Now I am an orphan

zoekMarch 20, 2007

I lost my mother on February 23. She died in Ireland, after suffering for five months with esophageal cancer. I was not with her when she died, though I was able to visit her in early February. My dad (they were divorced for thirty years) died in September of 2005. I was very close to both my parents, I grieved deeplly when my Dad died, but Mum dying has just unhinged me. She had a complicated life; she was alcoholic and it was pretty turbulent for many years, but she was sober those last five months and we got to see her twice, for brief visits.

I'm in my mid-fifties, and I have three siblings. We all have full lives, kids, husbands, houses, work. But I am going around in a fog, waking up at three in the morning, disconnected from everything, totally numb.

I probably need therapy, but I've had my fill of that route, 25 years and not a whole lot of respect for the profession at this point. Everything just seems pointless and uninteresting.

To cap it off, we lost my father in law in December, and my mother in law (94) is basically having a meltdown--has never lived alone and now refuses to leave the house they lived in together for 60 years, refuses to have live in or even part-time help, so my husband has his emotional hands full keeping tabs on her (she lives about half an hour away, on the top floor of a two family house they own).

I am not suicidal, just completely drained and numb. My work is very demanding (physically) and my one outlet that has always saved me, my horse, is sort of sabotaged since she has been seriously lame for four months and is in the middle of a fairly expensive and time consuming rehab program.

I really sound like I'm whining, but I'm not. Just had to vent it all in print, I guess.

Thanks for listening.


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You're not whining and shouldn't feel badly about what you are going through. I'm also in my mid-fifties and just lost my Mom a month ago - she was a drinker until her last day so I get that part of the picture too. Sleeplessness, restlessness, and feelings of being an orphan all seem to be pretty normal for people in our situation. It's good to know but it doesn't help you sleep at 3am! Right now I think we just have to be OK with the sadness and the loss.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:26PM
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Zoek, I'm an orphan too, and it's an odd feeling to have parents who were always there, now gone. Sadly, it's the way of things.

You've had so much going on in your life. It's no wonder you feel drained. Are you both physically and emotionally worn out? Would you be able to take a few days and get away to someplace you like, like the beach or mountains? Just to mentally refresh yourself, rest, read, listen to music you like. Just an idea.

You aren't whining. This is the place to come to share our pain. I'm so sorry about your losses.

How wonderful to have a horse to love and care for. Hope the foot problem improves and you can be back riding or whatever you do very soon.

Take care.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 6:53PM
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Dear Zoek:
My Mother died on April 16, 2004. I was 65 years old at the time and felt like a little lost girl. I have gotten depressed each year around this time and when I get past the anniversary date, I can start to feel a little better. I will never get over losing her and even though we hardly ever saw eye to eye, we loved each other.
Mother was 89 when she died; she lost her own Mother when she (my Mother) was 81 years Granny was almost 104 when she died. Mother never got over that one either. We love our Dads like anything, mine died at 54 when I was just 27 years old, but Mothers are something else. You don't understand the feeling unless you go through it.
Zoek, what you are feeling is natural and unfortunately we just have to go through it until the initial pain eases, as it will. Think of the good times you guys had and if you are like me, and have some unpleasant memories, (I was a terrible sassbox to my mom....spoiled only child), you just have to forgive yourself and know your mom never held it against you anyway. She was no saint either, I don't suppose. At least you have brothers and sisters to talk to who will understand how you feel.
Everything else that you are going through is execerbated by your grief, so try to be kind to yourself and don't expect too much of you right now.
Your horse must be a source of comfort; I hope she gets well real soon.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 7:28PM
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Zoe, grief counseling isn't quite the same as therapy. You might consider it.

I remember when I told my neighbor I was flying down to Florida to be with my mother, who was dying. He said, "Now you're gonna be an orphan." I felt too old to be an orphan, but it didn't take me long to realize that age has nothing to do with it.

The turbulance of your mother's life, and its effect on your relationship, has probably complicated your grieving process. You'll likely get through it without help, but help could ease and shorten the process.

Best of luck to you.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 3:03PM
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I became an orphan on December 2, 2006, when my mother, 89, passed away. My dad had died in January, 2005. I am almost 54 years old, and it is an odd feeling to have had parents and then to have none. In addition to losing my mother in December, my husband became ill in January, 2007, and died March 10. I am about to go back to work today after ten days off, and it will be a difficult day. I am a strong Christian, but I feel that I may need some sort of grief counseling (not therapy, but I don't rule that out, either). I have a strong support network of friends and family and wonderful coworkers, but we need to listen to our inner voices and do what's best for us. We had just moved to our "dream house", and I have spent part of the last two weeks adjusting to the quiet...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 6:18AM
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i know what every one here is going through
im going through the same thing (read other messages on post)
im 33 my step dad died 1/06 real dad 12/06 and mom 1/07
both dads were 56 and mon 52. i have my days when im sad mad crying and just plane meen to people. but i know that the Lord is here and has been with me and my family and my friends, church, parents friends , ad family have been so wonderful! we truly need to rely on God at a time like this
so i will keep each and every one of you in my prayers Because i know it on day i will see my parents agian and you all will too just take it day by day
god bless

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 4:20PM
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Hi zoek,
Just wondering how you're doing? Let us know how things are with you, your work, your horse, mom-in-law, etc. I lurk here often, haven't posted lately. Have lots going on, another (nearby this time) move coming up, celebrating the birthdates of both of my now deceased children, getting over Mother's Day (how was that for you?), yadda, yadda. Hope to hear from you.
Emma in SC
P.S.- I became an "orphan" on March 8th of this year. My father, 86, passed away. I am orphaned on both sides of my & father both gone now, and both children. One expects to lose & bury parents...but never your children.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 8:51PM
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