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Coping with death of parents


adamb100
My father's continued alcoholism finally paid the ultimate price - death. I'm only 24 years old and now both my parents are dead. I feel lost and deserted now with the people who brought me into this world now gone. Has anyone lost both parents at a relatively young age? How did you cope with it?
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So sorry to hear that Adam. I lost both my parents by the time I was 26. As far as coping, I looked to the example that my father showed me when we first lost my Mom. Basically I kept very active, clung to my faith and the remainder of my extended family, which is very close, and just pushed forward. Everyone mourns differently and don't be afraid to talk to someone about it if you are having problems. Feel free to PM me if you need to talk further about it.
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My condolences. Do you have siblings or extended family? I would lean on them during what has to be an incredibly difficult time.

 

Volunteering and doing positive things for others has always gotten me through difficult times. Big Brothers, Big Sisters was great for me.

"Fiers, Bill Hall and a lucky SSH winner will make up tomorrow's rotation." AZBrewCrew
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Wow. That's really tough. My older brother had cancer, and finally lost his fight in September. He was 46. I remember the panic I had when my mom called me about 3 years ago when my dad had a major heart attack. My parents are older, and I know that someday they will pass, but the thought is becoming more and more real to me. I know there's never really any good answer to that question of "why", but for me, I turn to my faith. I know that's not a good topic to discuss here, so PM me, if you'd like me to share more.
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Oh, man, Adam, I'm sorry to hear it. I'm not in this position just yet, but my understanding is it's common to feel kind of orphaned once both your parents are gone.

 

Are you still enrolled at UWM? If you are, you've already got segregated fees going toward the student health service - contact them and get your fee's worth. If you aren't but are insured, contact your clinic. If you aren't insured, call 2-1-1 and explain your situation briefly. I think most people would need help processing something like what you face. Best wishes.

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.
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Adam, when I was 35 (back in 2010), (relatively young, I suppose), my dad died in February, my mom died in June, then my father in law died in August. I can say for sure that I understand the 'suddenly orphaned' feeling that you're going through.

 

Can I tell you how to cope with it? Not so much. Just like any kind of grieving, this is something I think every person has to figure out for themselves. I wish I could say "step A, step B, step C", but what works for one person, isn't going to necessarily work for another person.

 

I didn't get along very well with my dad, but we mended our fences before his passing, and I'm glad we did. I still miss and think about my mom every single day. Heck, there's still an occasion every now and then where something that I think she'd laugh at or chuckle at will happen, and I'll think to call her and be like "oh........yeah".

 

I wish this post could be more help, but it's just one of those things..........it sucks. There's no other way to put it. Losing the people we care about sucks. You think 'if only.......', but there's just, ya know, there's no take-backs.

 

For me, talking about my mom, and to some extent my dad, it's melancholy, but it keeps their memory alive for me. For my oldest brother, he's the "I don't want to talk about it" type. He copes by not talking about things. Like I said, there's no one right answer you're going to get. If 30 people post in this thread, you'll get 30 different answers. I think you'll find your own way. I guess the biggest thing I can offer is if you want to talk about your parents, don't hesitate to find people who are willing to listen.

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Sorry to hear this, Adam.

 

The best advice I can give is try your best to not let it consume you. Make yourself do things to take your mind off of it. Don't sit at home by yourself and be sad constantly. Even if it is going to the gym, or a coffee shop to read a book, or watching the game with some friends... every little bit will help your mind from becoming completely stuck in the downward spiral that grief can become.

"I wasted so much time in my life hating Juventus or A.C. Milan that I should have spent hating the Cardinals." ~kalle8

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Sorry to hear that, Adam. My best wishes to you in coming to terms with your loss.

 

With social media, it's possible to stay in touch with so many people, including your own friends & coworkers, distant relatives, friends of your parents, and others who knew them...it's possible to stay connected to so many people, including the BF.net community.

 

I have a friend who just reached the one-year anniversary on the death of his wife.

 

He used Facebook a lot, when he was feeling especially low, and his circle of friends, and the people who knew his wife, would always reach out to him to raise his spirits.

 

He made sure to stay busy and socially connected--and while that didn't immunize him from bouts of extreme sadness--it did help.

 

I lost my mom 11 years ago, and even though I was in my late 30s, married & living far away, her death hit me really hard.

 

Even with their imperfections, our parents are still our parents, and we miss them when they're gone.

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Wow, I'm really sorry to hear this, Adam. I've known people who've lost both parents at your age (even a bit younger), but I wasn't close enough to them to really share what they might have gone through.

 

I can't really offer any advice, but it appears that others have that well covered.

 

Best wishes to you. Keep in mind that Brewerfan is here 24/7.

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.

[align=right]-- Sigmund Snopek[/align]

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Adam, I'm sorry to hear of your losses. I lost my mom rather suddenly in July. I'm 31, she died at 70. I take solace in how she made many people happy and that she lived on borrowed time (she received a kidney transplant when I was 17). While there were many times in my life that she could have died from sickness, she ultimately died shortly after going to bed on July 10th (technically died on July 11th). It's been brutal on my dad, who was in bed when he heard her horrific gasp. He'd been a light sleeper for 30 years of her health problems, and he looked over when she made the noise and asked her to sit up. He's still haunted by things. She'd had some health "red flags" in the weeks before her death, but nothing that screamed death was imminent. I have the last 8 months of my mom's phone calls saved to my laptop. My biggest worries are how my 71-year old dad has seemingly been in decline in the last few years. 3 years ago he was 68 going on 55, meaning that I'd put him physically and mentally up against most that are much younger. So much of his energy in my lifetime has been spent as breadwinner and caregiver, and now he doesn't have anyone to care for. He's at his happiest either when with my niece or with the 2 dogs my fiance and I have. He craves that feeling of someone needing him. I don't need to keep going on.

