Losing a Parent – by Relate’s Sue Reed

26 March 2014

Losing a parent

Buddhism has a maxim, “we are alive therefore we will die”.  This is a simple and obvious truth of existence but one which we struggle to come to terms with. Death and dying are often a big taboo in families, who would readily discuss other life changing experiences.

There is the natural expectation that parents will die before their children but nothing really prepares adult children for the loss of this relationship. When parents die we have to face a changed reality. The people who have brought us into this world and have known us for all our life are no longer there, so what is our place in this family when we become elders, who do we look to for support? Adults who have lost a parent will often talk of the intense loneliness they feel and some describe themselves as “orphans”, remembering the feelings and fears of early childhood.


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