How Losing a Parent Impacts your Life – No Matter Your Age

When someone you’ve known your entire life dies, a part of you dies with them.

Senior businessman looking at photo with deep sadnessEvery day at Moloney Family Funeral Homes, our caring team helps our neighbors in Lake Ronkonkoma, Holbrook, Central Islip and Port Jefferson Station families who have lost a loved one. Time and time again, we see how losing a parent creates overwhelming grief. After all, no one can take a parent’s place, sharing in the endless ups and downs and joys and sorrows that come with life.

When you were a child and felt any kind of pain, you didn’t think twice before turning to your mother or father. As a teen, in spite of your growing independence, you knew your mom or dad was only a phone call away. And as an adult, you may have continued to rely on your parent’s stability, wisdom, and perspective to give you a boost when you needed it.

They were always there for you – and now they’re not.

It’s no wonder such a loss creates a painful and complicated mix of emotions. This is often compounded by the misconception that adults move through grief quickly and “neatly.” There is an expectation – sometimes spoken, sometimes not – to handle the loss maturely, stoically, quietly. Even when you may feel the exact opposite.

In reality . . .

You may feel numb. You wake up in the morning and it takes a minute for reality to register. How can your parent be gone?

You may feel depressed. This is appropriate. Even after a time, you have not snapped out of it. In fact, you still can’t believe life has unfolded this way and you feel sad every time you think about it.

You may react differently than your siblings. One of you isolates and avoids getting together while the other finds it helpful to talk every day.  One may be angry over the circumstances surrounding the death, the other is more accepting.

You may want to move on with life as quickly as possible so you can avoid feeling anything at all. It’s surprising just how many people attempt to manage their grief by ignoring it.

You may feel afraid of forgetting the sound of their voice, the feel of their hand holding yours, the smell of dad’s aftershave or mom’s perfume.

You may feel so tired, so fatigued that you wonder if something else is wrong.

This is grief. You feel lost because your anchor is gone – and there is no replacement.

The only option is to keep going, hour after hour, day after day. Holding on to the memories of what made your parent so special and carrying on their legacy in a way that brings meaning to your life.

Grief is a life-long journey – and we’re here to support you through it.