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only children = orphan adults

diane727
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2004

I'm starting this group for people just like me. Maybe, by writing this, and by you reading this and share your stories, we can get through this grief together. Though, I am 38 years old, tomorrow turning the dreaded 39 and holding, I still consider myself an orphan at this age. It has been a little over 3 years since my mom died and I will admit, it has not gotten easier, in fact it has gotten worse. My mom raised me by herself at a time when single mothers was not the "in" thing. Mom had it rough but she did it. I think that she did a damn good job. I have no siblings and never met my father, though I had found out very young that he died when I was six. My mom and I had more than a mother/daughter relationship. We were and will always be best friends. It's amazing, after all this time, just writing that line still gives me a lump in my throat and makes me cry. There are so many emotions I continue to experience on a daily basis. I still find myself questioning myself, "Did I do everything I could?" "Was I a good daughter?" "Why couldn't it have been me instead?" I lived with her for he last six months of her life and I thank GOD everyday that I did make that move. Yet, I still feel that I've been robbed. I wasn't finished yet. There were so many more things that we needed to experience together. To me it's not fair that not only do I not have her physical being around, but I no longer have that daily phone call. Even though at times she could be a nudge. Like for instance, this week she would have given me a birthday card every day. Or call me at the exact time I was born. I haven't had that for three years and I miss it. The death of your only parent throws you into adulthood regardless if you are ready or not. I know that I was well into adulthood when she died, but, that one person who had been your cheerleader all your life is no longer there. It's not an easy thing to become an orphan. The holidays are no longer an anticipated event. Though, I have tried to continue the tradition. My heart is just not in it. I know that this may sound like rambling nonsense, but it is everything that has been inside of me. I know that there must be other only children out there going through the same emotions or something similar. Though I am in a committed relationship with my partner, she will never understand the magnitude of this grief experience. If there is anyone out there who sees themselves in this message please feel free to contact me. I need to get to the next step of the grieving process. I have been stagnant for too long. I dont ever want anyone to go through this alone, it's just too painful. We might be only children, but we dont have to be alone.

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diane727
07-26-2004
07:32 PM EDT ONLY CHILDREN = ORPHANED ADULTS
I'm starting this group for people just like me. Maybe, by writing this, and by you reading this and share your stories, we can get through this grief together. Though, I am 38 years old, tomorrow turning the dreaded 39 and holding, I still consider myself an orphan at this age. It has been a little over 3 years since my mom died and I will admit, it has not gotten easier, in fact it has gotten worse. My mom raised me by herself at a time when single mothers was not the "in" thing. Mom had it rough but she did it. I think that she did a damn good job. I have no siblings and never met my father, though I had found out very young that he died when I was six. My mom and I had more than a mother/daughter relationship. We were and will always be best friends. It's amazing, after all this time, just writing that line still gives me a lump in my throat and makes me cry. There are so many emotions I continue to experience on a daily basis. I still find myself questioning myself, "Did I do everything I could?" "Was I a good daughter?" "Why couldn't it have been me instead?" I lived with her for he last six months of her life and I thank GOD everyday that I did make that move. Yet, I still feel that I've been robbed. I wasn't finished yet. There were so many more things that we needed to experience together. To me it's not fair that not only do I not have her physical being around, but I no longer have that daily phone call. Even though at times she could be a nudge. Like for instance, this week she would have given me a birthday card every day. Or call me at the exact time I was born. I haven't had that for three years and I miss it. The death of your only parent throws you into adulthood regardless if you are ready or not. I know that I was well into adulthood when she died, but, that one person who had been your cheerleader all your life is no longer there. It's not an easy thing to become an orphan. The holidays are no longer an anticipated event. Though, I have tried to continue the tradition. My heart is just not in it. I know that this may sound like rambling nonsense, but it is everything that has been inside of me. I know that there must be other only children out there going through the same emotions or something similar. Though I am in a committed relationship with my partner, she will never understand the magnitude of this grief experience. If there is anyone out there who sees themselves in this message please feel free to contact me. I need to get to the next step of the grieving process. I have been stagnant for too long. I dont ever want anyone to go through this alone, it's just too painful. We might be only children, but we dont have to be alone.

Amanda_T
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2004

Hi Diane,

I lost my mother to an eight year battle with cancer in March of this year. My father died in 2001 so I feel as if I've been orphaned. I do have a sister. She's 21 but she's always been the more outgoing and social butterfly type out of the two of us so she's got a whole group of friends she can turn to. I'm the older of the two of us. I'm 26 and I am having to bear most of the responsibility of taking care of all of my mother's affairs. We've lost both sets of our grandparents, well we have a grandfather still living but he's in an assisted living facility, and we've now lost both of our parents. And our uncles and aunts all live out of state. So, I'm definetely feeling orphaned and alone right now. It's been four months since I lost my mom and I'm finding it hard to get through the grieving process. My friends are trying to be supportive, but they can't fathom what it's like to lose someone to cancer. They can't begin to imagine what I've gone through. And, as much as I try to explain it to them, they will never really get it and that is very frustating to me. This holiday season will be the first without mom with us and I'm dreading it. Mom always made birhdays and holidays special and it's just not going to be the same.

missymeow
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2009

I just found this web site and am sooo excited. This is the only information I have found on only child orphans. Guess there aren't too many "only children" that are adult orphans....definitely in the minority.

