How does the passing of a parent affect his or her child?

Discussion in 'Grief and Bereavement' started by forever_scarred, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. forever_scarred

    forever_scarred Well-Known Member

    All my life I had seen events that no child should ever have to see, a mother dying from an incurable disease. As a young child I did not realize or understand exactly what was happening, the cancer slowly destroying my mother’s beautiful body and deteriorating her mind. My mother was continuously telling me how everything would be fine but what she, my family and I didn’t know was the fallout and emotional pain that would follow after she passed.

    As the years went by, I learned what this thing called cancer was capable of; I saw how destructive it would be the longer it progressed. When mom passed away a piece of my heart died with her; the months following her death were like a never ending nightmare. Days slipped into night with no relief from the pain that resided deep within my soul. Summer was soon over and I headed back to college; in hope that by occupying my mind I would be able to move on from the nightmares and pain of mom. However, that never happened, my family and sister dealt with and moved on from the past and pain. It seemed easy for them to look towards the future and think that she was not in pain anymore…something I could not. My sister, 27 yrs, had been through this before with my father nearly 19 years before. She was as grief stricken as I was but she didn’t dwell on the past, as I did.

    I kept my thoughts to myself not believing that anyone else would understand what I had been feeling inside. I had tried many times to talk to someone but with each attempt, I would be unsuccessful in finding a good way of putting my feelings into words or in finding a suitable friend to speak to about it. All I wanted was to at least have them see how hard it was for me to be back in school knowing that when I commuted home from school each day mom would no longer be there. It was true the pain, hurt, and anger of her illness was gone from the atmosphere of the house, however, her body and spirit was also gone; most importantly she was gone and I would never get her back. The few people who did know (not by choice) and would speak to me about it continuously told me the same thing “give it time, it’s only been a few months.” They were right it had only been a few months, but in those few months I had gone through vast ranges of emotions, anger, hurt, betrayal and loneliness. Every day was an uphill battle of concealing the tears and pain, going to class was the worst mistake of my life. Most people would have been comforted by their friends promising that they’d be around when I needed them, but I soon realized that promise was only good for when they felt like being there.

    My grandparents are very different when it comes to “order and rules” around the house, no door was to be closed; I could not cry when I needed to, it always had to be hidden. I had tried a few times to tell them what was really going on, but they never listened. My grandparents chalked it up to pressure at school and too many personal constraints and events, but they had no idea what I was hiding from them. It wasn’t my personal life or college obligations that were taking a toll on my mood, sleeping habit, and personality changes; it was the impact of losing my mom. It was un-grieved hurts, memories and guilt that wouldn’t leave me alone; things I had said or done that had resulted in pain for my mother before she passed away.
    These things weren’t going to just go away but my family didn’t see and my friends couldn’t care less, so I set out on my own personal journey trying desperately to find my own path through the darkness through a world known as depression. Until now, I had had no knowledge of such a world but it does exist; hidden deep inside reality is a darker side of life.

    This is what my mother had left for me when she passed, all the pain of the past. For three years I struggled in this world dealing with every emotion possible and feeling a few that I had never even thought of. Each day I dug down into a darker world filled with more hurt and anguish, the days seemed to mush together just as they had done three years earlier when mom passed. My mood and personality continued to get worse every day and began to get progressively more intense. I knew I couldn’t live this way forever; I needed help.

    I was young when I lost my mother; I was only 18 yrs years old. I didn’t have any knowledge of how to deal with this kind of grief and didn’t have the support I should have had, however, that doesn’t excuse my behavior either. I have met several people through my personal struggle that have been through similar struggles and although all our grief’s are different we have the same pain; we miss our mother’s or father’s dearly and would do anything to have them back, even if it were for a day.

    Not everyone who has lost a parent will end up as I have, but losing someone that close is so much harder to deal with the pain. Most people I have encountered share the same feeling; dealing with grief and the concept of how others help you seems to be non- existent. If you are lucky you will find a friend who understands and will listen, then your blessed because most people will never find that someone. I am not saying we would be staying in the darkened world of grief forever but without anyone there it’s just one more step in really believing that you’re totally alone in your pain. Although I’m a work in progress in being better and feeling better, I know I will never forget the dark hole I lived in for more than three years nor will I forget the people I met who feel the same as I do. Just because we move on doesn’t mean we ever forget.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2010
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    i hear every word you say and i do understand to deep darkness the confusion the pain and the extreme loniliness god. I am so sorry you had to suffer alone throught such a tragic time in your life. Grief councilling is important even now it would help you to come to terms with all the emotions you went through..
    Life should not be so hard for someone so young and i am sorry your life was that way. I hope today you are getting help and in time you can heal that deep pain of loss take care okay. xxxxx000000
  3. feathers

    feathers Well-Known Member

    There are no words worthy to respond to this, so instead I'll send you a hug.

  4. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    This is so well said and so are you doing today? Did you seek therapy and, if so, was it/ is it helpful? I hope you know that you are very brave to feel as you did and to retell the story here...thank you for sharing; it is a very meaningful lesson which gives another purpose to all the pain you went through...big hugs
  5. wingsforme2

    wingsforme2 New Member


    I lost my father to cancer when i was 18 years old. He had been fighting a losing battle for 4 years. My father had always been my hero and the person i could talk to about anything. In the beginning i was trying to be supportive. i went to the hospital and talked with my father as much as possible.

    But as his condition became worse, it was harder and harder for me to see him like that. As the cancer spread troughout his body, a started living in a nightmare. And there was no end to it.

    In the end i couldnt take it anymore and i left the house. i managed to finnish high school, and gathered my strength and returned home to spend the last days of my fathers life at his side. Saying goodbyes etc... But when i returned home, it was already to late. He didnt even recognize me, and tought i was a stranger. He died shortly after that. I was heartbroken. I never got to say goodbye, never got to say how much he ment to me.

    i also felt like nobody could understand me and i couldnt talk to anyone. Not even my mother understood me. She moved on eventually.

    But i am stuck to this day with feelings of extree guilt and shame. I feel like i cant ever forgive myself for this. The sickness and death of my father have influenced my life up to this verry point.

    Reading what you wrote really made me realize that there are people out there who have been trough the same. Who have the same struggle as me. I really want to thank for you writing this. Atleast now i dont feel so alone anymore. I wish i could move on with my life aswell, but i just cant seem to do so...