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I sympathize. My mom passed 2005, my dad, 2 years later. My Husband passed 2015. Just 20 days shy of our 30th anniversary.
I have learned that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone is different. Also, there is no end to grieving, it is how we deal with it.
I talk to all of them outloud. Just as I pray. It isn't a prayer, I just talk to God outloud. If I'm pissed off at God, he knows it. And that is ok.
I talk to my husband, my mom (yes we argue) and my dad. He always had good advice. In that sense of day to day life without them, I find answers. That is what praying is supposed to do, right?
A good cry helps every now and then. And I write a lot. A LOT! I am one of those "on and on and on andonandon..." 😏
Blessed be.
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Dear SusanMp,
I wish you a Happy Belated Birthday in spite of having to also be reminded that your parents are no longer with you. My dad was the first parent I lost back in 2004 it was extremely difficult. The hospice counselor said she thought it would take me ten years to finally be at peace with my loss - she was nearly right - it took me eight. Now, my mom is 95 with Alzheimer's and nearly died in April due to severe dehydration and getting COVID among a couple of other things. I'm dreading when that time comes especially as I'm an only child and extended family isn't involved in my life. I have already gone through at least three periods of anticipatory grief. I've heard that when you lose the second parent, you feel like an orphan - I believe it. As AlvaDeer stated below, we all grieve in our own way. There's no timetable to follow. Never listen to anyone who tells you "you should be over it by now, it's been "x" amount of years". As I've told someone else we never "get over it" - we just need to learn how to incorporate it into our lives.
My dad was a quiet, depressed, loner type. I was able to lead him to the Lord two weeks before he died and I was so thankful that he accepted Him because that was a HUGE burden for me. After he died, one night I had a dream that to this day I remember vividly. It looked like he was at the beach on a bright sunny day and he was so happy, jumped up in the air kicking his heels together. When I woke up, it was so comforting to me.
The one thing I struggled with was going to grief support groups which is how I ended up with the hospice counselor who did one-on-one sessions with me. This hospice company provided services up to one year from the date of death. In my support groups and I tried two, the majority had lost spouses and they just didn't feel like losing parents was as significant. I had received some unkind comments, so I never went back. I didn't need that when I was hurting so badly.
But, that's not to discourage you - you may find you get good support in a group.
What I did is immersed myself in the grief, I didn't try or even want to run from it. I faced it head on, while my mom and husband dealt with it within themselves. I made evenings after dinner "me" time. I would crawl into bed, had soft lighting in the bedroom and curled up with one of my grief books. I read the book called "Losing a Parent - Practical Help for You and Other Family Members" by Fiona Marshall. I still have it and when my mom passes away, I will turn to it once again. I allowed myself to feel and experience the pain. I had journaled the whole experience beginning with when my dad became ill. Writing for me was very cathartic.
I'm sure as you continue on this journey, you will find just the right thing for you to cope, keep their memories alive in your heart and mind and find a good outlet for everything else that may arise - sometimes when we least expect it. May you find and experience peace along the way! Take care of yourself -
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Oh, Susan. Happy Birthday. You share a name with my own daughter. I sure wouldn't want her to feel grief in my absence. We often speak of understanding this loss is coming. I just lost my 85 year old bro who I was so lucky and so blessed to have so many years of my life. I feel him with me, and think of him so often, and give myself this year of "Magical Thinking" to make a journal in which I write the letters I always wrote to him about my daily thoughts. For my own parents, they were so wonderful and I felt so lucky to have them so long. When they died in their 90s I remember only feeling love, sorry for myself, and a sense of almost "relief" in knowing I never had to be afraid for them again. I think we all mourn in our own way. I was so lucky in my family. I am 78 and now the last of them as far as the elders; I still kind of feel them "WITH ME". I hope you do too.
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these responses, alternative views and advice really help self-reflection. Thank you all so much.
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Taking the milestone days and remembering the LOVE you had---read some other posts and let the anguish and pain that some of us have b/c we have lousy/non-existent relationships with one parent or the other.

You are lucky and blessed. Those fond memories and obvious love you shared are beautiful and sweet. DON'T try to quash them---spend some time remembering and enjoying those memories.

Too many of us on this site are struggling to find any feelings of kindness or love for a parent---I wish I HAD your problem, in a way.

For my mother's 90th b-day, YS asked us all to write a special loving memory about mother that we held dear.

Maybe I'm a rotten person, but I couldn't do it. I ended up buying a card and signing my name. I doubt she noticed, and that is part of the ongoing hurt.

I have pre-grieved her passing--and she's still alive.

Be gentle with yourself and hold dear the memories you have.
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Although I am the opposite of a fanciful person, you may observe at some point that the presence of those whom you cherished in life seems to remain.

Something missing that is mysteriously found, a glimpse of something and a mediate flash of recollection, a sound or scent or sight that is unmistakably theirs.....

I lost my father under excruciatingly painful circumstances, and swore I would never recover, but ultimately, it was through him that I learned a sweet truth about my mother, a very difficult woman with whom I had never been friends. Then some time later, we had lost a critically important legal document concerning her care, and I was sure it had been tossed away.

While visiting her vacant house, I felt a sense of urging into another room, and casually leaned on a table when I got there, trying to figure out what I’d come for. As I shifted my weight, I glanced down at the table and among a huge pile of her legal documents, noticed one slightly out of place. The irreplaceable document that would allow us to continue managing her care.

And this has happened many times, with many losses, since then. So they are there, and will continue to be.

So have a gentle happy birthday, not too much remembering, a few tears if you need to, but let a little of their presences be with you as well, if you can.

Fondest thoughts.
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First, let me wish you a happy birthday.
I'm very sorry that you're suffering with this grief. I totally get it. I lost my dad very young (15), so most of my major milestones were missing him.
I don't know how long it's been since you lost your parent (s). If this is the "first" milestone, it's going to be tough. But I promise, it gets easier. Time will help heal the wounds. Your loved ones will always be remembered during these times, it will always be sort of bittersweet, but as time progresses you will feel the "sweet" more than the "bitter".
You need to allow yourself time to grieve. There's no right amount of time or wrong amount of time. But if you feel helpless or hopeless, if you're finding that nothing gives you even the slightest amount of happiness, or if you find yourself overwhelmed with guilt when something does make you happy, then it's time to find a grief support group and join. They will be able to help you through, because they have all been where you are right now.
I wish you peace, today and going forward.
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