I lost my Mom almost 4 years ago...this July will be 4 years. I am still not over her death completely. I have tried; I got treated for depression; and now I have just split up with my boyfriend (my decision) and feel abandoned again like when my Mom died. My Dad died in 1989, and I grieved him again when my Mom died.

Only children have a totally different set of personality issues. Meaning....how does one deal with loss of both parents? Who are we? We have to learn who the hell we are after being alone...totally alone for the first time in our lives.

Hope this shows up on the proper post.

imbkuz
Posts: 52
Joined: Apr 2009

To all the only children.I just came across this section and it's Mother's Day. I don't know if it's a gift to me but there are no words for you for me to say to you but I want to give you all a big hug. I am so so sorry. This has been a huge concern of mine among many others now since my husband
had a radical nephrectomy a little over 2 weeks ago due to stage IV renal cell carcinoma with mets to lungs. I too am not well and we have an only child who is 31 years old. There hasn't been any other family all these years and now my heart aches on what is going to happen to him. I'm sure your parents by no means ever wanted you to hurt like this. All we ever wanted for our children is the best. We want you to go on and live life to the fullest and we only could hope we left you some kind of legacy or a little something to get you by each day. But please try to live it not go through each day. Your parents are with you everyday in your heart you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to I am here. I would only want someone to care for my son as I do for all of you. Hope I made some sense since I haven't been sleeping much. God Bless
imbkuz

henry123
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi guys,

My name's Henry. I know this is an American site, but I need to talk to someone about this. Last October, I lost my dad. I was 16. My mother had died when I was 5. I am an only child. My friends and family have struggled to keep me going, but I'm making it so far, day by day, inch by inch. Not worrying about what was coming next, just getting by. I've got stronger and stronger, but I need to talk to someone who's been through this. Someone who know's what it's like to lose their parents. To have to move out. To watch your family move on, when it's all you can think about. To watch your friends politely ignore the issue because they don't know what to say.

I hope someone replies to this. Anyone. Because I am really struggling to find someone who has been through this. I just want to talk. I just want to be able to talk to someone who understands, someone who knows what this is like, the soul crushing emptiness you feel, and at the same time, the desperate urge to carry on, the urge to carry on for THEM. To make them proud.

May God help you in your sorrow,

Henry

Anne_B
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

Dear Henry,

Please let me know if you are still wanting to talk; I am an "orphan" of the last year, too, though way older than you ~ age doesn't seem to make a difference.

Bless you,
Anne
(in US)

sjfrasier86
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2010

Henry,

My name is Sarah. No I am not an orphan to cancer. But I have a student who is. He is currently 18 and a senior in high school. He lost his mom 2 years ago to breast cancer and doesn't have any other family. He is very much is the situation that you are. I know that he lives with a friend and gets money through social security but once he graduates he is on his own. I think that he is starting to feel the burden of being alone and doesn't know where to turn. I am doing my best to help him but I really could never fully understand like you could. I think that you talking to him would be an amazing thing. I just don't want him to fee like no one understands and I am praying that he chooses not to give up and continue to fight. Let me know if you are interested in speaking with him. I know that it would really help him. Thank you! My email is sarahjo.frasier@gmail.com

kittygato's picture
kittygato
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2009

I lost my mom on July 26th. I am an only child of 38 who also never knew her father and was raised solely by by mom. She was my mother, father, sister, brother but mostly my best friend. I miss her so much that it physically hurts. I know that its too soon to expect too much, but the pain is unbearable right now and I just want it to pass. My mother battled colon cancer for 4 long years and never once admitted she was dying, much less let me say "good-bye". I lived with her and cared for her the last month of her life, but I also ask myself the same questions. I am adult but suddenly feel like an 8 year old who is expected to function in an adult world. I walk around with a lump in my throat, forever on the verge of breaking into tears. I cannot find joy in my daily life right now and wonder if I ever will again. She told me that I was her reason for living and I never told her, but she was mine. Simply put, this just sucks.

Rafaella
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2009

I'm also 38 and lost my mother to breast cancer last year. I lost my Dad in 1996. I'm an only child too, and while I have a loving husband, I feel about 6 years old, am still crying every day, and I feel completely abandoned. I wonder if I'm ever going to feel happy again or find real pleasure in life without my mom. She was my best friend and my constant cheerleader. I do thank you for posting your message Kittygato, as one thing that really does help is knowing that I'm not alone. x

ember712
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2009

I read your post with great interest and empathy. I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I lost both my parents when I was young (mom when I was 15 and dad when I was 25). I do have loving sisters and a good support system. But my only child, a beautiful daughter died almost 6 years ago at age 18. The grief journey lasts a lifetime. And this is certainly not the life I ordered or planned. Everybody grieves differently and there's nothing wrong with crying, every day - if it helps you. I support you and the others on this site and will be here in whatever small way to help or talk or write. My email is eb1129@aol.com.

