Recovering From Loss of a Parent

Losing a parent is extremely hard, even when you’re an adult. You’ve reached the stage where you’re finally friends with them, and can see you parents for the people they really are. Then you lose them, and whether its sudden or expected, the event is still heartbreaking.

Lisa Schmidt, a relationship and life strategy coach, lost both her parents in the span of two years. Her mother’s death was unexpected, and her father’s followed swiftly after a cancer diagnosis. Though it took her a little while to process all the things she went through, Lisa eventually wrote a list of ten ways experiencing these deaths has changed her daily life (above and beyond the obvious heartache and hole they have left). The result is both extremely brave and vulnerable, but also uplifting and hopeful.

She writes, for instance, that she will never leave her cell phone behind for a day of “disconnect” again, because she actually missed the phone call notifying her that her mother had died. This one is hard to face, because while it can be refreshing to be disconnected from the world for a few hours or days at a time, having one terrible experience can make that idea seem more anxiety-inducing than not. She also bravely acknowledges that while she would never change the time she spent with both of her parents, their deaths probably would have been easier for her to process if she had been young when they died.

Lisa also sadly notes that she sometimes feels jealous of her other friends who still have their parents when she sees them together. It can be rough when your mom isn’t there to plan your baby shower, or when your father can’t teach your son to fish. However, she does say that her parent’s deaths have made her a better parent, more aware of the happy memories she’s creating with her family now.

Find Lisa’s full list here.