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Thread: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

  1. #1
    Sprinkles are for winners dougdirt's Avatar
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    Jan 2006

    Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    I am not sure how many of you know, I have talked about it a few times here and at my site, but my dad has been very sick over the last 6 months. He had a very rare blood disease and without getting too much into it, because I just can't go through it right now, we lost him Tuesday night in Indianapolis. My mother, brother and I were all able to be there with him and talk with him before he went, and that really helps me out. But I know that I am going to be ok. It's killing me, but I know that I am going to be ok.

    I worry about my mother though. My dad just turned 49 last week. Two weeks ago, he felt the best he had in months. The doctor had just given us good news that his disease was almost non-existent in his bloodwork. Then things took a sudden turn for the worst and after getting some more hope, things turned even more for the worst on Thursday night.

    So, I am reaching out to anyone who has encountered a similar situation with losing a young parent and how to help out the other one. It is going to be incredibly tough for my mother. They just "celebrated" (I say that because we spent it in the hospital) their 30th anniversary a month ago. Their love was deep and incredible. I just want to try and help her as much as I can, but I only know so much and don't have any experience with this kind of thing. So really, anything that can be suggested, directed towards me or well, anything, I am all ears.

    *I may not be around the internet for the next couple of days, I just don't know yet.... I may need it just as a relief for me, we will see, but I will eventually find my way back to this to read it in a couple of days if not sooner, so please just keep sharing anything even if I don't respond within 24 hours*

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  3. #2
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Hamilton, OH

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    Sorry to hear that Doug. One thing that has helped me through such tough times is to make an effort to gather as many photos and videos as you can from your father's friends and family to help you remember him and feel closer to him in the years to come. Try to speak with people who knew him when he was young or his co-workers and ask them to tell you stories about him, then later you can write them down or record them. These are things that will keep him fresh in your memory as you grow older and you can share them with your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to help them learn about your Dad and pass his memory down through the generations. Make it a family project to draw everyone closer together.
    Last edited by AtomicDumpling; 02-12-2014 at 01:47 AM.

  4. #3
    They call me "chef"
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    May 2010

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    I'm sorry for your loss, Doug. I can't pretend that I know what you or your mother are going through but I'd imagine that the best way to help your mother during this time is to take care of yourself. Trust that there will be opportunities for you to support her and vice versa. I'll pray for some moments of peace to come your way.
    Cincinnati Reds 2014 W-L Record: 76.6-85.4*

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  5. #4
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Apr 2001
    Bellefontaine, Ohio

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    So sorry to hear this doug. You, and your family, are in my heartfelt prayers.

    Right now it's rough. All these emotions come forward all at once, and it's hard to deal with them all.

    I lost my Dad to cancer 16 years ago - though it doesn't feel that long ago - and I still miss him terribly.

    Healing comes with time, though you'll never completely get over the loss. Right now, and for the next several months, you, as well as any family members, need to just be there for your Mom to comfort her, and surround her with love.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  6. #5
    Stat geek...and proud
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    Jun 2004
    New Paris, OH

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    I don't know if I have the correct perspective since I was 11 when my dad died, but you just have to support the surviving spouse in any way you can. And try and keep her occupied.

  7. #6
    Moderator cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Sterling VA

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    I am sorry for loss, Doug. I know its a very hard thing to go through. My parents were married for 61 years before my dad died. A different situation than yours but in many ways the same. Just be there as much as you can for your mother. If you live close to her, visit often and try to get her out of the house to do things. If you don't live close by, call often. Most grieving people like to talk about their lost loved one. Just lend an ear and be available for her as much as possible. It will also help you in your own personal grief.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

  8. #7
    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Cleveland, OH

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    Doug, very sorry for your loss.

    I have not lost a parent but my best friend lost his dad when he was 24 and I remember how he helped his mother (and himself) through the process.

    First, just be there for her. Listen to her. Take her out to dinner. Take her to a movie. Take her to a baseball game. Talk about your dad with her, talk about the good times, talk about the ridiculous times, talk about the bad times and how you got through it.

    Second, make sure you take care of yourself as well. She is your mother and will be worried about you, so if you keep yourself in good shape, that will in turn make her feel better and help her. You do not want her to worry about you on top of mourning.

    Third, encourage friends to be around. Alone time isn't the worst thing, but I remember friends coming over to my friend's mom's house and just hanging out, eating dinner, playing the piano, etc and you could see it in her eyes that it made her feel better.

