Grieving Sucks At Any Age


Grieving the loss of a loved one, especially a parent, doesn’t get easier as you get older. Especially if you’re over fifty years old when your parent dies.  

Chances are if you were over fifty years of age in the early 1900’s your parents weren’t alive.Today, it’s not uncommon to have one or both of parents attending your 50th or 60th birthday bash. And by sixty years old, you know what it is like to grieve the loss of a loved one. So, sad as it may be, the death of your mother or father won’t have a great impact on your adult life.



Before your parents die, you, are, at least in part, connected to the rest of the world through them. After their death, that connection is broken. And as the surviving adult child you are alone in a way you never  experienced, and a new part of life begins.


The death of a parent can be a devastating experience for adult children. Because, someone that has always been in our lives no longer exists. The effects of your parents death leave you feeling lost, alone and empty; an orphaned adult


Grieving -The Orphaned Adult



 Friends, relatives and co-workers with living parents tend to minimize the loss.

She was 93; oh she lived a full life. Be grateful you had her for so long.”

The expectation is you’re fine and that returning to work and other regular activities won’t be a problem. After a week or two people stop asking how you’re doing. As an orphaned adult you learn to keep your feelings to yourself. But the truth is that even as adults we are strongly affected by the loss of a parent, and our life is changed.

  • Everything starts looking and feeling different.
  • You feel distant from the people around you, even people you know well.
  • It is effort to  reach out and contact friends.
  • You feel a sense of isolation.
  • You feel like a stranger as if you are not connected to the world.

After parents die, you are no longer someone’s child. It is a life changing event that prompts a shift in your identity. And as a result, you feel off course, out of joint and confused. After all, who are you now that you are nobody’s child?


Living parents allow us to live under a cloud of illusion. So long as one of them is alive it’s always someone else’s turn to die before it is our turn. That cloud and the protection it offers us, passes away when they do.

Grieving –  Life Changes And So Do You



 It’s not as though we don’t all know that one day our parents will die, and we’ll have to live the rest of our lives without them. But the knowing doesn’t prepare us for the impact their death has on our life. Nothing is the same. During holidays, birthdays or anniversaries we expect to feel their absence. However, memories are everywhere, rising up like an unexpected wave in the ocean. They take us back and, for a while, make us remember. And in that moment, we grieve. In the next moment, like a wave receding from the shore, the sadness dissipates. Most of us have had complex relationships with our parents. There may have been harsh exchanges and times when we wished our parents weren’t in our lives. Then one day they are gone forever, and the details of our battles don’t seem to matter.


The Value Of Grief


Grief reminds us that our life isn’t permanent. It alerts us to take the time to live and appreciate those we hold dear. It allows us to reexamine how we’ve been living our lives. Grief hits us hard, and it can drop us to our knees, but it forces us to find the courage to get through. Most importantly, grief teaches us that we have the power not to allow grief itself to consume us. Grief is not something out there that is attacking us. Grief’s power is within us, and that same power is there to help us heal. I am no one’s child anymore. My parents are both gone. My mother passed away in June. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t long to breathe her air one more time. I remember how she always signed her cards to me, ‘my love for you is endless.” I know that is true. And it is also true that my love for her has no end. Her final words, whispered to me, were, ” I’ll see you later.” I pray those words are true as well.










  • Very nice post. I like every word of it.
    I love when you said,” We feel what we feel when we feel it. ”
    It is right no matter when parents die children feel pain and grief. My grand father died at the age on 95 and for the first time I saw my father crying like a baby. He is a strong man and have never experienced him expressing emotions effecting him in such violent way that he burst in tears for even a year.
    If we look into the process of recovery then for sure grief seem to have some stages and at the end hour heart accepts that no one came here to stay and then those feelings normally fade with time but still sometimes they show themselves that they are somewhere in our heart.
    Life and its feelings are uncertain and changeable.

  • I think many of us don’t think our parents will ever die as we take them for granted. For me I didn’t even think that one day they would die. When they did I felt so robbed that I did not have them longer. I can’t say the order of the stages of grief I went through. Grieving is personal and I do not think labels should be attached to grief as we are all different and do not respond to situations the same. They are still in my heart and I think of them often.

  • Catarina Alexon

    Both my parents have passed away. Daddy 1980 and mummy in 2000. Personally believe it’s essential to realize that they are fine. It’s us who are left behind that suffer. And to ask if they would want us to suffer. When I was 15 a friend of mine’s father passed away uexpectedly. She started taking tranquilizers and my father said to me: “But doesn’t Helen understand that her father would not want her to do that”. Know a couple of people who have been dead for a short time. They say that it’s a wonderful feeling. One day we will find out what it’s like:-)

  • You’re right – we do expect our parents to die. My mom had 5 lonely years after my father passed away and whenever i saw her, I felt that her dying would be a blessing to her – she was miserable without – they had been married 66 years. But after she passed away, there were and are, numerous times that I wish I could talk with her just to tell her things that are happening. You adjust, but you never stop missing.

  • When my parents passed away my first emotion was that I felt alone. I probably would have told you before they died that I didn’t depend on either my mother or my father for much of anything. But their passing is some way felt like I was being cast adrift because they weren’t there any longer.

  • Jacqueline Gum

    I thank you for reinforcing that the stages of grief are often NOT sequential. I’d like to think we’ve moved away from those expectations, both for ourselves and others too. I have always thought it best to just let myself feel grief instead of trying to “get over it” and I think you went a long way to reinforce that. The first everything were the hardest for me…first birthday, holiday…whatever. As to those last words from your Mom? I think they are true… I have always believed that!