Once Your Parents Are Gone: Time To Heal

Posted: 10 years ago | By: Christine Somers | In: Family & Relationships | Read Time: 2 minutes, 15 seconds

Off and on for the last two months, I have had periods of sadness. Nothing as serious as depression or melancholy just a bit of sadness. I recognize that my feelings are tied to the death of my mother last June and truthfully that surprises me. The last year of her life and the months after her death were difficult. Doctors, hospitals, hospice, funeral planning, lawyers, distribution of my parent's property and mounds of paperwork consumed my life and the life of my family. For months, all family conversations centered on Mom or business related to mom. But after the last document was signed and submitted to the state, I believed I would be able to return home and pick-up life as it was before Mom's end of life journey.

I arrived home with an eye to the future but surprisingly; the past keeps coming to the forefront. Turns out grief is not as easily dispensed of as the paperwork needed to sell my parents home or the tools in their garage. The process of grieving is further complicated because I am not grieving one "thing". I am not only grieving the loss of my mother but the loss of my father too. My mother was the last physical connection to my father. In my mind and heart they were a matched set, like a Santa and Mrs. Claus pair of salt and pepper shakers. Mentally the Santa may have been in the dining room and Mrs. Claus in the kitchen but they were both around. Now the set is gone. I feel I lost my father again when my mother died. 

Also, I am grieving the loss of an era. The adults from my childhood are now gone. I once heard a friend say that with the death of his parents, the only remaining people who knew him as a baby were gone. Worst yet, I find myself saying to my grandchildren how much they look like my parents or the parent's of their paternal grandfather. Bless their hearts...what can they say? Because they love me, they politely listen and then change the subject to whether Justin Bieber is a dork or not. 

One of the lessons in life I worked to teach my children was "nothing lasts...not the good times and not the bad times. Enjoy the good times and remember that the bad times are only temporary". The ebb and flow of life can be smooth or rocky but it will continue to change. I want to will away the feeling of sadness but I know it is part of the process. I just want it to move a little faster.