Have you lost a parent? How old were you?

posted 3 years ago in Family
  • poll: How old were you when you lost a parent?
    12 and under (what I am calling a kid) : (23 votes)
    20 %
    13 to 19 (what I am calling a teenager) : (23 votes)
    20 %
    20 to 29 : (50 votes)
    43 %
    30 to 39 : (16 votes)
    14 %
    40 to 49 : (2 votes)
    2 %
    50+ : (2 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 3
    6794 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

    I lost my dad at 24 and we were extremely close. We had a complicated relationship, but were none the less a super close family. My little brother was 16 when it happened, and my mom and dad had just celebrated their 30th anniversary. His death literally came out of no where…  I talked to him the day before on the phone and he was fine.

    Coping was hard, it’s been 2 years and I’m still working on it. I think it’s a bit harder for me to deal with it as an absolute because I am in no way religious or believe in any of that stuff.

    We throw a yearly memorial in his honor and all proceeds go to charities. The third is coming up this March. We have a great turn out and usually raise around $5-$6k and donate it locally. It’s really helped me to cope to see the amazing turn out every year and how he really isn’t forgotten. Can’t say I don’t miss him everyday and there are so many things I wish I could share with him. Since his passing he’s missed me getting my master’s, purchasing my first home, starting my PhD, getting engaged, and then he’ll obviously miss my wedding and any future grandkids he might have had. I really wish he was around and could help with the house (it doesn’t need any work really, I just wish I could call him and be like “Dad can you help me with some landscaping this weekend?”

    Post # 4
    2150 posts
    Buzzing bee

    @MrsPanda99:  I lost my mom when I was 22. 

    I’ve matured a lot since then. I had to be the strong one for my dad and my younger sister.

    She didn’t see my graduate with my Bachelors. She won’t be able to see me get married. And she won’t be there when I graduate with my Specialist degree this year. She won’t meet my future kids.

    She knew FI before we began dating- but not like she would have known him.

    It sucks. It was really hard the first year or so, then it progressively gets easier. 

    Just not the same without her though. 

    Post # 5
    4965 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @MrsPanda99:  I lost my mom when I was 20, very unexpectedly. It has been hard to deal with the milestones – but we always make sure to talk about her as a family and keep her memory alive.

    I plan to put a charm with her photo on my bouquet, but that is all. I want my wedding day to be a happy occasion and I know I will lose it if she is mentioned during our vows, and that makes me very uncomfortable! 

    Luckily, my dad is remarried to an amazing woman who is helping me plan my wedding and treats me like I am her daughter. Yet, she is very respectful of my mom at the same time. I am so thankful to have her in my life! 

    Post # 7
    1822 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall

    I lost my mom when I was 24, a little over a year ago. She died without warning 6 months before my wedding – our last conversation was about wedding favors. I’m still grieving very hard deep down, and I still have no idea how to get through life without her. She was my go-to for EVERYTHING. I would call her if I had even the tiniest question – “This is going to sound dumb, but how do you cook zucchini?” kind of stuff, in addition to helping make life decisions like “I’ve fallen in love with a boy in Texas but I want to go to grad school in Kansas in 6 months, what the hell do I do?”

    I have no idea what I’m going to do if/when I have kids. I don’t particularly care for everything about how my dad, stepmom, and in-laws raise kids (not abusive or anything, just different than I believe my mom did it). My mom was the perfect mom, and I really need her guidance. I might not have the confidence to even have kids now.

    As for how to cope… I really don’t know. You just have to take it a day at a time. I leaned on my now-husband which confirmed that he is absolutely the one for me, but I don’t know how I will continue to cope. Sorry to be a downer, but I’m still new to it all. It’s just awful.

    Post # 8
    3989 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I lost my Dad this past October and I am 28.  I am still pretty much numb to it all, as he was sick for many years and we had many close calls.  I think a part of me had prepared myself for it.

    But there’s a really big hole.  Especially since I’m pregnant and I often find myself wanting to call and tell him things about the baby.

    I talk to him when I’m alone and know that he’s my guardian angel, as well as my babies.  Feeling like he’s still around in spirit has been helpful for me.

    Post # 9
    6794 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

    @MrsPanda99:  That is exactly true. I became very jaded for awhile after it happened. Stopped really…functioning. It was like my heart was ripped out for no reason. We had him on life support for a week and that was a hell of a shitty ass roller coaster ride. 

    I guess another thing that gives me a bit of peace is that my best friend found these “healing crystals” that you break apart and put one half in with the loved one being buried and keep the other half for yourself. In that way you will always have a connection to them and be near them, in a sense. It really actually helped a lot. Music helped too. I started up on the piano again and that was very soothing.

    Having a very huge funeral was another thing that gave me a lot of closure. My dad was a performed and a musician, so his funeral was a complete homage to his life. It was amazing and I still get choked up thinking about how beautiful and perfect it was. All of his former band mates and friends got together and played an accoustic set with lots of Beatles and Bob Dylan songs. And the best part was at the end, as his casket was being lowered someone in the crowd yelled out “Let’s give him one last standing ovation!” 100 people stood up from their chairs and clapped for like 10 straight minutes. I stood there bawling, but it was the most sad and amazing thing I’ve ever experienced all at the same time.

    The worst thing for me is seeing my friends getting married and having their dads give them away and do the father-daughter dance. I literally cried through the whole dance at my friends wedding and had to excuse myself (his passing was still very fresh then though).