ManyWheat
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2009

My Mom passed away 3 weeks ago today. My Dad passed away 7 years ago. I am 25 and an orphan. No one understands that. I have two sisters, 1 of which I'm very close to and the other I have become close to through my mother's illness. My older sister has a husband and gave birth to the first grand baby a week after my Mom passed. She has a family. I know she feels alone, but I dont have that. I cant go to my Mother's house because I just cry whenever Im there. My younger sister is about to go back to school 8 hours away from me. I am staying at my best friends house, but I acually live in TN. I came down to TX when my mom was put back in the hospital. I missed too much school and have been forced to withdrawal until next Fall. I am homeless, I am orphaned, I have only a 1 good friend here. I dont know how to make my other friends understand. I was very close to my Mother and I no longer have that. We would talk numerous times throughout the day and she was always the first one I would call when something good or bad happened. I miss her so incredibly much. My friends say that I am not an orphan....I'm over the age of 18. But, where do I go for Christmas break now? I no longer have a central location to go to. She will miss my graduation...she was so proud that I was getting my Master's, not only will that be delayed a year now, but she wont be there to share that with me. She wont see me or my younger sister get married. She missed the birth of her first grandchild by a week. Is it crazy that I no longer feel like I have a family? I love my sisters to death and am crazy about them, but I want a FAMILY. We are all close, but its just not the same. If youre an orphan like me and in Houston and need someone that understands, let me know. Because no one gets me.

alessandra
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi:

I'm so glad that I found this group. My mother died of esophageal cancer in 2003 when I was 39 years old and I'm still trying to grasp the emotional toll her death has had on my life. I still miss her so much. We were so close, even our birthdays were one day apart. I truly understand the pain being experienced by everyone who has posted on this site. My mother loved me more than no one else. She truly was the center of gravity in my life. Of course I did not understand how central she was to the stability of my life until about three months after she was gone. I very much appreciate the post of the mother who fears for her child now that both she and her husband are ill. What a gift you are giving to your child to try to prepare the way for him after you and your husband transition after this life. My son too is an only child and I would do anything to spare him the pain that I experienced after my mother died. If you are sill posting on this board, I would very much like to hear how things are going with the preparations for your son, if you are open to sharing that information.

I am writing a book about the impact of parental death on only children. If anyone posting at this site is willing to share your information or be interviewed, please contact me onlychildtrauma@gmail.com

God Bless

eponine
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2010

To those who still read this forum or post here: I was glad to find this community through Google. My dad passed away four weeks ago today. I lived in a bit of fog for the first few weeks. Being an only child and losing a parent is like losing half your family. I lost the voice of logic, the bass to accompany my mezzo, my dad, friend and confidante. There will never be another one like him. I miss him so much! He was not perfect- not in the least, but it didn't matter. The past few months I couldn't see / refused to see how sick he really was. I found myself angry at him when he was alive and deep down when I questioned myself, I was angry because he was sick. But he wasn't as forthcoming as he could have been either, keeping many major details about his health from me.

I too, feel thrust into the part of being a child again, as if he's abandoning me yet again like he did after the divorce for which I forgave him. This sucks.

I'm getting married this fall and can't begin to describe the anguish of having to take his name off the guest list. He and my mom are the two people I would most want there. He and I had been planning the reception and talking through the details.

I crumple when I'm around men. I miss his laugh, his voice, his hugs.

He was taken too soon. It's hard to describe what this is like to people with brothers and sisters. I am somehow keeper of the family stories; I bear the burden with no one of equal weight to help shoulder it. My mom has really tried to be strong during this period and they haven't been married in over 20 years. But everyone seems to expect things to just resume like nothing happened. I can't stomach this place without him in it. I am happy to be alive, but wish I had more time. And even as I write that- could there ever be enough time? Thanks for reading.

Hope for all
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2009

I feel like I am starting my life over again. What is with this self doubt and insecurity? Once I was a very busy, involved Mom. My job was extremely competitive and I look back and wonder how I did all that.

Eponine, I know exactly what you are saying about being the keeper of family stories, family history falls on us now. If I am to pass it on to my children, and any generation after them, it's up to me. No one understands how I must preserve the letters and photos..all dating back from my child hood, now my mothers child hood, her mother and her grandmother, all of their husbands. It's overwhelming knowing that their memories can live on or be forgotten depending on what I do.

I was crushed on Mother's Day falling barely three weeks after my mother's death, I cannot imagine...you are planning your Wedding. Love your heart is all I can say.

Heidi in Chicago
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2010

Years ago, I was watching an television episode dealing with a parent's death and one character asked another "Was it sudden?". The reply: "Yes. And no. It's always sudden".

I lost my dad to a heart attack when I was in high school. He came home from work, everything was fine; 2 hours later he was gone. My mom died after a long battle with cancer when I was in college. There wasn't enough time with either of them. Whether you know it's coming or you have weeks/months/years to prepare, you're never ready.

I'm glad I found this site. I think sometimes, that when people think of orphans, they picture a little child who never knew her parents at all. Really, though, it's anyone who's lost their parents and it's never easy.

Hopeful720's picture
Hopeful720
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2010

I am an only child, as well, and lost my dad to cancer on 1/19. It does feel like you've lost half of your family. Your post made me think, and it helped me feel like I am not alone. All of your posts have... thank you for the comfort. It is difficult to find it in a time like this...

PermeliaH
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2011

I truly sympathize with everyone here. I was orphaned at 56 years of age. Never too old to be an orphan. And it hurts. Terribly. My mother and father and I had created a safe, comforting place in an often difficult world. I miss my folks. I miss my home. Trying to move forward after the death of my mother 2 years ago. My beloved dad passed away in 1993. It's a totally different world now for me - only child, woman without husband or children. Not so safe or comfortable. The medical industry let my family down in a big way. Trusted docs acted like weird automatons and such. Feeling like an stranger in a strange land.

