101 Ways to Cope with Losing Elderly Parents # 1

I consider ‘losing elderly parents’ to include the time from when parents become frail to the years after they have died and my aim in this series is to identify what I see as key ways to cope with that journey which is so common, yet so unique.

The suggestions that I will be making are not intended to come in any particular order but are all ones which I see as being important from my personal experience of losing my mother (88) in May 2009 and my father (91) in September 2010. Please feel free to comment as you see fit. I really want this to be a place where there is interaction and a sense of community and learning from each other.

Make time to spend time with your parents while they are alive ~ be it through face-to-face conversations, phone calls, letters, emails ….. Where there is a will, there is a way!

Nesting Time, Cove Road, Tramore, Co. Waterford.

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

8 thoughts on “101 Ways to Cope with Losing Elderly Parents # 1”

  1. Your timing is perfect, Jean, as today is the two year death anniversary of my Mom…she was 90, so she lived a good, long life until the very end with liver cancer. She didn’t suffer long, although we think she may have been hurting longer than she admitted. My Dad is still living and driving at 94 (you might have seen on my blog), but he misses her terribly. She passed just shy of their 67th wedding anniversary, so this month on the 24th would have been 68. Time does heal, as there are less frequent tears, but they do come periodically when we really focus on reality. It is very surreal losing a parent and I can’t even imagine losing both. My heart goes out to you, too…

  2. Lauren, thanks for writing on what I know can’t be an easy day for you or your father.
    I agree, to an extent, that time heals but I think a huge amount depends on what ingredients are added to the time. I’m not so sure that it works passively.

  3. My father passed away last May at the age of 70 and I so don’t feel he was elderly though cancer had tortured his body to the point of making him so.

    I totally agree with your statement:
    Make time to spend time with your parents while they are alive ~ be it through face-to-face conversations, phone calls, letters, emails ….. Where there is a will, there is a way!
    We tried to spend as much time as we could with him and still feel we could have done more. I guess we always feel we could have done more!

    1. Dale, I’m so sorry that your father had to suffer so much.
      I doubt there is anyone who feels that they did everything they possible could but it sound like you did your best under your particular circumstances and that’s what counts.

  4. I’m just heading out to spend the day with my mother. She is 89 and still going strong despite suffering with arthritis. I’m so grateful that I still have her. I get so panicky when I think of a time when she is no longer here.

    1. Hi Trish, thanks for writing and I hope you have a happy day with your mother.
      I suspect that very few ‘grown-up children’ don’t get the pangs of panic that you mention. However, it’s definitely wise to take every day at a time and do your best to have the chats about your mother’s wishes should she become unwell. No doubt, she has similar ‘panicky’ thoughts about ever having to say goodbye to you so now is the time to talk , share and say what needs to be said. There’s nothing worse than regrets down the road and I have certainly found that all my panic was absolutely pointless. Somehow, our precious parents never really leave us as they remain in our hearts forever.

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