Has anyone else lost a parent when they were a kid?

I lost my mum when I was 11, in 1983. I am soon to be 46, getting close to the age she passed at (49, a month short of her 50th birthday). I have only recently realised I never grieved her loss, mainly because at 11 you don’t have the skills to do it. Now it seems it is coming out to be dealt with.

Just wondered if anyone else out there has had a similar experience? It’s hard to talk to anyone about it as so few people can relate. I never realised how much her loss affected me and who I am today. Thanks x

Hello Mooey. I can understand what you mean. I lost my Dad to Suicide at 10 years old. I am 52 now. It’s true about lacking the emotional tools to deal with grief at that age. Grief through the eyes of a youngster is a totally different concept to an adult’s isn’t it Were you an outgoing child that preferred to cry and shout openly, or did you bottle things up, how did your remaining parent interest with you, did they show emotion openly, were you supported by extended family, friends, teachers etc. Factors that all influence us. We are similar ages and I think in those days children were more likely to be kept at arm’s length more than today’s children. I think it’s a generation thing but it meant that sometimes things weren’t discussed openly, and so may tester and re-emerge sometime later. I’m not saying this was how you experienced your loss but it was for me and as a result I also feel like I didn’t grieve at the time properly. I don’t have a lot of memories of my Dad and I don’t revisit that time of my life often I am the oldest of three children, my brother being just under three years old at the time and a middle sibling and I don’t think any of us have really “confronted” our loss. It’s been experienced and is part of our life story but hasn’t been “confronted”. I don’t know if you feel the same? I am aware that my loss has had an effect on my whole way of life, some effects are more subtle and in the background but they are there. I was reading today about grief being patient, very patient, and it will hang around and wait until it’s “dealt with” thoroughly. I’m beginning to feel that is very true. Especially so following the loss of my Husband a while ago. If you decide to have counselling I dare say it will be very difficult but the experience may bring some comfort to you in some way. I haven’t spoke to a counsellor about my childhood loss and believe I should have really. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, I seem to have wrote a lot but not actually said anything, but I can understand a liittle of where you are coming from. I hope writing on the Forum here has helped and hope you get a lot of replies that are helpful. Kindest regards Tina.

Hi Tina, thanks for your response. I can totally relate to what you’ve said. And yes, I think times were very different then compared to now. Counselling wasn’t a thing then, was it? It’s strange how it is a different experience to losing someone as an adult. My dad was supportive but had to work to keep things going and I think we just muddled through. I never realised until I grew into an adult that I hadn’t grieved. I suppose it’s hard to do if you have no frame of reference for it. Also, no one expects to lose a parent that young, so there is no one to talk to or relate to.

I had counselling a few years ago and worked through some of it then, but I guess it is demanding to be dealt with now. Thanks for your response- I really appreciate it. Take care, Mooey x

You’re welcome, take care.

Hi Mooey,
My wife lost her mother when she was 5 years old. She became upset when she began to approach her mothers death age. A friend of ours also experienced the same effect. Apparently it’s a recognised symptom.
Take care

Hi H, that makes perfect sense. I had read much the same from a couple of sources. I’m reading The Loss That is Forever, if you are interested. Insightful book but emotional to read. I’m 46 and my mum died aged 49; she fell ill aged around 48, so I think I am conscious of that.
Thank you for your reply - much appreciated. Mooey x

Hi I lost my dad to cancer when I was 9, I can barely remember how I felt afterward apart from Remembering the day it happened the following year is a blur. As a 31 year old grown up I now feel and have felt for a long time like something is missing almost like I’m waiting or searching for something, I have a loving family and children which I love but almost feel like life is passing me by while I am in limbo waiting I don’t no if this is normal I don’t think I am as happy as I should be…confused