I lived next door to my parents for most of my adult life. My Mom cooked dinner for the three of us every day. We would go fishing together and do numerous things all of my life as a family. My Dad and I were business partners. He never wanted to be retired so I always allowed him to work at my office or hang out every day. I have spent so many years with my parents always at my side and seeing them every day of my life. I can not adjust now that they are both gone.

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My sincere condolences on the loss of your parents. Losing them so close together has to hurt ... badly.

Based on my experience, I can only offer this: When you think about the good times you had together, savor them for what they were, and try not to think about how much you miss them. Easier said than done, I know.

And my experience? My beloved FIL and MIL died within two weeks of each other. My FIL was 92, had Alzheimer's, and had been in a facility for 10 months before he passed away, so his death was pretty much expected; nevertheless, he was a wonderful, accomplished and very funny man who definitely made his mark on my life in the 8 years I had known him, and it was hard to accept his passing.

My mother-in-law can best be described as "an Angel on earth." She was unfailingly sweet, patient and diplomatic - simply put, a remarkable woman. When I first met her, she quite literally welcomed me with open arms (and a bone-crunching hug, despite the fact that she weighed barely 90 lbs). She never had a bad thing to say about anyone, and always found something nice to say about everyone.

She cared for my FIL until she reached the age of 87, and after he went into the facility, she visited him daily until her own strength began to fail, just a few weeks before he died. Two days before she passed away, she called to ask my advice on how to word a "thank you" note to my husband's boss for the lovely floral arrangement he sent for FIL's funeral. She unexpectedly entered the hospital the next day, and died less than 24 hours later. I always thought that she held herself together just long enough to fulfill her social obligations, and after she did that, she gave herself up to God.

Her passing was quite a shock to all of us. I felt it more keenly, or perhaps a little differently, than the rest of the family, because I had known this beautiful woman for just a few short years. Every time we visited my in-laws, I was filled with peace and happiness. I had soaked up as much of that goodness as I possibly could, and I didn't want to give it up.

I grieved for many months after losing these two wonderful people. It's been almost a year and a half since they left us, but I can now remember them with more happiness than tears, reliving the many sweet and funny moments we shared. I know that's the way they would want it, and as devout Christians, they would want us to be happy, knowing that they had gone on to the glory of heaven.

You were blessed to be part of such a close-knit, loving family for so many years. That's a very difficult thing to give up. Take solace in remembering all of the good things. And remember that, should you still have great difficulty in accepting your loss, there is grief counseling out there to help you. I wish you all the best.
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Riverdale Mar 1, 2019
That was a beautiful reply. Your story and the one of the original poster are wonderful to hear. There are so many sad and depressing stories here that are simply the reality of those experiencing them through no fault of theirs. Life must go on and your special griefs are testament to the love you shared.
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You were lucky.
I never knew my parents as an adult, they both died when I was young. They died 4 years apart.
You were lucky that you got along. I read so many posts here and talk to people that have problems with their parents so it is a blessing when I read a post like yours.
Your parents did a wonderful "job", isn't it the job of a parent to raise a functioning, responsible, thoughtful, caring child?
Take what you got from them and pass it on.
Find a passion you all had and share it. Or find a new one.
Big Brothers or Big Sisters need volunteers.
Local schools need help in many ways form helping teachers with projects to tutoring children.
Animal shelters need help.
Hospitals need volunteers
Hospice facilities need volunteers. (Medicare requires that a certain % of hours are volunteer hours)
Whatever you did with your Dad for work there must be some opportunity to help others. (a CPA can help seniors do taxes, a Lawyer can help in many ways, a contractor can help arrange "handyman" service, you get the idea.)
You need to find a new "normal" for you.
And just from what you wrote my suspicion is your parents loved each other very much. It is common for couples that have been together for many many years to die within a short time sometimes hours but often within the year.
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Lynn, you have received many lovely notes of condolence here, and I add mine to them. It sounds like you were extremely fortunate to have had such a long and loving relationship with your parents. I'm going to add something that I hope will help in a different way.

Be grateful. Not only for the wonderful relationship you had, but also that you did not have to watch your beloved parents suffer from dementia in any of its awful forms. If your parents passed away peacefully within a few months of each other, that is one of the greatest gifts their lives could have given them, and you.

I am watching my mother deteriorate day by day. She is a prisoner of her failing brain and suffers terribly from delusions and hallucinations. My dad passed away a year ago and he was the center of her life. I live with her and take care of her, but nothing fills the void he left. She is unhappy and miserable every day of her life. And I am helpless to do anything that will ease that pain, other than give her all the loving care I can.

