One of My Parents Died, But It Feels Like I’ve Lost Them Both

Losing a family member affects so much more than just yourself — it affects the family unit as a whole


Photo by Vicki Schofield on Unsplash

It’s been nearly two years since my Dad died.

It happened slow and fast all at the same time. We found about his cancer diagnosis in late-December and he was gone by the first week April. And despite the few, short months that we had left with him in between the diagnosis and his death, every single day that we had to see him suffer felt like an eternity. Every day that we didn’t know what the outcome would be felt like agonizing torment.

Since then, the weight of his loss has become a little less heavy, but it still hasn’t fully gone away.

After losing him, I’ve surprisingly managed to carry on with life without any major backslides or mental breakdowns. I kept up with work, traveled, spent times with friends and family, and had a lot of good days.

There were of course those dark days where immense waves of sadness would overcome me; where I would spontaneously break into tears without any particular triggering memory. But, whenever those days came, I always somehow managed to reel myself back in.

I’d muster up the strength to wipe the tears from my eyes and move forward. Because what else was I supposed to do?

When it comes to the death of a loved one, especially an immediate family member, it shocks and alters our reality at first. We suddenly realize that life as we know it will never be the same and for many of us (if not, all of us), we, as individuals will never be the same.

I certainly lost a piece of myself, a fundamental piece of my core identity, when my Dad died. I recognize that there’s a little less joy in my heart and there will always be this tingling sense that something is missing. There will always be this silenced knowing that that missing piece will never return. And for the most part, I’ve accepted it.

I’ve accepted this new, not-quite-whole version of myself. But, despite the acceptance of my new self, the thing — or should I say, person — that I haven’t been able to accept is the new, not-quite-whole version of the parent that…



Lindsey (Lazarte) Carson

Digital Advertising Professional, Writer, Runner, and soon-to-be Mom. I write about work, relationships, culture, and life in general. Twitter: @lindseyruns