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Help with a research paper?


leahok

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ok. My mother died when I was 10. I am 24 now. I don't really like to talk about my feelings, so I never really felt like I wanted to talk about anything related to my mother. Over the past several months, I have been working through some "mom stuff" for the first time, which has been facilitated largely by writing down my own story and now doing a research paper on related topics.

So: the subject of my paper is

"Death culture in the US and the causes and connections of self destructive behavior in adult women who experienced the death of a parent while under the age of 25."

Something happened when I was writing all of this stuff down for the first time. Well, a few things...I realized that several of my close friends have one or more parents who has/have died. Secondly, I noticed the distinction between the self-destructive behaviors we all exhibit much more intensely than our other peers.

This got me to thinking about why this could be and if it was even true outside my circle. I want to talk to adult women who experienced the death of a parent in childhood or early adulthood (under age 25) who would be willing to talk to me about the repercussions of this experience in adulthood.

If anyone would be willing to help me, I would appreciate it very much.

thank you,

Leah

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Hi.  I am 44, and lost my dad when I was 17.  I was the youngest girl, 'daddy's girl' if you will, and was very close to him.  He died at the age I am now.   It was so unexpected, at least in my mind.  When you are young, it seems like denial gets you through facing the seriousness of things you shouldn't even have to be dealing with yet.  I, too, did some writing relating to this terrible experience.  First, let me say that I was an A student through 10th grade, and at the same time I was starting up in some more difficult classes, I was dealing with his sudden death.  For a little while, just hanging out with friends and my boyfriend kept me busy and helped keeping things bearable.  But around the end of high school, I hit a rebellious, devil-may-care streak where I was hanging out with the wrong types of people, partying and staying out late.  This lasted a couple of years at least, and impacted my grades in college.  I went from A's and B's to grades as low as D and E.  I did well on most papers and tests, but didn't attend enough for my grades to reflect that.  One of the hardest, but most healing, things I did was write one of my comp papers on his death and the effect it had on me.  I could only write small bits at a time because it was so emotionally draining, but I received a very strong 'A' on the paper, and a request to publish it in an annual school publication.  I then wrote a paper for my psych class on the physical and psychological effects of death and dying.  When I was older, I let my mom and a few other family members read both papers.  My mom recently passed away, and I found amongst her personal effects a file of paperwork from my dad's funeral, and included in the folder were the papers that I had written.  I guess when dealing with death, the therapeutic effect of writing down your feelings, whether in a journal or a paper such as mine, along with any knowledge you can obtain about the journey itself, is always beneficial.  Although I am going through the journey again now with my mother's death, at least I know I will come through on the other end.  And in the meantime, I will learn what I learned the first time, and expressed as the conclusion of my paper regarding my dad's death:  life is a precious gift we are given, and it is our responsibility to live it to the fullest, and enjoy and appreciate every moment.  Whether it is joy or sorrow, experience it, feel it, and be glad that you are alive to do so. 

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