I've been interested in genealogy for several years now. My problem is more about wondering if anyone will be interested in the artifacts and information I've collected over the years. No one currently is, except for me. I count! I can do this research for myself. It's strange to make a transition from us to me. Makes the absence more apparent. Trying to move forward and have confidence. Two years of grief seems like a very long time. For orphans, it is not, I think. More complicated situation.

Best of luck and hang in there everyone. I hope to hear your stories one day.

aloneintheworld
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2011

I have mentioned to people that I had to deal with watching out for and then caring for my widowed mother for 17 years, then the loss of both parents, handling and closing her estate, managing and maintaining two homes, disposing of and moving numerous items, merging two homes worth of things into one, preparing and then selling one home, and absolutely NO one comprehends what it is do all of that without any help whatsoever. The only responses I get are simplistic replies like why did it take so long or decisions are part of being an adult.

Yes, I had a wonderful holiday month. No one even asked what I did--I painted two rooms. That was the extent of my holiday celebration. I rarely receive a legitimate phone call to find out if I am still alive much less to receive a single present. Valentines Day, Mother's & Father's Days, their birthdays, my birthday will likely again be "celebrated" in the same way. No one has a clue to what feels like to realize that there is no one to check up on you.

ata2d
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2009

I hear your pain, I lost my father when I was 17 and my mother when I was 33 and was first diagnosed with cancer when I was 38. Now I'm 42 and the cancer is back. If my mom was here she would just take control and drag me through this lol. She was the strongest lady I've ever known. People don't realize how much more difficult it is to go through this alone. In all aspects it is more difficult finacially it ruined me the first time. Just started my first chemo 6 days ago and I have no idea how this will play out.

Brutality
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2012

Dear Ata:

My name is LifeStar! I think I understand where you are coming from. First and foremost, being an orphan regardless after we turned 18 or not is never natural nor smooth for a person to undergo in life! Secondly, when an orphan has to undergo the brutality such as fighting cancer or other bodily illnesses or injuries in life, it is already brutal and lonely enough! Thirdly, it is never honorable nor helpful for our friends or acquaintances to tell us or to brain wash us that tough times make us stronger or better person or that we caused our loneliness when obviously that is hardly the case in life! My point is being an Orphan is brutal enough let alone some of us have to be Orphans and being Single which intensified the aloneness and darkness in our daily momentum.

Lastly, there has been staggering evidence that when a person tends to close up his or her own personal experience or feelings whether the experience is good or bad, this person has high tendency to develop cancer or other body illnesses. From my healthcare training, knowledge, and intuition, this happens mainly is because “whatever we are going through in life; we need and must find the right and suitable way to express our experience (good or bad and allowing tears to flow out of our eyes and fall down to our face) including self-talk to ourselves or write to ourselves along with engaging in artistic or other appropriate expressions that is suitable for the individual! The truth of matter is not expressing what our mind, spirit, and body are undergoing is like suffocating our necessity, task, and body to release the bodily, mental, or spiritual/functional tensions or load that our body has been undergoing based on whatever that triggered and transmitted tension(s) or toxicity into our body, our body systems, and our daily momentum!”

By no means, I am not indicating that “cancer patients” themselves are responsible for the development of their cancer in their body due to their inability or refusal to authentically express what they have undergone in life in any occasion whether the personal experience is good or bad! However, “it is always healthier, more appropriate and more authentic to express exactly (no more and no less) in terms of what your mind, spirit, and body are undergoing based upon the specific set of circumstances!” Again, your body knows what you are going through and it is your job or our job to be a good and wise listener to what our body needs and then carry out our tasks as a human being to care for our body, mind, and spirit let alone Life per se is so precious and yet so vulnerable if we neglected our body, our body systems, and the people (family and true friends) that are dear and close to us!

Sincerely,

LifeStar

ONEBEEMOD
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2012

Isnt it Crazy how we are all together in being ALONE! I cannot believe this is my life! My mom died when I was 27 & 5 months pregnant. She would have been a WONDERFUL grandmother. I grieved for her not getting the chance to meet her first (and only) grandchild. I also grieve, to this day, that my daughter never got that special grandmotherly love. My beautiful daughter is now 17 and I am sad to see her realize how small our family really is - just the two of us- now that my dad has passed. He was like a father to my daughter - lived with us since she was 7 years old.
All of my family is gone - and I'm only 45. I have NO ONE! my friends have all silently given up - they just can't relate. I get SOOOOOOO jealous when I hear people older than me talking about their GRAND PARENTS! the holidays are the hardest - I had hoped that was jus a saying - but it's the cold hard truth. Even when people invite you over it's always prefaced with "we don't want you to be alone" - WELL I AM ALONE! And being alone in a house full of other peoples family sucks! Especially when I have my daughter with me and all the other people are holding on to their family traditons while we just look on. Nothing like going to a Christmas party when you & your kid are the only one not getting gifts.

My mom was older when she had me - b4 holding off on kids was the trend. So her family passed years ago. My fathers family & ours stopped communicating when I was young- for reasons unknown to me. I have tried to re-enter that family with mild success - until he passed. Then the division of his meager belonging finished off what little family I had left.

