Death or Loss of a Parent

The death or loss of a parent should not be underestimated, even if they are in old age and the child is an adult. The loss of a source of loving support, even if expected, can be devastating. Alternately, if a parent is suffering, death may be a source of relief. If the parent is estranged, their death may be met with little or no feeling at all—and that can in turn inspire guilt or confusion. A young child experiencing the death or loss of a parent may go through profound emotional turmoil, with bouts of feeling overwhelmed, sad, depressed, pressured to take on new responsibilities, isolated, and angry, while someone experiencing the loss of a parent while a young adult may feel adrift or isolated from their peers. At any age, there may be legal, financial, or practical impacts that add stress and complicate the grieving process. Self-compassion and professional support can be two key features of working through this difficult time.


Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper's Beautiful Conversation About Grief

This conversation was so raw and tender - truly a wonderful display of human interaction.

Death of a Parent: Transition to a New Adult Identity

In the midst of the busiest years of our lives and careers, just as many of us are beginning to confront our own aging, we are likely to lose a parent--and as commonplace, even expected, as any such event may be, the repercussions can be dramatic.

Dear Therapist Writes to Herself in Her Grief

In the months before my father died, I asked him a version of that question: How will I live without you?

The death of a beloved is an amputation.


Dr. Maya Angelou on Loving and Letting Go | Belief | Oprah Winfrey Network

When Dr. Maya Angelo was told her mother, Vivian Baxter, had three weeks to live, she invited her to spend her final days with her in North Carolina. Vivian was suffering from terminal lung cancer, but she lived on for another year and a half-far beyond what the doctors had expected.

Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss (20th Anniversary Edition)

Although a mother’s mortality is inevitable no book has discussed the profound lasting and far reaching effects of this loss until Motherless Daughters, which became an instant classic.

How to Recover and Find Strength After Losing a Parent

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” ~Dalai Lama

You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through.


Everything Around Them Is Still There, Dealing with Sudden Loss | Marieke Poelmann | TEDxUtrecht

In 2010 Marieke Poelmann, 22 at the time, suddenly lost her parents as a result of a plane crash. It took her several years to see that bad things in life do not necessarily have to define you.

Midlife Orphan: Facing Life’s Changes Now That Your Parents Are Gone

The word “orphan” may make us think of a child—but even self-sufficient adults can feel the pain of “orphanhood” when their parents are suddenly gone.


The information offered here is not a substitute for professional advice. Please proceed with care and caution.