seachelle

young adult grievers

28 posts in this topic

Hello everyone, I am a youngish woman (early 30's) who's mother was recently diagnosed with dementia and some other health problems.  I am having a very difficult time coping with this.  I don't really know what else to write at the moment, I guess I am wondering if there are any others out there in their 20s/30s going through this.  It's very isolating at my age to be dealing with the potential death of a parent while many of my friend's parents are still relatively young.

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I am sorry you are going through this.  I am not young but I lost my mother to dementia 8/21/14, it's a unique journey that I learned a lot from.  If you want to message me your email address, I will email you a book that helped me a lot in dealing with my mom with her dementia.

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I'm surprised there haven't been more responses.  Is it that unusual for young adults to experience severe loss?

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I think for many young people who experience a loss of someone close to them, it is often a grandparent or someone in their grandparents' generation, and the young mourner is not as close to the one that is gone as they would be to their parents, because parents of a 30-year old are generally relatively young and healthy. But people develop serious illness and even die at any age, and there are thirty-year-olds who have lost their parents, siblings, cousins, and even their own children. Horrible loss can come at any age, but by the time you are say twice your age, most of the people you know about your age will have had a loss very close to them.

I know your mother is still alive, but you are looking at the possibility of losing her, and when someone has dementia the truth is that you lose them by degrees. If she has already been diagnosed with dementia, it has probably already progressed to some degree, and she is probably not quite the person you knew when you were younger. The truth is that you do have a lot of company-people who are struggling with dementia of a parent-they just may be somewhat older than you are. You might try looking for a support group for people who also have a close relative with dementia. It might be a caregivers' support group, and the others are likely to be somewhat older than you, but struggling with some of the same issues.

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I'm surprised there haven't been more responses either.  There have been a lot of young people losing parents lately it seems, but perhaps none (here) to dementia, that may be why no one responded, they felt you were looking for a response from a specific audience and they didn't meet the criteria.

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I don't know if I am youngish... But 45 year old watching my girlfriend (35) go through terrible losses. The story is elsewhere on this forum but I am watching as she loses dad, two sisters, both grandmothers, an aunt, an ex (father of her son) and two close friends. 

Watching the grief for the six losses that have already occurred and the three more on the way I can see the isolation you speak of occurring to her. Some of it is people withdrawing from her, as if they cannot understand what she is going through and don't want to face it themselves. And then there are those of us she is pushing away.

For my part, I am facing the impending loss of my most beloved relative My grandmother is beginning her walk into dementia. She is 90 years old and has suddenly and rapidly declined. Less than two years ago she was healthy, spry and living independently. Now she needs near constant supervision and gets lost in her own home. Her entire life has shrunk into a single room she hardly ever leaves.

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I'm sorry you're going through this, I went through my own journey with my mom in late stage dementia.  I will say it's pretty unique.  It was hard to watch it rob her of her independence and memory, but we had some special memories during that time too.  It's hard to describe to anyone who hasn't been through it and everyone's journey is different.  For some they seem to become violent, but for my mom it seemed to soften her.

Speaking of your GF having people withdraw, it's common as death is just uncomfortable to people and we (grievers) remind them of their immortality.  For others they want to fix things and they can't fix this, they don't know what to say/do so they withdraw.  Even if we told them what we want from them explicitly I think they'd still disappear.  Some act like we're contagious!

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Thank you kayc. I am OK with what is happening with my grandmother. I am much more concerned about the events in my girlfriend's life.

My grandma has had a long healthy life and in talking to her she is ready. I am one who celebrates the relief that will come to my grandmother, much more than the loss.

I put this out for Seachelle just to let her know that there are several other younger people out here going through what she is.

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Hello, it is shocking when you talk to people how common dementia is.  I suppose we should all do our best to keep our minds active and our bodies healthy.  Not that it's a guarantee.  Your girlfriend is experiencing a monumental loss that is surely overwhelming to the people around her.  Have you discussed with her joining a grief forum if she feels that her immediate social network isn't/can't be supportive?  I can't imagine losing so many ppl at once, but that's partly because I've already lost so many family members over the years.  It was gradual, not a shock and awe, scorched earth campaign of loss.  If you haven't already it might be worth sharing this group with her, or another group.  There is another similar group called beyond indigo.

