Losing a parent at young age--how does it affect you? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-17-2007, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can anyone point me toward resources that discuss how babies experience loss/grief and how this may impact on later relationships and life?

I'm not looking for a guide to help a child, but rather to try to better understand my own family relationships; my dad passed away when I was a year old.

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#2 of 11 Old 01-17-2007, 11:52 AM
 
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Compassion Books is a good place to start. As to your question, YES! My father died when I was 9 yrs old after a fight with terminal illness of about 7 yrs. It has affected every aspect of my life, in good ways and not so.
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#3 of 11 Old 01-17-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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i don't have an answer but I did want to tell you that in one book I read (dance of anger) she talks a lot about anniversary years... meaning when a parent has a child reach a year of significance in the parent's own life... which would mean when your first child hit age 1 and now when your second one crosses it.. it brings up your own stuff... it is an interesting book to read by the way..but it is not per se a book about death in families...

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#4 of 11 Old 01-17-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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Oh, yeah. I lost my father when I was 11 years old. I'm now 51, and I have NEVER gotten over it. : I've come to terms with it, but there's a sadness which will be with me the rest of my life.
Tracy, I agree with you about anniversary years. March 6th will be the 40th anniversary of his death. :
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#5 of 11 Old 01-17-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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I lost my mother when I was one. There is definitely long term impact. I was always told that I was lucky that it happened when I was that small because I never really knew her.... but the reality was, I was never allowed to grieve.

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#6 of 11 Old 01-17-2007, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Village Mama View Post
I lost my mother when I was one. There is definitely long term impact. I was always told that I was lucky that it happened when I was that small because I never really knew her.... but the reality was, I was never allowed to grieve.
Yes, I was led to feel fortunate as well. We hardly ever speak of him, which leaves me feeling like there is a piece missing and I shouldn't bother looking for it.

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#7 of 11 Old 01-17-2007, 10:34 PM
 
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I once was up late at night when I was pregnant...and I watched a show on death and how it affected children. Based on the stage in life you were in, it affected your life long term quite differently. I was 7 when my sister died, and as a result of her death I was made more empathic and sensitive to family feelings, I also have very strong interpersonal and relationship skills. I express love freely and have perspective. Though, for a REALLY long time I caught myself emulating my sister's personality...that was the wacky thing. i played the same instument she did, I also aimed for a career in teaching. Though I was incredibly gifted academically, and entered college at 16 I still aimed for a teaching degree. Though, in reality I felt like my mom and parents had directed me that way. I think I cared TOO MUCH about what my parents feelings were with regards to me...probably psychologically because I never wanted them to go through deep pain again.

I had *hints* of the woman I was to become early on though...that is the amazing thing. So, I did eventually make it through it.

One thing too...when my father passed on (we were VERY close) I grieved deeply and sorrowfully for several months. But, then I was able to pass through the stages of grief very quickly in comparison to my remaining siblings. I transitioned into a spiritual relationship with my Dad quicker than the others in my family...and I think part of it was that I had such a deep spiritual relationship with my sister who passed already.

My father passed on at 25. My SIL (my brother's wife) and MIL lost their fathers during their teenage years. As a result they seem to have really have a lot of security issues. SIL surrounds herself with a lot of material posessions and seems to overly care that she is in the right "circle of friends" and communicates with the "right people"...a keeping up with the jones' sort of thing. MIL is also very into keeping things a "certain way"...very in control of her environment and freaks out if anything she doesn't expect happens.

Just some things I've noticed.

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#8 of 11 Old 01-19-2007, 09:34 PM
 
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You may also want to read some adoption literature. There has been much written about the long-term effect on babies and young children when they lose their birthparents.

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#9 of 11 Old 01-21-2007, 08:20 PM
 
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My father died when I was a year old an it has had a huge impact on me. The idea that babies don't rememebr (verbally, anyway) and don't know differntly makes the grief more complicated.
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#10 of 11 Old 01-21-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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it is so interesting coming from asia seeing a different perspective.

my close cousin lost her dad when she was two. doesnt remember him at all. yes there is a hollow in her heart that she never knew him and longs to have known him personally. but for her it is not a suffering. not a negative thing. because everyone in the family paid special attention to them including them and so she was never made to feel a loss of a male role model in her life.

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#11 of 11 Old 01-22-2007, 09:11 PM
 
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I was 5 when my dad passed. It was devistating and it forever changed my relationship with men.
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