I just can't imaging living another 40 Years alone! I tried facebook but looking at everyones happy family pictures was TOO much! I feel like I have too many undesirable facts in my life. Adult orphan, only child, single (divorced) mother, and friendless. Not to mention the depression. For years I resisted mental health services bczy depression was "situational" until a co- worker pointed out that my situation was CHRONIC! but there's no pill to cure familylessness!

Jacqueline Chicago's picture
Jacqueline Chicago
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2011

It's extremely hard to not have your mom's eternal support and love on earth anymore. No one truly understands the effect of this on everything in your life. It's like a light went dark in a large part of my heart. I had only 90 days to say goodbye: on 1/19 she was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer and on 4/19 she died in my arms. I am broken.

mattk4608
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2011

I'm 27 and lost my mom back on 3/13 to cervical/liver cancer. I never met my dad, so growing up I only had one parent...and she had me young, so our relationship was pretty different all over.

I feel weird trying to convey how I feel onto a screen because words wouldn't ever be able to do our relationship justice (as I'm sure you all probably feel the same).

This kind of loss is more wild than anything that I've ever been through.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to work through this kind of grief?

sstarski
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2011

I lost my father 7 years ago to a massive cardiac arrest and my mother died last friday of pancreatic ca.

My mum was more than my mum, she was my team-mate, the one I would confide in, the one that would give me nudges in the right direction but never question my decisions, always offering support.

I can't comment on if being an only child is different to being an adult orphan - Logically is will be, as has been pointed out. We are now the sole custodians of our history, my mother and fathers tears, their triumphs and thier laughs rest soley on our shoulders.

There is not only a feeling of "arhhhh wheres my support" there is also a feeling of foreboding and responsibility that is hard to articulate.

The ones that have shown pride and in some essense have been the reason behind success are no longer there - My drive to "do well" has temporarily run out of steam.

The thought of Birthdays, Christmas and other celebrations sacres me to death.

However - I know I am going to be OK, whilst my parents are not here to guide any longer, whilst I will never hear their laughs or their voices, whilst I will never again open a present that I never really wanted, whilst I will never be able to walk into the family home and see a smiling parental face. I know I am going to be OK - Just like all of you will be. Why??

Well for billions of years from the outset of time, every single one of our ancestors survived, successfuly survived and passed onto you life. I know, in me and in all of you our parents whilst physically gone are here with each of us. The sum of mine / your memories are essentially the final gift our parents bestow - the greatest one of all - THey give us "them" afterall, the thing they have left us to remind them of them is us!!!

This is a ramble - hopefully coherent!

Lil0806
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2011

Hi, Im 25 and lost my mum 6 weeks ago to cancer:( I still can't believe it, it still feels so surreal .. I can't believe that I will never see her again:( I have never had a relationship with my dad and have no brothers or sisters..she was all I needed she was the best mum and my best friend

I miss her soo much :((

naude.karin
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2012

hi im 26 and lost my mum on 15 jan 2011, it's a year i would never forget. i thought that if i only make it to jan 2012 i will be ok. people say give time, but i am more and more lost.

just remember you are not alone, i feel your pain daily.

misunderstood
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2011

I can't believe I am doing this. But I do feel totally misundertood. Nine years ago I lost my father to cancer and now five months ago I lost my mother to ovarian cancer less than two weeks after being diagnosed with it. I was caregiver to both for so long now I am having a hard time figuring out how I fit in this world and why me. I am an only child and people around me have a hard time understanding that two/thirds of my family is dead. I am tired of being told how I should act, feel...............we are a very unique group of people when we are from families of only children

Ladybug64
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2011

I feel everything you are going through.. Would love to talk with you and share your story... I feel VERY misunderstood myself... Christine

onlyorphan
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2012

Yes, I have been told and read myself that so-called professionals say that you should be over this in such and such a certain period of time. Who are they to say so if they have never themselves experienced this situation!

I think we all feel that we are cast-offs from society.

Ladybug64
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2011

I too am an only child and have lost my Father when I was 8 and Grandmother at 19 and my last family member my Mother at 40 years old she was 81 to Ovarian Cancer... I have been struggling to deal and find my way with my own life. How to go on when I was her caregiver for the last 15 years... I miss her and it seems my life for some reason is out of sync...
I am looking to join a group to talk too... To hopfully find peace and me again... If anyone who may understand my feelings and would like to talk I would love that... For my own family I have created at times has a hard time understanding... Thank you , Christine

LisaMarie67
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2011

I am also an adult orphan of cancer. I never knew my father. My mother raised me for the most part and passed about 10 years ago from ovarian cancer. Our relationship was never that great. I never had any siblings. Or any that I knew. :) I lost my blood uncle 3 years ago and that leaves me really with no real relatives. My aunt is awesome (uncle's wife). I have her daughter, my cousin still alive, but we were never close. So basically there is no family left as my mother had no other siblings and now there is just me.. I am pretty strong and I make it through. I have two of my own children. But there is such a unique situation to adult only child orphans. Most days I am fine. But sometimes it hits me just how alone in the world I feel. I have friends, in-laws and kids, but still often I feel alone. I think it can be a really lonely feeling. I have gotten over my mom's death, it gets easier. But some things I haven't gotten over are its just me now. To be the real oldest person in your family at 44, well, it is kind of sad sometimes. You have a full life, yet the feeling is often lonely. I so get it.

misunderstood
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2011

I too am an only child and my mother died of ovarian cancer in april 13 days after being given her death sentence. My father died 9 years ago of throat cancer two months after being given his death sentence. Now two/thirds of my family is dead. I have a large extended family that is very supportive but they don't truly understand how hard and devestating this is for me. It is difficult finding how I fit into this world especially since I have looked after my mother for the last nine years. I visit the cemetary twice a day as that is where I feel my family is planting flowers around the grave and tending to them. Only children are truly misunderstood whrn they loose bith parents. It basically sucks. I don't know how and where I belong. I have now finally placed our family house for sale and want a smaller place for myself as my home has so many memories I am finding it very difficult to live in this house. I never knew how difficult anf final this would be.