    I’m really sorry to hear that you might have to go through this yourself. Take comfort in family and cherish whatever amount of time you have left with him, be it days, months, or years (don’t think I have to tell you that).

    Post # 10
    1015 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I was 27 when my dad died.  We weren’t very close, so I struggled with why his death impacted me the way it did.  I think it’s because now that he’s gone, we will never have the opportunity to be close.  He was my favorite person in the world when I was little, and then life (mainly the woman he married) got in the way.  If he hadn’t gotten sick, I’m sure we could have been very close again someday (he wanted out of the marriage).  But now we’ll never have that chance.  And that really sucks.  As I get older, there are things I wish I could talk to him about.

    Post # 11
    200 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I lost my dad when I was 14, and he was never able to meet my fiance. I am crushed that he won’t be there for my wedding, not to mention that he wasn’t there for my high school, college, or grad school graduations. So many milestones that I would do anything to share with him, but I’m grateful for the 14 years I did have. It’s especially hard because when I was 14, I didn’t understand the finality of death and looking back, I do regret not spending more time with him. But that being said, I know that my dad will always be a part of me and hold a special place in my heart and life 🙂 I’m sad he won’t walk me down the aisle, but having my mom escort me instead will be a special moment as well. My dad died of cancer so it was a long process, and once his diagnosis was terminal, he had my mom promise that she would walk me down the aisle– he didn’t want a stepfather to do it if she were to remarry. I always thought that was so sweet, and the thought of him having his wish on my wedding day will make me smile 🙂

    Post # 12
    285 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    I was 19 when my dad died. 

    Post # 13
    6958 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2015

    @MrsPanda99:  I lost my mom after a long illness at 30. How did I cope? I just did I guess. It was really hard, especially when big things happened. When my sister drove off the car lot in her first car I sat in my car crying in the parking lot for an hour. When my FI makes a joke or just says something that reminds me how much my mom would have liked him I get sad because they never met and she will never see how happy I am with him. When I see pictures of brides with their moms I get really bummed sometimes. 

    But it’s not hard all the time anymore. There is no one good way to deal. It’s just one of those things that almost everyone has to go through at some point. And it’s a hell of a lot better than the other option- dieing before your parents and making them deal with that very unnatural loss. 

    Post # 14
    628 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2012

    I lost my mom when i was 29. I moved up my wedding 11 months so she would be there for our wedding. (she was and was great)

    She passed 6 months after our wedding. It is the worst experience I have ever been through. I cope with the help of my sister she is the only person who knows how i feel (we had an amazing relationship with our mother she was our best friend) I believe in the after life, so i know in my heart that she’s watching over me from above and that makes me feel close to her. my DH and I bought a house this year and some days were tough because i know that she would have loved to come over and help me paint and plant flowers but we are also very close to the beach so when i would go for walks i felt her with me because she would have LOVED to come over after work and go for a walk and chat for a couple miles.

    To be honest i talk to my mom all the time. and that helps me. she also visits me by way of dragon flies it started up the day of her funneral and i see them in the oddest places they have followed me in the grocery stores, flew backwards looking in to my car while i’m on the high way, followed me on my walks, its so crazy how often i see them that it has to be her saying hi. I know that having children will be hard without her here but i knwo she’s watching from above.

    Post # 15
    513 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    @MrsPanda99:  I lost my father suddenly when I was 20- almost 7 years ago now.

    I don’t think you really “cope” so to speak, but just take one day at a time, and eventually time heals all wounds, but there will still always be scar to remind you. At first so many people would say to me “I don’t know how you do it”, well to be quite frank, the reality is you don’t have a choice

    I think the hardest part for me is that I wasn’t all that close with my father. He was always around, but as I learned since he has passed, he struggled with depression for most of his life. This has been difficult to digest but also helps me undertsand why he wasn’t really able to engage with his kids like many other parents would. It’s hard because, I can remember some good times, but also a lot of not so great times and trying to understand what it was like for him.

    While he did not get to see my graduate undergrad and grad shool and will not see me get married (and missed my sisters’ weddings and only got to meet 2 of his 6 grandkids), I use his experience to make sure I take care of myself and value myself more.

    Post # 16
    1287 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @MrsPanda99:  I lost my Mom, my mentor and my best friend, at 29 due to cancer.  It sucked.  It still sucks.  I find planning my wedding has been way more difficult than I ever could have imagined without her, being it is the first HUGE milestone she has physically been absent from.  I count my blessings, however, that she was there for others…graduations, my first home buying process, and having the opportunity to meet my soon-to-be husband.  


    Her spirit lives on, however, in each of us – the daughters she left behind.  That is how I cope every day.  Would she want me to cry at the loss, or live my life to the fullest? Would she want me to not forego our ‘dream’ (because we talked about it) wedding day, without friends and family, because it is just too damn hard without her OR would she want me to celebrate this marriage the way he thought I would?  Both answers are the latter options, and so, thru my grief I keep on going.


    I will say that a surprsing emotion that has surfaced since this occurred, for me anyways, is my fear of losing someone else so damn close to me.  I think about it all the time, and worry more about my sisters, my FI, my Dad, etc, etc and pray that they do not leave me before their ‘time’, which in a perfect world is a ripe old age.  And, I am more afraid of enduring a pregnancy, childbirth and a newborn without her – more than anything else.   People often say your mom is the BEST person for that journey, and well, I am well aware she will not be there.




    Leave a comment

    Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

    Find Amazing Vendors