Is anyone else orphaned in their 40’s?

I lost my dad a year ago and my mum recently and with a severely mentally ill brother and no other family I am struggling to cope. My friends haven’t lost anyone and now it’s been 6montha since mum they are getting on with their lives but the pain has got to breaking point. I am taking medication and getting therapy, looking after myself as best I can but I am struggling to cope withdrawing from social stuff cause I feel not able. Just trying to work a few days a week. I just went to hear from other people who have been through this as in my world no one understands x

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Hi Keels,

I’m so sorry to hear that you have lost both your parents, and that none of your friends understand how you feel. It sounds as though you are feeling very alone right now. You have come to the right place to talk to others who understand the grief of losing a parent. While you wait for more replies to your post, I have found some other posts that you might be interested to reply to:

It is good that you are getting therapy and trying to look after yourself. It is OK to take time out from social activities for a while if that is what you need - it’s important to give yourself time to grieve and do what feels right for you.


You are definitely not alone. I am 48 and reeling from the shock of losing my beloved mum 11 weeks ago. She suffered a brain hemorrhage 15 minutes after routine surgery in the recovery room.
Mum was 74 and really active and funny. She was expecting me to collect her from the hospital the following lunchtime and make a full recovery. The shock I have experienced since she died is surreal. I have been signed off work since her funeral and am struggling to cope with being an orphan. My dad died suddenly of a heart attack when he was 53, 21 years ago.
Mum and I coped by supporting each other and I thought I would have her until she was 90.
She helped bring up my daughter who is 12 and missing her nan enormously.
Life is very cruel and unfair and I really feel for you.
I am surprised that your friends havent lost parents. All mine have lost at least 1 parent and several have also lost both.
You are most definitely not alone in your grief.
Cheryl x

Hi Keels, im 32 and both my parents have died. My mum died 4 years ago from pancreatic cancer amd my dad had a catastrophic brain haemorrhage and died end of june this year. I find that im grieving the future I thought I would have and knowing that I have no other family to turn to and losing that person who showed you unconditional love and support so hard to bear. I went back to work yesterday and all I wanted to do was tell dad about my day. All I can say is be kind to yourself and get through each day. Xxxxx

God I am so so sorry, it’s brutal huh?! Well done for going back to work. My mum was my constant throughout my life, not having any parents feels like the foundations of a house crumbling away and I am desperately trying to figure out how to rebuild them if that makes sense? I have anxiety I have never experienced and no desire to do loads of the social stuff I did. It really helps hearing from you as I just haven’t met anyone that has lost both parents. How are you coping? X

Omg Cheryl I am beyond sorry. It’s awful isn’t it? God for you it’s just so new. My mum died in February. I feel the same as you about my mum she was my constant. God you must feel in utter shock, so so sorry. Who do we fall back in now? Who do I check in with? Who do I go to when I am desperately sad now? It’s just so hard. I still can’t believe I have no family now. Sending you so much love and hugs xx


Thankyou. Do you have a partner or children at all? Is there any family at all that you can lean on?
It sounds to me that you are coping better than you think and you should be proud of yourself for doing so.
This forum will help as well just being able to chat with people in similar situations.
What sort of social activities did you used to do? I have also withdrawn from people although mum,my daughter and my partner were my life anyway. I didnt do much socially as I worked long hours. Since I am not working its not easy and as soon as I am fit to go back I will.
When you are sad and need someone to speak to there is always someone on this forum who understands x

Thank you so so much. I don’t have any family just my brother but he is mentally ill poor thing. My friends are great and I have an ex partner who has and still is brilliant. I bought a puppy - read the book everyone died so I bought a dog - it is lovely, he is lovely. I think I have found some friends great and some who I was close to have been non existent which has shocked me. Have you found the same? It’s almost as though they really do not know what to say. Hard to accept but guess they haven’t lost anyone and maybe it’s uncomfortable to them not knowing really how to help or what to say. I think I have just come more into my own world, spending time with loving people and trying to figure out how to get my way through.
I am so glad you have your family around you does it help? I know people still say they feel alone. I still take the dog out with the dog walking group and see friends when I feel like it guess it is at a different level to what I used to do. I used to go to gigs all the time, festivals but I have t the energy for it. Calm time is what helps.
So helpful finding this forum as I don’t know if anyone else who has lost both parents and it is a game changer.
Thank you for replying thank you for your kind words x


Glad I could be of some comfort. Before mum died I had no interest in online forums buy you are right, the people I had in my life dont really know what to say.
Several of my close friends have lost both parents but one lives in Cyprus and the other in Spain.ive hot friends in their early fifties who have both parents still around and who only see them once or twice a year.
I lived and breathed my mum.if I was up at 5am for work so would she be making me a cup of tea. She stayed up till I got home from late turns and called me to make sure I was off my train ok.
I let her know when I got to work safely and she let me know when my daughter was on the bus to school. Of an evening we would watch tv together with a glass of wine and we invited her to every activity we did as a family.
I simply cannot accept that she has gone, taken by a sudden brain haemorrhage.
People say to me that we were lucky she died suddenly, without pain but I dont feel that way.
She wanted to live so much and loved helping bring my daughter up.
Yes it does help having a partner and daughter but both are fed up of my tears and depressed mood. My 12 year old has surprised me how well she has been able to just get on with life considering her and my mum were joined at the hip.
It will be 12 weeks tomorrow since mum had the operation and fell asleep and I honestly cant tell you how I have got through
The only thing I can say, is that, like you, I have got this far and I will carry on.i know life will never be the same again though. When mum died a huge part if me went with her.
Thinking of you x

