Becoming an Adult Orphan

Mother Holding Child's HandGrief on a Parents death is always hard but losing the last parent seems to be a slightly different event to the first.  Obviously if you lose both parents as a child you are classed as an “orphan” and treated as such. Everyone can instantly sympathise and understand that this is a traumatic event. However, when you are older and your parents die, it sounds ridiculous to say “I am an orphan”.

Whilst one parent remains alive you are still a child to someone no matter how old you are and whether or not you have become the carer for that parent.  Also you may find that you finally grieve the loss of your first parent, which may not have seemed possible or just may not have happened whilst the other parent was alive.  This is sometimes caused by throwing yourself into taking care or being concerned about how the other parent is coping rather than experiencing your own sense of loss. Read more