Saturday, 3 May 2014

Will I ever see my parents again?

Bereavement Support Groups are a good example of something that most people hope they never have to join and it is certainly true that before the accident in which Mum and Dad were killed I was like most teenagers in knowing virtually nothing about them.

Looking back I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be pressurised into attending the local group before I felt ready. I was still in the totally frantic and stressed stage of mourning and the last thing I wanted to hear was other peoples’ problems! Perhaps it would have been better if I hadn’t been the youngest person there by over 20 years or if the most talkative person in the group hadn’t still been in deep mourning for her Mother who had died nearly 30 years before. I was still in the middle of the “battling through one day at a time” phase and the thought of years more of the same was just too horrible to contemplate.

Each week I used to be practically kidnapped by my Nan and Granddad who would drive me into town and deliver me to the meeting room door. They would then be lurking around outside at the advertised time for the end of the meeting. After a couple of weeks I decided my best tactic was to march in, wait for Nan and Granddad to drive off and then walk along to the local pub.

It was at my first or second meeting that the organiser asked me if I expected to see my Mum and Dad again and this it is a question that still pops into my brain from time to time even after 4 years.

My Mum and Dad were scientists and were not religious. But they were kind, hard-working, honest, and truthful - all things that Christians aspire to demonstrate in their daily lives. I would like to think that my parents deserved something better than being killed by a speeding driver who was on the wrong side of the road!

There is one thing about which I have no doubt whatsoever. Several times – usually at some crisis point in my life – Mum and Dad have been “with me” in my house. I will never believe that it was just coincidence that there was a thunder storm on the anniversary of the accident or that when I had a life-changing decision to make that a feather flow against the window. They had always said that was the ways they would let me know that they were still watching over me.

Mum and Dad are inside me. Parts of them are inside every cell in my body and surprisingly often I find myself saying or doing something in just the way that they would have done it. So although they are dead they also live on in me.

This leads me neatly to the final point I would like to make.  My Mum and Dad loved me far too much to want me to keep on being sad about them dying. I absolutely know that above all they would want me to have a long, happy and fulfilled life making the best of every opportunity that comes along. They would be so cross if the accident that killed them both also ruined my life.

By battling on I think I honour my Mum and Dad’s memory far more effectively than wallowing in misery as some bereaved people I meet seem to do. I will not allow myself to be labelled as “that girl who never really got over the death of her parents.”!


  1. I really admire you, you've been so strong and I just wanted to say that I find your stories very moving and you're inspiring!

  2. My mother died when I was nine years old after an 18-month struggle with breast cancer. I was expected to carry on as if nothing had changed. There were not groups in school, no counseling was suggested, and if I even brought up my mother at home, my sister would say that we needed to move on.
    When I was in my mid-thirties I found the NY Motherless daughters group, and through weekly support groups based on age at time of loss, I really was finally able to find closure. I realized that others had experienced many of the same things I had. Mother's Day is no longer sad for me. It used to be an incredibly depressing time! Unfortunately what I find is that even though I have worked through these things, I will never feel I had the kind of support and mothering many other people had growing up, and that will never go away. This can make me feel a bit isolated at times. The older I get, the more I realize that human beings don't really seem to understand what they haven't experienced for themselves.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that it doesn't sound like you feel comfortable in the support group you're currently in. Therefore, maybe you should form your own group. It would be helpful to recruit the help of a social worker or therapist if you would like to form a support group.

    One of the women I met at the NY group was from London. I helped her form the group in London, since she didn't have one there. We posted flyers in restaurants, etc. explaining what we hoped to accomplish. This friend had also lost both parents, as you have, at the age of five and ten.

    I think you are on the right track with this blog, but it sounds like you would really benefit from a face-to-face group of people your own age in your own town.

    Hope this is helpful. You seem like a very strong person.

    All the best,