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Hi, I’m Matthew. I am genuinely sorry to read your news and how you feel. I lost my dad 20 years ago and feel as though I’m preparing myself by joining here knowing my mum has recently been diagnosed with heart failure. A friend mentioned the concept of equanimity to me today which I’d never heard about before and I hope the link to follow helps you in some way

Im very much in the same boat. Even though i have a husband and such, Im still very involved in my familys life. Its such a long story, and can be told another time. Take care and be strong

…i am now 68 but i too was orphaned by age of 37…I lost my mother when i was 26…then my father at age 37…being their only child…Now i have lost my Richard, my partner of 20 years plus one by one our three fur-babies too are gone, yes 20 years ago i was a person who had all i ever wanted to back being that lonely orphan again, and to make it worse i am dealing with a serious illness of MS…I am only surviving, i am not living…My partner Richard was like a father figure to me, so i feel i have been orphaned again, just in later life…

I too have lost both parents I lost my dad when I was 22 he was 48 back in 1998 then I lost my mum 4 years this October,it’s still surreal to be honest I’ve suffered a horrific nervous breakdown , I can’t sleep , permanently got pains in my chest , she was the only one who knew the real me , she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the August after them treating her for a hernia , 5 days after my birthday 12 weeks later from diagnosis she was gone , only her husband of over 20years and his kids I grew up with have cut me off since and my kids , so they lost a nan and grandad and uncle on one day , only I am deeply lost , I’ve lost my mum and step dad together , the upset is turmoil and I could keep you all night telling you , I really don’t no what to do or where to turn and I have contemplated committing suicide , even now I can’t go out without crying , everything is so overwhelming, my mum brought me up by herself you see , I was a difficult but caring kid and since she’s passed I was diagnosed with ocd and adhd/autism as an adult only I can’t tell her that there was actual reasons for me struggling with maths and interaction,making friends etc , doing impulsive things , she must have thought she was going nuts as nothing was ever diagnosed back then you were an extremely difficult child , but my mum new what tactics to use , she knew me ! Me no one else does ,I am crumbling inside and screaming in silence , so yes I am an orphan in my 40’s and whoever is going threw this too huge hugs because it’s just that one thing I need

Forgot to mention the ages of both parents when they died…My father was 65, my mother 61-62, she was five years older than father…I was 26 and 37 at the times of their deaths…I have now outlived both of them, but for how long left i have got as i have PP-MS…Yes i have now lost everything, everyone that ever meant anything to me, even all my uncles and aunts died when i was in my 20’s and 30’s…
This is now a lonely life i am living, NO NOT LIVING, just surviving now my Richard too has gone 11th April…


Again i forgot to mention…when father and me were told of my mothers c***er, ( sorry i cant even say that word as both parents died of it plus my three dogs, my fur-babies )…mother’s GP took us by aside in the hallway and told of…" mother has only a week , she died three days later…


…oh how i would love a group ((( HUG ))) IF ONLY…
kess, i notice you are a young 43, younger than my daughter who is very soon to be 50, i was a young mother at age 18…I would be happy to give you the hug, the cuddle you so desperately need…I think we are all craving that cuddle…I know i am…
Apologies for my multiple posts, one after the other…


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Thank you I read into it. I spent a year living in a Buddhist house/temple. It helps with anxiety and makes everything make a lot more sense I really need to start practicing again thank you x

God Jackie, life seems so so unkind. I am so so sorry god losing Richard must have been agonizing. Ahhhh wish I could give you a hug. Its brutal, I think surely there has got to be more support out there. So many people must go through this and it’s such a lonely, lonely place to be. I bought a puppy a couple of months ago I could bare the empty house and he has made a massive difference. Could you give a home to a rescue that also needs love? Won’t replace any of your fur babies but it’s hard to bare the loneliness huh?
Thinking of you sending masses of love x

Hi all,

So much heartbreak for us all.

Kezz72 I feel your pain. My dad also died in 1998 and was 53. A sudden heart attack which I struggled to come to terms with and now mum suddenly gone at 74.

The feeling of pain in my chest and such sorrow is so hard to bear and along with the rest of your losses, you must be in turmoil.
How old are your kids?
Please don’t think of suicide, they need you.
I dont want to live in this world without my mum either but I could never leave my daughter and bring the pain upon her that I am going through.
If anything, my parents early deaths have made me want to live longer so that she isn’t young when she loses me.
We just have to try and get through this and learn to smile again.
I have counselling starting soon and I am also waiting for CBT therapy on the NHS.
Perhaps you would benefit from this for your anxieties?

All I know is, we have all come this far and will continue to do so,somehow.

Unbelievably it will be 3 months next saturday since mum have I not spoken to her for 3 whole months?
I havent gone more than a few hours without crying in all that time and I will allow myself to cry if i need to.
I’m also finding that exercise helps,albeit temporarily.
Little steps everyone. We will get there.

Cheryl x

When people say they wish there was a phone in heaven , I am pining for her as if I was a young child

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