Frank61
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

My mother died three days ago on 12/10/11. I am an only child, 56 years old - my dad died 26 years ago. I am unmarried, have no kids - all of my aunts and uncles have died. What purpose is left in my life? Who will ask how I am? Who will care what happens to me? The despair and loneliness I feel is tremendous and I am completely lost.

Why has God done this to me? My mother died suddenly of liver and lung cancer and I am spiritually worn out from caring for her until her last dying moments.

I wish I could join my parents and see them again.

MomhasStage4EC's picture
MomhasStage4EC
Posts: 39
Joined: Jul 2011

I am so sorry. I too am an only child. I had to take care of my mother before she died. It was the worst thing I have ever had to do. And im pretty sure the worst thing I will ever do. She was young at 51, it was September 11, 2011 of this year. I will ask you how you are and care about what happens to you. I felt the same way you do right now...why couldnt I just go with her? Why has GOD done this to me...again. I do have children, and I will not compare our situations...they both are terrible. The hospice nurses had pitty for me, I did not want pitty, this poor 32 year old girl. I will email you my private email.
So sorry for your loss Frank, please dont give up, your mother wouldnt want that.
-Mandy

onlyorphan
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2012

That is my situation too. No one outside this board seems to comprehend this no matter how hard you try to explain it.

MomhasStage4EC's picture
MomhasStage4EC
Posts: 39
Joined: Jul 2011

Your situation is very similar to mine. I feel your pain and im so sorry for your loss.

misunderstood
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2011

What can I say! I am in the same boat as all of you.This is HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!You are not alone in your feelings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I ask myself many times why God did not take me the day my mother died. As a caregiver for my mother, an only child and unmarried life will never be the same. I can't figure any of it out. People just don't understand us because they have their own families and distractions and what are we left with? PAIN!!!!
Each day that goes by is harder than than the day before and time is not making it any easier. Both my parents gone, both dieing of cancer. I always thought I would see at least one of them live to old age. But no. My Father had just turned 71 and my mother just barely 73. I ask myself why me. What did I do to deserve this am I being punished. I truly would have continued to take care of them and I would have gladly traded places with them. To watch them suffer and die is something I replay in my head a million times a day. I just don't know.I never saw myself in this position.

ONEBEEMOD
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2012

This IS hell! And I have no advice as to how to bear it! It does help knowing I'm not alone in feeling alone - but HONESLTY lT STILL SUCKS! This is NOT the life I ordered! My child hood was filed with family - and watching my child grow up without that is AWFUL! They say "everything happens for a reason"- I cannot find a single positive in this!

onlyorphan
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2012

One of the hardest things of the whole situation is trying to get others to understand the abyss you are thrown into. Over and over I have tried to explain what it is like to have absolutely no one to hug you, notice if you have a car breakdown or accident and don't come home. No mother's day, father's day, or even a birthday with no one to call you to even check if you are alive. Ok, there may be cousins and friends, but it is not at all the same when you have no immediate family. At family events you are a last minute thought--an add on.

Whenever you try to explain things people say they are alone in the house all day too--even when there really is someone else around. They come up with silly suggestions like getting one of those alarms to wear around the neck. That is beside the point. Join groups? Sure, but meeting with a bunch of strangers hardly makes up for having no one to really care if you are sick. Who is going to take you for hospital tests and wait with you? A friend might do it once, but what about repeat tests? If you get sick away from home, who will come and get you? The list goes on and on.

The first couple of years after I lost my last parent,from time to time people would still call to get together. Now, it is rare. If i don't initiate contact, i dont hear from most people. After a few years having to initiate virtually all contacts, that gets rather ridiculous.

onlyorphan
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2012

One of the hardest things of the whole situation is trying to get others to understand the abyss you are thrown into. Over and over I have tried to explain what it is like to have absolutely no one to hug you, notice if you have a car breakdown or accident and don't come home. No mother's day, father's day, or even a birthday with no one to call you to even check if you are alive. Ok, there may be cousins and friends, but it is not at all the same when you have no immediate family. At family events you are a last minute thought--an add on.

Whenever you try to explain things people say they are alone in the house all day too--even when there really is someone else around. They come up with silly suggestions like getting one of those alarms to wear around the neck. That is beside the point. Join groups? Sure, but meeting with a bunch of strangers hardly makes up for having no one to really care if you are sick. Who is going to take you for hospital tests and wait with you? A friend might do it once, but what about repeat tests? If you get sick away from home, who will come and get you? The list goes on and on.

The first couple of years after I lost my last parent,from time to time people would still call to get together. Now, it is rare. If i don't initiate contact, i dont hear from most people. After a few years having to initiate virtually all contacts, that gets rather ridiculous.

awsmith921
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2012

Hello,

My name is Ashley, I am 28 and I lost my mother to a brain tumor in October of 2010. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, went through chemo and radiation and was cancer free for about three years [we did the race for the cure each year in D.C.]. We were unable to do our 4th walk because I was away at grad school. It was not until I came home on break that I realized there was something different about the way my mother was acting. Turns out she had a metastasized brain tumor.

