty.. but instead, life threw me a curve ball.. a purpose to live.. my daughter :) i look back to the time line of events and i can see how intricate my life has been planned and pulled together. Ive learned to trust that i will come to the light of every tunnel i face so long as i dont surrender to the bull shit.

    Whoever you are, where ever you are, what ever youve been through..
    Have faith in you. Youre not alone. Give life time to show you what you are here for. What your purpose is. We ALL have one
    Believe it or not. Im still grieving but i feel different some how. The sadness isnt as deep.. it doesnt cut my insides anymore. I cry.. but then i stop! I feel the pain but then i can calm it down too. I guess what im saying is that i have control. Its taken a long time. But just remember i didnt get to grieve for years. Finding my purpose, found me my peace. X

  333. Genny Lent said on April 19, 2015 at 10:54 am ... #

    My mom passed away when I was 14, during my freshman year of high school. She had an aortic dissection and went into cardiac arrest, so those two things combined killed her. She was very sick and dizzy when she woke up to get ready for work that day, and I thought nothing of it. I eventually told my dad she didn’t feel well after she didn’t come down for breakfast. I had to go to school, and an ambulance came and took her to the hospital. I was texting my dad and brother all morning for updates, and the doctors said it was probably just food poisoning. I was so relieved. But later that day in school, my twin sister and I were called down to the guidance counselors and they told us that our mom had passed away. False hope made it so much worse. She was healthy, she had been losing weight on weight watchers and started running, etc. It was so unexpected…I’m 17 now and it’s still so hard to deal with. Every day I imagine how things would be different if she were still here. As a girl, it’s been very tough going through life without a mother figure, especially during high school years.

  334. Racheal said on April 20, 2015 at 12:38 pm ... #

    I’m 36 years old, I’m happily married to a wonderful man, and I have two sweet kids. When I was at the age of 15 I had lost my mother to pancreatic cancer. The painful memories of my father as he struggled to stay strong for me, until after I married he then gave into alcohol abuse and went into a deep depression, which the many years of alcoholism caused him health problems and then he died at the age of 63. I was 33 at that time he passed away. I went through a year of very deep grief, uncontrollable crying and depression, and at times I thought I was going to go crazy with anxiety and loneliness for both my parents. It has been 3 years now since my father has passed and I’m doing so much better and stronger. What has helped me through all of this has been through daily praying and reading God’s word, grief share with a church group, and remembering to stay thankful even about the littlest things in life. Tomorrow is the day of my mothers birthday, and I’m going to take the day off for myself and journal and reflect about the wonderful memories that I have had with my parents. I am very thankful for websites like this one that reach out to the many hurting people. May God comfort and bless you all who are hurting and lonely and with that comfort may we live a life to help others that are hurting and in need.

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