Many people on this board have stories that are much worse than mine. Dementia is a terrible, cruel way to live out one's days. Please take comfort in knowing that you and your parents did not have to suffer through that and were able to enjoy your lovely and loving relationship to the very end of their lives.
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Remember how when you were a Child, they were Adults? Not the same stage of existence as you, but close by you. Now You are an Adult and They have moved to the NEXT stage of existence, but still near. Just as near as when you were a Child and They were Adults.
Separation is a cruel illusion. Their FORM has changed, but not their presence.
If you stay tuned in, you will notice many times that they indicate they are still close-- a song, a smell, an old birthday card that you run across, a dream that "seems" so Real. Guess what!
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It takes time. You can get grief counseling - go through your local churches if you don't know how.

I lost my BIL of 50 years, a week later I lost my DH, and the following week my sister told me she was leaving the state to live by her son. So, in 3 weeks, I lost 3 people that were very important in my life.

I cried, I was devastated and alone. I asked God to bring me a companion and told him I had to have a companion the day after DH passed or I wouldn't make it. The morning after DH passed, I got a phone call about a dog needing a home desperately and Bubba has been my companion ever since. I had my grief and he came with emotional problems; separation anxiety and abandonment issues. It took us both 7-1/2 months to come to terms with our separate issues - but we did it.

God sent me an animal that was afraid and/or unwilling to go out by himself. This made me get out of bed, get dressed and walk him 4X daily. Without him I would not have gotten out of bed and I would have followed my DH of 33 years. BTW, DH was 96 to my 66 - so it's not like it was my time to pass. But I felt I had nothing to live for. Bubba helped me to keep moving.

There's help and hope out there for you - but you will have to go look for it or ask for it.

I am sorry for your losses. It's always difficult saying goodbye to those we love.
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So sorry for your loss. Eventually, the pain will lessen. I guess you aregoing to have to push yourself to make some friends and develop a social life to help with the loneliness. If you can't handle it on your own, perhaps consider therapy to help you. Good luck.
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I am sorry for your loss. Living next door to them all of your life understandably make their loss even more difficult for it is as if you never really left home. The best thing that I can say is seek to build yourself a new normal by finding a grief group and developing good friends. They survived the lost of their parents. You will survive the loss of your parents. I wish you the very best.
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You did have a very close relationship. It must be hard living next door. You have more than a lot of people. Good memories of good people. You were blessed. As said, it will lesson but u will always have the good memories. See if there is a grief group at one of the Churches. I know mine has one. Talking to others may help.
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Sorry for your loss. I am also an only child who was extremely close with my parents. My mom and I lived in condos across the hall from each other. My mom died in August and the first 6 months were very difficicult. Grief counseling has helped me a lot. Not sure if therapy is something you are interested in.

I try to keep myself busy busy with work, friends, activities and pets.

I will I’ll never get over my loss but I am learning to live my new normal. Our parents loved us so much that I know they want us to be happy.

sending gentle hugs.
Helpful Answer (7)

Perhaps you have two issues, both linked to your high involvement with your parents and your limited remaining family members.

When my mother died, I was shocked by the hole in my life. From living in her house and nursing her 24/7, with medical people in and out frequently, there was suddenly nothing. I lost her, but also a big group of people who were important to me and vice versa. I had seen very little of other people for some time, and found friends quite hard to relate to. Building and rebuilding contacts wasn’t easy, or even attractive and relevant.

At the same time, there was no-one to talk to about her. My ex-husband wasn’t interested, my sisters lived a long way away and went home quickly, I didn’t want to upset my young daughters. Perhaps I was almost as isolated as you are being an only child. The recurring thought ‘I must ask Mum about that’ had no answer.

I had a bad three months, but then managed to get a place on a 6 week camping holiday to places I had never seen before. New things to look at and think about, new people to ‘explore’, turned the corner for me. I still have the ‘must remember to ask about that’ thought 20 years later, doubled now that my ex-husband died last year. There seem to be more things than usual that prompt it, which is a bit odd.

I have learned to be very sympathetic towards people who have lost their loved one, along with all the other people who made up a crowded busy stressful life. I also realise more how lonely life becomes in old age when there are progressively fewer people who share your memories.

I hope that you feel better as soon as possible, and also hope that you can manage (financially as well as emotionally) to get away and bring new things into your life. Best wishes.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 6, 2019
I love your answer.
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