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Dementia is all to common.

My girlfriend is unlikely to join a forum such as this. She had a very introverted approach to dealing with problems. She is in therapy, but she pushes away people around her.

So now I am on the road. Washington last week. Oregon this week and next. California the following week and the onto Florida. 

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Welcome to Oregon!  You just missed all our heat and now it's going to start raining through Sunday.

I found that other site, it does look similar.  I bookmarked it so if you find out she would be interested, message me and I will send you the link.  I figured you'd want your privacy here perhaps.

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I would have no trouble sharing anything I have posted here with her. I am a very open person. Her not so much. She has a much more reserved approach to sharing. Even with me.

Seachelle, I wish you all the best with your mother. She has to be quite young for that diagnosis. As sad as it is to see I have been thankful that my grandmother made it as long as she did.

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Hello, my mom is actually 77, had me at 43.  I have some relief knowing that whatever happens, she lived a normal lifespan and was healthy for the vast majority of it.  I hope your girlfriend finds the help she needs.  Best,

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I am so sorry that it took so long for me to find this! Im 22 and lost my dad at 20. There is also Amy, who is 23. Feel free to talk to us any time :) 

Of course, all these other wonderful users are helpful too! 

And this is something Amy and I have come up with so maybe in the future, it will help us all! 

As for your loss, I do feel like its not as common. My mom still has both her parents so she cant even completely help me. And I have to warn you, most people wont understand. Especially in our age group because they have healthy parents and no one wants to think of their parents as leaving soon. its really unfair and feels like you are all alone, on top of the stress of not having a healthy parent.

 

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On 29/06/2016 at 5:23 AM, seachelle said:

I'm surprised there haven't been more responses.  Is it that unusual for young adults to experience severe loss?

Hi Seachelle,

Sorry to hear about your Mum, now that it's the end of August and you posted back in June/July, I hope she is still with you. Anyway, what I wanted to say was no, I personally don't think it is that common for young people to lose parents at a young age, but it does happen; as you say, most of your friends parents are quite young. 

Now, I am 23 and when I was 15, I lost my Mum to a brain tumour and my Dad hasn't spoken to me since I was 9/10, so apart from having a lovely Grandmother taking over those roles and caring for me, I now have no parents. Quite a bit different to what you're going through, but I suppose it's similar. My experience of carrying on after a death will be different to yours, but I can tell you that it's not easy, and it will probably be something that you'll have to learn to cope with in your own way.

As Shari say, you can speak to us any time you like! 

I hope our messages find you well!

Amy :-)

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7 hours ago, ella said:

My name is Ella, I'm 21 and lost my Mum at 16. xxx

Hi Ella!

Welcome! I'm guessing you've seen my post above yours? I was 15 when I lost mine - I'm 23 now! And guessing from how you spell Mum, you're from the UK too? Hope you find some comfort here! :-) x

 

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Hi Ella,

I'm sorry for your loss.  I do think it's harder hitting when it happens as a younger person.  I was 29 when I lost my dad, and even that was hard enough, but to lose your mum as a teenager has got to be hard!

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Hello everyone, so sorry to have taken so long to reply.  Thank you all for your kind words.  I guess the kind of grief I'm dealing with that is the kind that comes when you begin to see that your parent is actually weak.  I don't know how long she has, she isn't on her death bed, but as with dementia, the road is long and windy and the situation is scary.  I joined a facebook group for young adult carers which is helping a bit.  I just wish our culture wasn't so closed when it comes to acknowledging grief but I guess things are slow to change in that regard.  Thanks again for all your kind words.

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On 8/20/2016 at 8:41 PM, sharirouse said:

I am so sorry that it took so long for me to find this! Im 22 and lost my dad at 20. There is also Amy, who is 23. Feel free to talk to us any time :) 

Of course, all these other wonderful users are helpful too! 