When I lost my mother I truly believed life was not worth living without her in it. I still to an extent believe this, however I know that my mother would be extremely disappointed if I did not live out my life to the fullest. What I found the most challenging is going through this experience by myself despite the outpouring of support and caring. Unlike my depression which I have been successfully been controlling with therapy, talking to anyone about this seems like just a waste. While depression is the disorder of the mind, the loss of a loved one is factual and CANNOT be changed.

While it is June 2012 it still feels as if I lost her yesterday. Like others on this site I am an only child but lucky enough to still have my father. Despite his loving support I still feel utterly alone. I have attempted to locate books on daughters who have lost their mothers [currently "reading" Motherless Daughters] there is no mention of only children who are unmarried without children. It's very hard to see forming classmates and friends getting married and/or having children and being able to share their joy with their mothers. There are so many things I always thought my mother would be there for and now all my hopes and dreams for the future have been scratched. I wanted my mom to be there to see me graduate with a masters in social work, be there when I get my first real job, get married, have kids, and celebrate major holidays and events.

It has been very challenging not be able to call her and tell her about my day or something exciting that happened. We spoke everyday sometimes twice. She was my rock and my best friend. Of all Kubler-Ross' stages of grief I am stuck strongly on acceptance. I refuse to accept she is gone; that this happened to her and myself. Just to give you an idea of how much I am sticking to this, I couldn't even bring myself to attend her funeral. If I wasn't present then it wasn't really happening. I've only been to visit her grave once since her passing. That visit brought me no comfort at all like it does others. Instead it enraged me more so.

Anyways, I just want to thank diane727 for creating this posting. If anyone knows of any books out there on only children losing a parent I would greatly appreciate it if someone could pass the titles along. Lastly, thank you all for listening to my story.

RMisener
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2012

It is with deep sadness and great sorrow that I come to this place. I thank each and every one of you for sharing your stories with this forum and with me by default extension. The passing of a loved one is never an event that is easily or summarily processed. I don't know that being an adult only child orphan is any more or less difficult. I only know that it is a unique path of experience that those with sibling or surviving parental support don't fathom as their grieving experience is so much different than ours.

I'm 44 years of age forever going on 18, never married and no children (as the old joke goes....”that I know of”). I was raised by my mother whom was a single parent that married later in life in her mid 50's. I never knew my father. In addition I barely had contact with my mothers side of the family growing up, which consisted of her two brothers (one of which has two children) and her mother, who has since passed as well. I believe during my life that I have spent a total of less than two weeks with them all in total. Including the week before my mother passed when her brothers came to say goodbye. I do not expect to have any further contact with them, other than a face book type posting here and there as our one sole connection has been lost. So for those that feel alone, without any blood relatives, for all intensive purposes, I identify with you the most. Never have I felt more alone and lost. It's a feeling of grave despair.

I lost my mother to cancer on September 29, 2011. Her illness had metastasized to multiple areas of her body, she was stage four at the end but she had fought cancer in several bouts over the previous ten years. She was in her mid 60's. To those that are older, mid 60's is still relatively young, so much life to be lived and to look forward to. One would think that I could have been prepared appropriately. I thought that I was prepared but the reality is simply this, one can never prepare for the loss of a loved one. There are no magic words or magic bullets to prepare, to deal or to heal from the devastation of such loss.

I am impressed and envious with those of you who have the ability to express, discuss and/or address their grief so quickly after their loss. I am not made of that ilk. I am told that I have some Irish in me and although I am not prone to following the cultural norms, I feel that a part of me does act in accordance with my heritage. I did what came naturally, I buried my feelings.....my anger, my sorrow, my hatred, my grief, my scorn and I moved on with life …..or so I had thought. Although I did that which I needed to do, there are consequences. Other things I have found burred are my loves, my relations with others, my passions, my ability to cope with change, my resolve and even my identity. Over the past ten months I have lost more, including a fiancee and a home. I'm not sure of anything but I suspect it stems from the loss of my mother and my so called being “prepared” to handle it. Although, like many, I had challenges in life before my loss, I was navigating and dealing with things on my own terms. After my loss, well there does seem to be such a thing as a snow ball effect after all. From the sounds of it, many of you have experienced this same effect in your own unique way. To all my fellow orphaned survivors I give you a bug hug, at least in type. At this point I'm not sure I'll even post this, it has felt good to type out these thoughts alone.

At this point I feel that I only retain a fraction of my previous confident gregarious self. Some days I am feeling a little better, other days I am filled with unfathomable dread and sorrow. All I can offer for anyone else going through a similar experience is to do your best each and every day, to realize that you are not alone and to take things one day at a time.

Thank you Diane for starting this thread back in 2004.

