The death of one parent is devastating, but the death of both parents can be even more devastating.
However, I don’t see losing my parents as final. Of course I am saddened not to have them in my life any more, but with such strong beliefs I know they are still around me, just not with me. For those of us who lose both parents and don’t have the same feelings or understandings, it must be enormously difficult.
What does it mean to lose both parents?
When we lose both of our parents we lose the primal ties that keep the family united. We lose a generation, as we become the next generation. Our next of kin changes over to our spouse who becomes our next of kin. The family dynamics change, as does our own mortality, as we come face to face with it for the first time.
We also gain more responsibility through the process. It’s not the same feeling when we lose one parent. Life still goes on to a certain extent, as we continue to live our lives around our last surviving parent and we look to that parent for encouragement and support.
Unfortunately, the death of both parents will shift the dynamics of the family, as the remaining siblings try to adapt to life without them. Some siblings may feel a sense of guilt that perhaps they didn’t manage to say what they wanted to say, or other siblings may feel relieved that finally they are free of their parents’ judgment and criticism.
Other siblings may feel numb, not knowing how to deal with their parents’ passing and feel scared and alone. Of course the experience is different for everyone. We may also feel more vulnerable, as the shield that once protected us from old age and death is no longer in place.
As we become the next in line, that could be seen as negative if we choose to see it that way. I’m choosing only to see the positive of life, rather than see this as a next step.