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Miss My Parents

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Within a span of eight months, I lost my father (6/3/05) and my mother (2/10/06). Both were ill for about 4 years...hospitalizations, rehab, long term care facilities...then home for both with hospice care.

I am numb...having gone through the entire process including executor twice now. I was at both of their bedsides as they left this world...and I am haunted and afraid..and extremely sad...still. It's almost like post traumatic stress syndrome. I had to be very strong for my mother who was too ill to do anything except breathe when my dad passed away.I took care of all of it...arrangements, obituary, burial, memorial...bills...and tried to take care of Mom through it all. My dear, dear best friend and mother then left me all too soon. I prayed that she would not suffer any longer...and then the Lord answered my prayers and took her. I am almost in shock as I don't think I was really prepared. But like a mechanical robot, I went through all the same motions...arrangements, obituary, telephone calls, burial, estate administration....on and on. I feel totally alone although my husband has been very strong for me. I have no one to confid in...no one to give me guidance...I have lost my very best friend in the whole world.

I question whether the decisions made were the right ones...I second guess myself....I try to be sociable...I am trying to "get a life"...but all I want to do is be alone and cry. My sister (7 yrs. younger and out of state) has jumped off the deep end, is ending her third marriage...having taken up with a younger married man with a 1 yr. old child. I cannot worry about her...she and I have never been particularly close...I only try to help her through her financial decisions and I don't really hear from her until she wants more money. That's it for family...except my two golden retrievers and the world's best cat.

They have been neglected for so long...as I have had to leave sometimes unexpectedly and often for a stretch of a few days at a time. They sense the stress and depression. I keep reminding my self that they live in the moment. They don't worry about yesterday or tomorrow...they only live for today. I wish I could be that way too.

I am tired of being strong for other people. Even our youngest son...college...was picked up for a dui. I have had to deal with that, secure a lawyer for him...naviagate through this nightmare too.

I just want to crawl under the covers and never come out. When does it stop hurting??? I keep reliving those final minutes...although peaceful...it was also very traumatic for me. I am scared to death and am now the matriarch of this very small family. I will be a first time grandmother on the anniversary of my mother's death. How bittersweet is that? Life goes on.

It was so difficult cleaning out my parents' home...sorting through so many precious memories..forcing myself to make decisions on what to part with...what to keep. It took weeks. The day I took a final walk through the empty house...checking all cabinets and closets...my final check was the hot water heater closet. There, up on the shelf...by itself was a small picture book...a very odd place for a photo album. I opened the cover and there was my name written by my sweet mother. As sick as she was, she had surprised me by putting a photo album together of my pictures...from the time I was a baby laying on my father's chest...to adulthood with my then living grandparents.

I couldn't even look through it...I felt so undeserving...having fussed about all the work involved...I was devestated...even now I cry when I think about that selfless act. She must have known how difficult it would be for me...I want her back so badly....I miss her terribly.

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Hi KathyW:

There's not much that I can personally say about the magnitude of your losses and the enormous stresses that you have been under. All that I can say at this time is that you are not alone in any of this. There are a great number of people on this board who have been through losses of every kind and can relate in some way to what you've been through.

Spend time here posting what you are feeling. Venting helps. We understand.

Spend time here reading. Go all over the Parent Loss forum, along with the "Behaviors in Bereavement" section and read. You will find that what you are feeling and dealing with is a common experience with many bereaved.

One suggestion since you said that you have no one to confide in is that grief counseling may be something to consider. I know that you meant someone to confide in the about day to day stuff and deeper things, but I think now it would be very necessary to find someone for this specific need. Many places like a Hospice or a bereavement center offer free counseling. I know I started counseling about a month after my Mom died last November, and continued it until recently, and it made major difference in piecing back together my life. I was able to understand what I was going through and how to cope with the duration much better than I otherwise would have. I wiull probably resume it in a few months, near or about the 1st anniversary of her death.

MartyT, the great lady who runs this joint, has a selection of links and a recommended reading list that can provide more information.

I will pray for you in this, and there are a bunch of others here who will share with you their stories and advice. Or just and ear to listen to you.


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Kathy W.

I am so sorry for you loss....your story sounds exactly like mine but I am a only child....lost both of parents within the same time span and felt I has to be the woman of steel......then my whole world fell apart.....

Thank goodness for this site and the wonderful people at Hospice of the Valley ......I agree that it would not be a bad idea for you to seek some kind of group that you could physically go to...I do not know where you live but I know that there are churchs all over the country that provide this service...also mortunaries are starting to provide after care for the family members.

Groups really helped me...it is a safe place to finally "Let it all hang out" and no one is there to judge you.....that is the way it is here on this site also......

It has been a year since my mother died and I was doing pretty well....than I started thinking that it was exactly this time last year that everything fell apart with my Mother....Sept 6th it will be 1 year that she died and I find myself crying, etc all over again....this is to be expected and I am sure that things "will get better".

Just hang in there Kathy.....this is a great place to be if you have to be.....


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Ditto to what Paul said. My heart goes out to you. I wish ther was a magical answer that would make all of the pain go away but there isn't. I too will keep you in my prayers. Look to God he is carrying you right now and holding you in his arms. Come here anytime you like and post usually there is someone that will post a reply pretty soon. God bless you and give you peace.

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Funnyface mentioned something important that I forgot when I was going on about counseling. Support groups are wonderful. You are with (physically present to) other people who are there for the same reason you are: they all lost someone important enough that the absence means help is needed. You connect with others in a personal way, at your level of comfort. You can go in and talk, vent or cry, or just sit there and listen. Doesn't matter. You don't feel as alone.

This board is GREAT, available 24/7/365, and someone is almost always around. But in-person support I think is invaluable.

Just thought I'd toss that in there.


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I'm so sorry for both of your losses and in such a short time. As Paul said, what you are feeling is normal. And I understand how hard it is to go through all the things you have to handle...I did that after my dad died and am still handling everything, as my mom has had a really tough time with my dads death. Sometimes, you just feel like you can't handle ONE more thing or you'll just crumble into a million pieces! I'm glad you have a good husband and your dogs and cat. So many of our posters have no support from their spouses, so it's good your husband is being strong. As for the pets...well, they are such a comfort (I have 11 cats) and your love for them and their love for you will help you through this too. I know mine did.

You said you're tired of being strong for everyone...I can totally relate to that! Sometimes, you have to just let the smaller things work themselves out and take care of yourself! Or, maybe like your sister, let people solve their own problems! Easier said than done, I know.

Hang in there. The advice about group or one-on-one counselling is great. I wish I had gone to a support group. But having this board helped (and still helps!) me so much.

Just take care of yourself and try to float along with all your emotions. They will change and get easier, promise. As for the photo book, how wonderful. It may be painful now, but someday you will be able to fully appreciate it without all the pain. Please, give yourself a break...don't worry about what you did or didn't do or if it was right, or if you complained or anything like that. I can tell from your post that you were a caring, giving daughter who did a good job.

Higs to you,


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Hi Kathy W,

I just wanted to say that I am very sorry for your losses, I too lost both my parents with in four months, My mom died on vacation in the United States in April 2005 and My dad died in August of 2005 of cancer... I know that you are feeling fairly numb and really do not remember much at least that is what I felt like... I will pray for you and ask God to give you the strength to complete your grief journey... Please email me any time if you need someone to listen to you.... Take care Shelley

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