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What Has Helped You?


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Dear Friends,

My children lost their dad less than 2 years ago. At the time, they were 9 and 10 years old. I'm wondering if anyone else lost a parent at an early age and wouldn't mind sharing what their surviving parent did that helped you the most. How are things for you now? I can't help but think our children will be forever scarred, as all of us are, but after the initial anguish, can you give me any advice on how to help them? I feel guilty that they are often left alone when I have to run with the other and that I can't give them the attention they deserve. I hear a lot, that I don't buy or do certain things anymore "since Dad's been gone." Emotionally, financially, a lot has changed for them. What made a difference in your lives?

I am deeply sorry for your loss. Any help, is greatly appreciated.

Love, Kath

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Hi there kath.

First of all ((((kath))))) it must be very hard for you.

I lost my mom when I was 6, my brother was 9. And well at first my dad wasnt able to take care of us. He literally lived in his bedroom for months after mom died, which is pretty understandable. My grandparents moved to our house and they were encharged of us while my dad got a little better.

But to make things short, my dad is my best friend end of it. He's very very supportive, he's always there for my brother and I. I cant talk to him about everything, he's my rock.

At first, they explained to me that my mom went to heaven and all that initial stuff. I understood, but at the same time I didnt and I was really upset that she didnt showed up for my seventh birthday party. I finally understood completely and that was when the sadness began. I wanted my mom back. That's the only thing I wanted. I think that at first I thought that heaven was this sort of place where people rested and then they came back healthy. They never told me the key fact that heaven was forever at first.

When she died I of course cried, and mothers day was hell becuase all my classmates took their moms. Instead I went and talked to people about how amazing my mommy was and how she was in heaven watching over me, but that one day Iw as going to see her and that she was going to come for my birthday.

I wish that someone would have told me before that she was not coming back.

But anyway, just listen to your kids. If they want to talk about their dad fine, if they dont, dont pressure them. I hated that as a kid.

Life changed a lot. It was weird not to listen to her voice. It was weird not to listen to her saying my name. It was weird to go in my parents bedroom without seeing her there.

Also, it was so weird no to go to the hospital, Ieven missed her screams of pain(yes as awful as it sounds) in the middle of the night. She was in pain but she was there.

It wasnt the same to get home from school without her giving me a hug and a kiss and asking me how school was. It was so hard to pick what clothes I was going to wear to school, that was my mom's job. She picked my clothes and she had a nice taste and my dad was (he is now lol) the best in picking it.

I miss everything about her and I remember things as if they happened yesterday. I also feel sad for the times we didnt had together. For the conversation that we will never have. She will not be there in person when I get married. Een though I always have her in my heart.

It didnt affected us financially, she was a stay at home mom.

I will add more but now I have to go. Take care.

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Dear Lucia,

Thank you so much for responding. I am sorry you had to lose your mom at such an early age. It must have been really hard. It's encouraging to me that you and your dad are close now.

Bob was an awesome father. To Miss C, he was her world. There was nothing to be afraid of while he was near and he always understood her feelings. They are so much alike. She is more apt to cry and talk about missing him. She goes through times where all she wants is her dad back, too. The best I can do is hold her and tell her how much he loved her. My son tries to be strong. He felt he needed to be the man of the house, because he was the only male left. After a week of "grounding" everyone, I took that responsibility away from him. He seemed relieved at the time, but he has very strong views on what guys should and shouldn't be allowed to do. He doesn't talk about his dad much, but he is really sensitive so I know he feels the impact of the loss, especially when his friends are doing stuff with their dads. The first year was so hard for both of them, for all of us.

This year we seem to have re-discovered our balance, yet it is always a juggling act. I get a lot of backtalk and anger directed at me when I can't do all the things their dad could do. I try not to take it personally, I know it is what they are comfortable expressing. And I tend to push when I think they should talk more. So, thank you for the advice on that!

Did you feel different than other kids? How did you handle that? My daughter mentioned to someone that it was her dad's birthday a couple weeks ago. They weren't a close friend, so they asked if she got him a gift. She replied, "Yeah, sure." She didn't want to get into the whole story, and I understand that. I get really sad for my kids at school concerts and plays. I want their dad to see them because he would have been so proud. I let them know I wish he were there, so I wonder what that was like for you. There was one time that my son thought Bob was in the empty chair next to me. He says he saw him there. That tells me he was missing him, too.

Again, Lucia, I really appreciate your sharing this with me. Kath

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