To any that are readers...and I'm sure there are a few, I am open to being added as friends, please feel free.

onlyorphan
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2012

Very few people can identify with being a single, only child adult orphan. That seems to be the core of the problem. When you do try to explain the aloneness in the world you feel, you get inane platitudes that demonstrate how little they comprehend. Even if you have one loved one on the other side of the world, there is still one person who cares about you. When you have no close family left, you are utterly alone in the world.

katiewoowoo
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2012

Hello friends! I see this thread has been active for 8 years. Unfortunately my father passed away suddenly when I was 13. I am now 27 and two months ago my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, which is not curable. I am an only child (adopted actually). My mother has been my best friend. I am so sad - soon my family will be gone.

sadcathappy
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2012

oops...sorry about my tech challenge...didn't intend to post twice!

sadcathappy
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2012

Googling on this Christmas eve I'm grateful to have found some like-minded souls. I suppose no one can really understand what it's like to have no parents other than those enduring the same circumstance.

My heart weeps for all the people on this thread. I am so grateful that you have found the courage to share your feelings here. I don't think that easy to do---much easier to keep shoving the pain down inside and ignore it. Doesn't matter that doing that never works.

So a hug to Diane and all of you for giving me the inspiration to do the same.

Each day is difficult because the loss that is felt never seems to leave. Oh, maybe it changes by degree, sometimes I feel it more, other days I can tolerate it better. At least that's my experience. But it never goes away.

I lost my father to cancer, leukimia in July. Like RMisener's story, I barely knew him. He had no interest in the four children he helped bring into this world. But a child only knows her father as someone to love. If the love is not returned, sadly the child sees the weakness in herself rather than in the other. Years of therapy can help undo the pain, but parts of it remain, it seems. I am in my  50's now, and just can't let the baggage all go. I feel more like I'm in my 90's. The burden of carrying so much pain and loss is more than I can take some days. 

My mother passed so long ago, I barely remember her. I grew up with my two sets of grandparents, but they've been long gone also. 

How ironic that so many folks dread holiday get-togethers with family at this time of year. My perspective, of course, is what I wouldn't give to be able to share this time of year with family. My birthday also comes around at this time, so all in all it a challenging time.

I used to find it comforting to cover up my feelings with activities or substances, or even with not-so-healthy relationships. But for some reason, I am not even sure that I know why, I gave that lifestyle up and sought comfort in being on a more spiritual journey. Maybe I thought I'd feel better, but so far I haven't found that to be the case. Like Scott Peck, the author said, The Road Less Traveled can be lonely road.  Maybe not the best place to be for someone without the roots of family to lean on.

The future scares me. But I haven't given up yet. There are so many people filled with sadness and loneliness...I pray for peace for all of us. That we find some joyfulness in our hearts and that this joy expands to bring us together with others. Together, we will grow happy endings to all of our stories.

butterfly101
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2013

Hello. This is the first time I have posted my true feelings about what happened in my life. I am an only child and have lost both my mother and father. My father a very proud man delt with his battle to cancer with all the strength and dignity he could but sadly passed away a few years ago 3 weeks before my 24th birthday..not long after that, actually 6 months i found out my mum was diagnosed with cancer. A big shock as she was never a smoker or drinker. In the beginning my mum looked normal - at the end unrecognisable. I stopped working to look after her as she was on so much medication, had chemo, other operations throughout, she was so weak she couldnt walk even stand up without collapsing. I had to wash her, feed her and try to make sense of what she was saying at times as the medication was rediculously strong. I offered to have any organ i could to be taken from me to save my beautiful mum but there was nothing they could do. she went into a coma for three days and i didnt leave her side nor sleep i kept talking and singing to her. I was so so scared id never see her wake again or hear her voice. I prayed with all my heart and on the 3rd day she woke. She told me she was in darkness and the only thing she saw was her funeral, she knew what was to come. The only thing that kept her going she said she could hear me talking to her and was trying to find me when she could here me singing. she said it made her feel safe, not alone and not so scared. She passed away a week later looking into my eyes as i held her hand, she tried to say something before she left but didnt have to energy so i will never know what she wanted to say in her last moments. Then comes to arranging a funeral etc. you feel so numb with pain, confusement, loss, anger, frustration, lonliness, and are litterally in pieces as though your worst fears have now happened. It triggered panic attacks off in me and i would hyperventillate so much in my panick attacks i would blackout/passout. I had lost my mum and dad and felt so alone i wanted to die too. i guess its normal to feel like that. Its been a year now. Ive managed to go back to work after 10 months after mum had gone, before that i was struck with grief, deppression, panick attacks etc. I would cry myself to sleep when i could sleep and be broken throughout the day. It was like I didnt know how people were walking around normal when my world was over! Its been over a year now and work is going well, my relationship with my partner has proved to me that im still me and although ive had  the worst few years of my life, things can become good again. I feel so strong now within myself, my love and awareness of others has multiplide and i feel alot easier with life. What we go through shapes us into the person we really are. I done both my mother and father proud and will continue to for the rest of my life. You cannot live your life by what happened to your parents and feel guilty when you begin to smile, they wouldnt want that. you have to live yourself a happy life and create the best memories to cherish. The love in your heart and the thoughts in your mind keep them alive, your parents will always be with you but in a different way.

Peace and positive blessings to you all and thankyou for taking the time to read this. x x 

j587
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2013

I understand. I am trying to connect with more orphans who are orphans as a result of cancer. I too was an only child and my mother was a single mother. My mom passed away 5 years ago, when I was 20 years old. It has been really tough for me losing my mom so young and I often feel alienated and like there aren't any other people who have gone through a similar situation. I am looking for people who are orphans as a result of losing parents to cancer and also looking for orphan support groups. If you know of any or would like to get in touch, contact me :)

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