And this is something Amy and I have come up with so maybe in the future, it will help us all! 

As for your loss, I do feel like its not as common. My mom still has both her parents so she cant even completely help me. And I have to warn you, most people wont understand. Especially in our age group because they have healthy parents and no one wants to think of their parents as leaving soon. its really unfair and feels like you are all alone, on top of the stress of not having a healthy parent.

 

Thank you so much for your reply!  I'm so sorry for your loss, the one that I will go through sooner than later. There is not good time to experience grief but I suppose it is normal in these circumstances.  Sometimes the magnitude of the grief scares me.  It helps to talk to others who have been through similar experiences.  Please reach out to me as well if you need to talk.  I try to check the board regularly, but fell off for a few weeks recently when other life circumstances took over.  Best. Michelle

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On 8/27/2016 at 3:58 AM, ella said:

My name is Ella, I'm 21 and lost my Mum at 16. xxx

Thank you so much for chiming in.  I'm so sorry for your loss Ella!  I hope these boards are providing you with necessary support. They are helpful to me as I know very few young ppl in these circumstances and it seems everyone else is scared to talk about it for fear it will happen to them!  Please reach out to me if you need to talk.  I will try to be more consistent with my forum attendence.  Best.  Michelle

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On 8/20/2016 at 9:47 PM, Amy Wamy said:

Hi Seachelle,

Sorry to hear about your Mum, now that it's the end of August and you posted back in June/July, I hope she is still with you. Anyway, what I wanted to say was no, I personally don't think it is that common for young people to lose parents at a young age, but it does happen; as you say, most of your friends parents are quite young. 

Now, I am 23 and when I was 15, I lost my Mum to a brain tumour and my Dad hasn't spoken to me since I was 9/10, so apart from having a lovely Grandmother taking over those roles and caring for me, I now have no parents. Quite a bit different to what you're going through, but I suppose it's similar. My experience of carrying on after a death will be different to yours, but I can tell you that it's not easy, and it will probably be something that you'll have to learn to cope with in your own way.

As Shari say, you can speak to us any time you like! 

I hope our messages find you well!

Amy :-)

Thanks for the reply, I was desperate the night I posted about the lack of responses.  The grief comes in waves and tends to knock me over when it comes.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  I guess it's a journey most people would rather not undertake, and are scared to even hear of.  Maybe that's why grief is so rarely discussed.  It truly helps me to hear from others going through similar experiences.  Please reach out to me as well if you need to talk.  I will try to be more consistent in my attendance to these boards.  Best.  Michelle

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Dear Ones, you will notice that I've added an entirely new forum just for you (Loss in Young Adulthood) and I've moved this topic over here. I hope it meets your need to have a place all your own.

I'd also like to point you to some resources that you may find helpful:

Mother Loss: A List of Suggested Resources

Too Damn Young - An online community for grieving young adults

The Dinner Party - A community of mostly 20- and 30-somethings who’ve each experienced significant loss. A national movement to bring together bereaved people in their 20s and 30s at informal dinner tables in 27 U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego. The Dinner Party’s premise is simple: A host who has experienced a significant loss invites anyone with a similar experience to share a potluck-style meal. It doesn’t claim to be therapy, simply a place where people can connect.

Crisis Text Line - Nationwide crisis hotline where young people can get help by texting with a trained Crisis Counselor. Provides free, 24/7 service to people in crisis, all via text. To date, nearly 22 million messages have been processed. Text 741-741

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On 8/27/2016 at 7:47 PM, Amy Wamy said:

Hi Ella!

Welcome! I'm guessing you've seen my post above yours? I was 15 when I lost mine - I'm 23 now! And guessing from how you spell Mum, you're from the UK too? Hope you find some comfort here! :-) x

 

Hey Amy. Yep, I'm from the South West :-) I'm really sorry that you lost your Mum at a young age too, it's so hard. I am glad to meet other young women who lost their Mum's when they were kids too, as I don't know anyone in real life my age who has. xoxo

 

Edit: MartyT thank you for adding this list! I will take a look at the links xo

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