    Fourth, and I think this one is very important. Encourage her to exercise, it does wonders for the human mind - I know it has helped me when I have felt down throughout my life. My friend's mom started leading a daily workout club in her basement with her friends and she still does it.

  9. #8
    Member medford's Avatar
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    Mar 2002

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    sorry to hear that Doug.

    I was going to say pretty much what RedTeamGo! said.

    I was 12 when I lost my mother, so your mother and my father were potentially in different situations in terms of still having kids to raise (don't know if you have younger siblings that may still be at home or not), however, the toughest part is always a few weeks after the funerals, when other people start moving forward with their lives, but your mother (and yourself as well) still have a huge hole in their hearts and grief to work thru. Make sure you keep in touch, keep her active, encourage her to get out with friends, get active in church, add hobbies, work out, etc... Basically things to get her focused on looking forward and not so much on looking back. She'll always look back, I know my father does and its been 20+ years now, but the last thing your father would have wanted was for your mother, you or anyone close to him to be stuck in time due to his passing, he'll want you out there enjoying life, moving forward while kindly looking back and remember the good times. It will take time, there is little doubt about that; good luck and prayers to your family.

  10. #9
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Nov 2006

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    Very sorry for your loss Doug.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  11. #10
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    Sorry for you loss. You family will be in my prayers.

  12. #11
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Sep 2001

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    I am sorry to hear of your loss.

    My father passed a few months back so I will offer some things that helped our family.

    Short-term your Mom will be making arrangements. Offer to take her and assist at the level she feels comfortable with.

    Your Mom will also have some things to take care of following services. Life insurance, pensions, bank accounts, titles, etc. Let her know you are willing to help, but respect that these are her affairs and will you will research and advise, she is the decision maker. I simply tell Mom that I am happy to help on whatever level she is comfortable with.

    You mother will likely find the hardest time is after the service. Certainly just being there for your mother is of the utmost importance. It is very common for her to isolate herself and to shun social situations after such a loss. The flip-side to that is that it gets very lonely, very quickly. A regular call/visit routine for you and your brother would help a great deal. Getting her out of the house for a small time (lunch, etc.) is also helpful.

    There will also be things that your Dad always took care of (taxes, shoveling the walk, plumbing, bills, etc.?) ... whatever these items are ... your Mom would likely appreciate some short-term help with them. Mom keeps a list of things that need done around the house and when one of us stops in, we check the list first.

    A few weeks after the services, Mom came to stay with us for a weekend. It got her out of the house, etc. A few months later she stayed with my brother for a 3-4 days. This seemed to help a great deal. I think you need to be careful not to force something like this though.

    Much to my surprise, my Mother started going to a grief group that has helped her immensely. Basically, they are the only people that can really relate to what she is going through, the loss of a spouse.

    Deciding what to do with your fathers things is an odd exercise. We took some time to decide what really defined my father and ensured we/Mom kept items that would help us remember him. You might do this is stages, once something is gone, it's gone.

    A few months after Dad passed, Mom took 6-8 of Dad's favorite shirts and made a nice blanket out of them (hard to describe, I'll try to find a picture to post). It's more of a display piece. Even the youngest grand-kids (under 4) take one look at it and say "Grandpa". It's a nice reminder of Dad.

    Your Mother is quite a bit younger than mine. It might be nice, after some time, to let her know you understand she may want to seek companionship, and that you encourage her to do so.

    Last edited by gonelong; 02-12-2014 at 01:00 PM.

  13. #12
    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Carmel, IN

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    My condolences to you and your family, Doug. Prayers sent your way.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

  14. #13
    Frustrated Inc. Joseph's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    The Commonwealth

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    Doug, feel free to message me. I lost my dad at 46. 5 days after his birthday. There was no illness or anything, just a pulmonary embolism. It's been 15 years now, but if I think about it, it can still feel pretty fresh.

    My condolences on what you are going through. My prayers are with you and I'd be very willing to be a sounding board. Obviously every situation is different and nothing that I went through might apply to you, but if I can help at all I absolutely will.

    Prayers and love brother.

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  15. #14
    Yay! dabvu2498's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Middletown, Ohio

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    Sorry for your loss, Doug.

    I really don't have any advice to add. All the above have taken care of that very well.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

  16. #15
    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    May 2001
    Tampa, FL

    Re: Losing a parent early... how to help the other parent?

    Doug, I know what you are going through. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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