It really isn’t simple. You can’t really do a “10 things that you feel/need to do” or even a “7 things you need to know or do when both your parents die”. It’s not something that’s tangible or one you can place into a list to describe what to do or how to feel. It’s far more complicated.
You never really “get over it” but more get used to accepting it and adapting to the new world you have been thrust into. One that means you are next in line, and if you have children you have moved up to the premier division of being a parent.
You can almost hear the thud of the spade hitting the ground following both parents’ death, and you feel mortal for the first time in your life. Adapting to this new world is one which sees you crying like a baby when you least expect it.
My least-expected moment was while dancing with my wife to a live band playing REM’s “Everybody Hurts”. You really do hurt and only people who care know it’s not because you’re legless that your wife is holding you up but because you feel wounded inside and your legs have become like rubber.
Films have also taken on a new sixth dimension. A children’s film ‘A Monster Calls’ is beautiful until you slowly realise the ending is about a child letting go of his mother to a terminal illness, or a long and arduous 3-hour, epic (Interstellar) pulls at the heartstrings because you now ‘get it’ whereas before you would have thought what the hell was that all about?!
It’s a long process to get back to some semblance of normal life, and most of us will never quite be the same.
We know those who are with us in this new club. Just a second of eye contact and a smile mixed with a hint of sadness is enough to confirm that they’re with us on the journey, and words are not required unless you feel the need to engage in conversation.
Should I now become my family’s history book? Whom do I now refer to about the past? My sister must have the same questions. With my new ability to be in the moment, does this make me more compassionate, or is this the major life event which makes me fearless in my career and allows me finally to see life is too short and not to be that ‘busy fool’? My children have also influenced me in this, as my last posting shows.
I feel I need to develop these life lessons as otherwise my parents lives were in a small way worthless but the reality is that I’m here because of my parents and their life lessons are still within my moral fabric ready to impart their teachings into my children’s lives ready to then hopefully pass onto their children. It gives a different perspective to the saying ‘the circle of life’.
My father was very careful with money. He always said “capital was hard to acquire but very easy to lose.” Mum was always accepting of people from any race culture or age. These are the things which mean so much to me and perhaps these are what will make me not stronger but more peaceful in the future with what has happened.
Perhaps life is fairly predictable. When and how your parents imparted knowledge shows you the path to follow on your journey of life. It’s called growing up and I am lucky to have had parents who let me believe they would live forever. They loved me and wanted to protect me.
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Photo credit: Pixabay