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anartist's avatar

Aging Orphans: feeling a little bit alone in the world with both parents gone no matter how old you are?

Asked by anartist (14774points) May 31st, 2011

I feel this. I suspect others, particularly those without issue, feel the same.Surely I am not alone in this?

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16 Answers

filmfann's avatar

I ache for their advice.

bkcunningham's avatar

My dear old dad is 91 and recently had a bout of pneumonia that has left him very weak. This has been on my mind alot lately. I’m afraid a big part of my identity will be gone. I have always been his daughter. Losing my Mom was very difficult. I lost one of my best friends. Someone who I could always confide in and know there would be no BS. If it is God’s will that my dad dies before me, it will be the beginning of something I have never experienced in life. I know I’ll be okay, but it will be a real defining moment for me.

josie's avatar

When my dad died ( he survived my mom), my oldest friend said “Well, no more second opinions”.

Berserker's avatar

A lot of my teenage life was spent in group homes. Not quite the same as being an orphan no, but along the same lines. I do miss my dad a lot. Sometimes I feel alone, but I don’t really attribute it to this subject.
Even so, I’m sure you’re not alone in feeling this, no.

Sunny2's avatar

Being the oldest in my family dawned on me slowly after my parents died. I don’t feel alone because I have a lot of friends and acquaintances my age or thereabouts. I also have felt for a long time that each person is basically alone when it comes right down to it. We have family, friends, and other people, but you yourself are basically alone. But I don’t feel alone. I feel like I’m on a conveyor belt and I’ll be the next to go over the edge into the bin.

anartist's avatar

@bkcunningham hopefully, for his sake, he will. No parent wants to outlive a child.

Jeruba's avatar

I miss both of my parents. But I have a husband and children, and my siblings are all living, so I don’t feel alone. Yet, like @Sunny2, I have a conviction that we are all essentially alone.

My father’s been gone for 28 years; he was much too young, and his mother had to see him buried. My mother’s been gone for three, and although I didn’t wish to hasten her death, by then I was ready to do without parents.

I also see myself as next in line because I’m the eldest, but of course people don’t all depart in the order in which they arrived. My father’s older sister is still living.

BarnacleBill's avatar

My dad walked out when I was 12, and pretty much created a childless life for himself and my stepmother. He tried to be more family oriented when the grandchildren came along, but he was absent from my life so much that it really didn’t have that pronounced of an effect. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers 8 years ago and is moving into the last stages. She always gave terrible advice, and I would do the exact opposite of what she told me to do.

I wonder about my friend, who is a Vietnamese orphan, adopted by an American GI as a toddler. Her parents had a biological son, and then adopted my friend and two more Vietnamese orphans. She knows her birth name, but nothing else about her family of nativity. Her father died about 10 years ago, and it came out that her mom never really wanted to adopt Vietnamese children; it was her dad’s idea. That seemed to me to make the loss much more profound. Add to that, two failed marriages, with children by two different fathers, and there is a life disconnected.

anartist's avatar

@BarnacleBill very sad for your friend. But wouldn’t it have been worse for her had she never been adopted?

Judi's avatar

I miss my mommy so bad. She died between this last Christmas and New Years and this was the hardest mothers day ever.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@anartist Yes. Maybe. Maybe her birth mother or family would have found her. A lot of Vietnamese children ended up in ophanages because they were separated from their families, or abandoned because their mothers couldn’t feed them. Either way, she is alone, which is interesting to ponder, from the outside looking in. I think the rejection of the mother that raised her is harder than death in many ways.

I used to be envious of people whose fathers were dead, because they didn’t choose to leave.

anartist's avatar

@Judi I am so sorry.

@BarnacleBill I hope her mother did not reject her totally. After all she did raise her. Why tell her after the fact that she never wanted to?

It seems both heartless and pointless.
Why further damage what is now only memory?

BarnacleBill's avatar

When the youngest started college, mom moved to a different state, gave her biological son the house they grew up in. Perhaps the mother is a thoughtless, self-absorbed person. I know couples where the wife only had children because the husband wanted a family; it’s a little weird when the mother is distant. I think kids know.

john65pennington's avatar

Its ironic that you should ask this question at just this time. My mother just passed to join my dad in heaven. This now leaves yours truly to carry the ball for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I was discussing just the subject with my wife two days ago. I told my wife, “well, I guess its up to you and I now to be the leader of the band in our family”. She agreed. Both parents, on both sides of our family are now deceased.

This is a major role to lead and taking over being the head of both families.

We can do this. We have guidance from above.

Great question. jp

anartist's avatar

@john65pennington I’m sure you and your wife will carry on wonderfully
It’s that old ever rolling stream, in which we too, move along

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I am sorry about your parents.
My mom has been dead over a decade and I still miss her very much.She went way too soon and was truly a beautiful person..
My dad died last year and I am still coming to terms with his death.
Yes,it’s hard sometimes.

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