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Losing a parent in college


ihtst

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Hi, I'm new to the forums so please forgive me if someone has already brought this up. Just wanted to see if anyone else had a similar experience to me. I lost my father unexpectedly when I was 23 and still at college. I felt very isolated (and still do) because none of my friends had experienced anything like it. They either avoided me altogether or avoided mentioning it. I realize that most of the time they just didn't want to upset me but to be honest it made the whole situation a lot worse. I didn't have any other family around as I was studying abroad. I feel like I never was able to express my grief and am still struggling with it.

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YellowSunshine

Are you still in college? Are you near people who you love and love you? How long ago did you lose your dad?

My mom died when I was 23 also, and I was living far from my family at the time. I felt so isolated! I'm learning still (it's been 2 1/2 years) how to feel connected to people again.

I totally understand the part about people not really knowing what to do--your friends ignoring your loss just makes you feel even more alone. One of the things that helped me was going to a grief counselor. There, I knew I had a person who was trained in helping people in situations just like mine. I could tell her things I didn't want to tell anyone else and she taught me how to accept that being really sad and feeling alone is normal, and that I will learn how to live my life again. Have you thought about looking for a support group or a counselor?

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Hey :) I graduated a few months ago after taking longer than normal to finish my degree.I lost my Dad almost 2 years ago. I did initially go to a counselor and it was helpful with the shock of it all. I learned to become very independent and now am realizing that because of that I have a hard time letting people into my life. So I understand about how tough it is learning how to feel connected to people again! Were you in college as well when you lost your mom? I felt likethere was a lot of pressure to keep up with the course (and work) which didn’t leave me any time to fully grieve.

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losingyourparentsorg

Hey there... I lost my dad the day before my 23rd birthday. And then when I was 27, I lost my mom. I just turned 30 and it seems like everyone still has their parents. I definitely feel alone... but I'm trying to work it out because I don't want to feel like this forever. Is your mom still here with you?

Hi, I'm new to the forums so please forgive me if someone has already brought this up. Just wanted to see if anyone else had a similar experience to me. I lost my father unexpectedly when I was 23 and still at college. I felt very isolated (and still do) because none of my friends had experienced anything like it. They either avoided me altogether or avoided mentioning it. I realize that most of the time they just didn't want to upset me but to be honest it made the whole situation a lot worse. I didn't have any other family around as I was studying abroad. I feel like I never was able to express my grief and am still struggling with it.

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Guest DarkHeart

Hi ihtst, you're not alone here, so if you're ever feeling like nobody understands your pain, you can always visit these forums, even if it's to vent. I find just writing stuff down, but especially sharing it with others in the same boat, is helping me. I hope it helps you as well.

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thefemaleparadox

Hiya ihtst,

I was 23 too (am 24 now) when my mother passed away. I finished up my first year of university in Dublin (I found out about my mum's diagnosis halfway into my academic year and flew back to Malaysia for her surgery) and then returned to Malaysia in summer for an indefinite time.

My mother was my 'only' parent as my father and mother had an estranged relationship, so the weight of her death was significantly heavier.

I know the kind of pain and isolation you are going through..... unfortunately we cannot fault our friends for acting that way. Most of the time, friends don't really know what to do for their grieving friend because, like you said, they haven't gone through such an experience themselves. They may try to 'normalise' the situation for you and keep you 'distracted' from your grief, or they may isolate you believing that you want to cry it out on your own. Either way, their intentions are good. The grieving experience is unique to each individual. I find the only way to not feel 'isolated' is to talk to your friends openly about it, and to be more direct without waiting for them to make the first move. That might perhaps make them a bit uncomfortable at first or even squeamish, but talking about it, if even bit by bit, will help. I think your friends will appreciate knowing what it truly is that you're going through.

If you ever feel a greater need to express your grief more often, I'd suggest a counsellor or even writing. I, too, am still going through great ups and downs and the unpredictability of grief sometimes makes it difficult but with time, you understand the nature of grief better and cope with it better. Wish I was there to give you a hug! Hope you're keeping well in any case. If you'd like to read (& share!) I have a blog at this address, pop on by; http://amoderngriefobserved.blogspot.com

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YellowSunshine

Hi,

Sorry for the slow response...:blink:

I wasn't in college when my mom died, but I was working at a stressful job doing leadership development with teenagers. The community I was working with didn't make many allowances for my need to grieve. It's not the same as being in school, but I was under a huge amount of pressure. One of the parents even wrote me an email three months after my mom's death saying "I really don't think your work has been up to par lately." No kidding!

I ended up quitting that job. Not that I think you should (or shouldn't) quit school. That was the right thing for me to do. When I was in my second year of college, my roommate's mom passed away unexpectedly. My roommate took just a week off of classes and finished that semester--and her whole degree--right on time. It's all a matter of figuring out what is right for you. I needed the time away from everything; my friend needed something to do.

How have you been feeling lately?

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Hi community, I'm new to this forum.

I'm in my last year of undergrad and I lost my mom this summer in July. It has been very difficult. She's had Type 2 Diabetes since October 2010 and since then, it piled on with Kidney Disease, kidney failure (both), becoming septic (infected blood), a Stage 4 Ulcer on her lower back, major depression, and Alzheimer's Dementia (she had always had). She's had such a hard life and it's been super difficult to grieve it because the empathetic pain I have for her is so real. It's been difficult to focus in school, and when I am focused, I fear not grieving enough. When I am fine and not thinking about her, I get worried. And when I do create space to do, I just cry for hours and feel really depressed. My family back at home try to shove their grieving process with other things as well, so I feel it is difficult to share these feelings and experiences with them. They're also not involved in my personal nor academic life, so I feel really alone sometimes. I actively try to seek my close friends out when I am grieving, so that's a plus. But I definitely can say it's hard to find people who can empathize even if they haven't lost a parent. And I feel this process is still so new/fresh to me...

Since there's a significant amount of you who've lost your parent(s) at around this age and life stage as well, do you have any advice or encouragement? What have you learned through your process and how have you felt supported by others? What do you do to allow yourself to grieve?

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