 

Adam, the best advice I have is to take care of yourself. If you need help like my dad does, find a grief counselor. Obviously, learn from your family's mistakes, but look at what opportunities they provided. Fondly remember their great traits, but also keep in mind their faults so that you can be a wiser person. Try not to be bitter or angry. Try to accept that you could not change them. Surround yourself with others....whether friends' families, spouse's family, etc. Not to try to one up you, but I had a high school classmate that--while in college--lost both his parents in the same year. Here he was, 19 or 20, and he was the only family his little sister had left. My dad's really good friend from grade school lost both parents at a young age. Here he is at age 71, a prominent orthopedic surgeon with a loving wife, two kids, one grandkid, and two younger siblings that he and his wife helped raise while he went through medical school. I'll stop rambling now, cause these stories are making me sad and likely won't help. But best wishes and thanks for thinking of asking your question on this message board

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Adam, very sorry to hear about your loss.

 

As far as the house and any debts, the best advice is not to make any rash decisions. Eventually you'll probably want to meet with an estate attorney or someone along those lines to help you sort through that part of it.

The Paul Molitor Statue at Miller Park: http://www.facebook.com/paulmolitorstatue
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Not to add to your woes, but do you know if your father had a will? Even if he did not, there's a default path his estate will take. You should be able to get help sorting that out.

 

Like DHonks, I'm not looking to one-up (or one-down?), but I will share a bit about our experience when our father died four years ago (actually four years ago this week). He had estranged himself from the family by leaving almost 30 years prior, and as far as we could tell (he was living in another state when he died) he had done zero planning for his estate. He'd been hospitalized in intensive care for about a week prior to his death, and my initial concern was whether the hospital would come after my siblings and me for those bills. However (and thankfully), that is apparently not how it goes. I think the house he had was foreclosed on, which didn't involve us or displace anyone; and somehow in the end there were just enough funds in the estate to cover funeral and estate lawyer costs.

 

If you are doing a funeral or similar service for your father, the funeral home staff can point you in useful directions. In that line of business, relatively few customers are familiar with how to proceed, so they are accustomed to answering even the most elementary questions. We kept the costs for our father's funeral quite low, while keeping it classy (for lack of a better term); if you want more information on how we did that, send me a PM.

 

Do you have siblings or extended family? They should be able to help, or at least you can put your heads together on what to do.

Again, best wishes. You'll be able to move through this.

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.
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I thought my father left a will but I cant find it. In the case that he didn't, I know I'll probably become the personal representative of the estate since I'm the only child and my father wasn't married or divorced. Beyond that my vision gets cloudy for what to do after I become the personal representative.

 

We mostly have the funeral set. It's going to be in the mid 4 figure range. I also learned the medical examiner is bankrolling money with the fees ($150 to sign a death certificate really?).

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I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. I'm 30 and just recently lost my mom (my dad passed maybe 5ish years ago), so I know all too well what you're going through.

 

If there is a will that would likely help a lot. If your dad worked be sure to check on life insurance policies, 401K's, pensions, etc. Those are going to be a primary method of financial support for you in getting the estate situated.

 

I second hawing's recommendation of using UWM's resources. They actually have free legal counsel for students, so I'd recommend checking that out. I can't remember their website now, but I can post that for you tomorrow. (edit: http://www4.uwm.edu/studentorg/ulc/)

 

The biggest thing right now is to establish your new normal. You truly find out who your friends and family are in this time. For the first few weeks everyone is there, then it is really the people who care about you. Hang in there.

"When a piano falls on Yadier Molina get back to me, four letter." - Me, upon reading a ESPN update referencing the 'injury-plagued Cardinals'
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I spoke with the uwm legal clinic. They won't have an attorney until classes start. It's unfortunate my dad left nothing in terms of money so I have to do this the hard way and find a way to pay for the debts if I can avoid selling the house. That's what I'm most worried about.
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Is the house paid off? You can look in to taking equity out of the house to pay off the debts, might be the cheapest money you can borrow. Other thing I'd look at doing is selling items that he owned that don't have sentimental value to you. That could help come up with some money.

 

Again, I wish you the best with everything you are going through. Keep yourself busy and try to keep a positive mindset!

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The house was scheduled to be payed off this year. There is only like $6000 left on it. I think his main debts are the funeral ($4600), the $ owed on the house ($6000), and the credit card ($3200). It's probably around $12,000 or so.
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Obviously I don't know the whole picture, but that is not a crazy debt level. I've got student employees who take out that much annually in student loans. Unless the house is a falling apart crack house, some equity should be available to you. How soon it is literally available to you may depend on how soon a death certificate is available and you're officially the 'personal representative.'

 

I'd like to think that at least some of the parties you'll have to deal with (funeral home, bank where house mortgage is, etc.) would be willing to hear out your unenviable situation and work with you to keep things manageable. It's not like you immediately have to produce $12K in bags of cash.

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.
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The funeral home wants to be paid by Friday. They don't really offer any leeway. I don't really have a job (I do some paid work for the planetarium on campus but that's maybe $2,000 a year). I'm also clueless on utilities as they like to be paid nowish. If you quit paying them for even 2 months they cut you off. I'm trying to achieve the ability to live in a house until I get a real job after I graduate, after which I would move out and live on my own. Trying to live in a house with a $2,000/year income when people are going to demand there money is a painful thing. I feel like I'm running into a wall and there's no easy way around it.
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Does the funeral home have someone who can direct you to potential sources of assistance? The funeral home who handled my mom's arrangements has a full time person who deals with survivors' issues and points them in the right direction to get their questions answered.

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.

[align=right]-- Sigmund Snopek[/align]

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