We don’t fully grow up ’til we lose a parent


With my parents and siblings in San Diego.

I am permanently and notably different after the loss of both my parents. Over the course of five years, I learned how to cry, how to bend, how to allow the emotions in front of me to matter. As an Army brat that moved around, I had a built and worn a shell that made me unapologetically gruff to some, while others just felt I was incredibly aloof and detached.

For those that made it into my friend zone, they saw that I had those thoughts and emotions, but it was not often that they were on display. For the inner-sanctum, they have found pure entertainment in my gruff reactions to the smallest of matters.

There is no turning back now. Some days I am frustrated by my new-found humanity. I can’t believe why something as simple as a comment about  “nana or pop-pop” will bring tears to my eyes. I miss them, I wish things would have gone better for us all, and I want to make sure I do a better job for the sake of me, my husband, and my kids.

I knew my parents as an adult, so I had many opportunities to talk about many things that mattered. But I do recognize how their loss permanently etched some details on me that will remain.

The headline of the the post came from a story I saved in a blog draft from 2015. This son didn’t really get to know his mom until the final days of her life.  But he did a wonderful job of honoring her memory. 

I needed to change to be a better care partner to my parents. I’m still adapting to figure out to use all those lessons to be a better person. Humbled.


2 comments on “We don’t fully grow up ’til we lose a parent

  1. Totally agree Kay; we have much in common. I too am an Army Brat, albeit a Uk one, and found myself caring for my mother who lived with dementia for 10 years. Our joint journey taught me as much about myself as it did about dementia. I hope to use those lessons to help others in the same situation.

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