Wendy's Blog

Comfort for those who’ve lost their mother or father

by Wendy Keller

In the last six months, 17 of my friends, clients and acquaintances have had a parent die.  This huge, shocking number shakes me to my very core, as I have four parents, all of them approximately 70 years old.

One of my closest girlfriend’s hateful estranged mother’s  dying words were “Get out of my room.”  She was a bad mother and a cruel lady to her last breath.

My high school sweetheart’s father, whom I loved for his kind ways, died in a hospital after weeks of decline, surrounded by his large, loving family.

My next-door neighbor’s comment to me when I inquired about his sick mother was that she had passed a week earlier. He said, “Nobody should ever have to suffer so badly for so long.”

One of the women in my Mastermind group couldn’t attend today because her mother died on Sunday – Mother’s Day.

For most of us, sometime in our teens it occurs to us that our parents may one day die.  Someday, in the distant future, much later, when they’re old.  But whether it is that far ahead or it happens in their prime of life, losing a parent is losing a piece of your history.  The person who remembers you when you were small; the way things were in your family in the old days, before most of the people who are in your life now knew you; the keeper of your story.

I’ve spent a lot of time researching and collecting the best online resources I can find for those of you suffering from the death of a parent.  My love goes out to all of you at this difficult time in your life.

These websites seem very compassionate, wise and helpful:

  1. The Mayo Clinic has a very good article on the death of a parent
  2. Simpler Life Today  (he makes a lot of spelling errors, but the content is wise and grounded)
  3. When a child’s mother dies
  4. I found this one to be especially compassionate: Griefwords.com
  5. This site offers a lot of perspectives:  OpentoHope.com

Sending you and your family my love, comfort and good wishes.



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  1. Hi Wendy,

    I appreciate your support at this difficult time. I am ready to share my story with you. My Mum was 61 years old. We all went away on a camping holiday for Easter. The night of good friday my Mum got up during the night to go the toilet and she never came back. She was found the following morning in the river.

    We don’t know how she got there or why noone heard her. We don’t know if she was unconscious before she went in (as it’s not very deep) or whether she struggled for life. All I know is that within the space of 5 minutes (from when I woke up to when I found out) my life changed forever and I feel like a piece of me is missing.

    It’s been about a month and a half and I feel sick in the stomach constantly, I feel anxious and depressed. I wonder what I have done to deserve this life as I also have a chronic pain condition from a car accident 11 years ago, a stomach condition which puts me on a very restricted diet and I’ve been sexually assaulted. It’s hard not to think that I’m being punished for something. Your story felt somewhat familiar to me in that you’ve had to overcome a lot of diversity.

    I am so sorry for the loss of your babies, I have a 2yo and a 4yo and I can’t even imagine how you got through that.

    Thank you again for your kindness,


    • Melissa,

      First and foremost, I am so terribly sorry you’ve lost your Mum. What a strange way for someone to go! That must make it extra difficult to deal with, I imagine. I’m quite certain that after just a few weeks since you lost the one person you’ve known since before birth, feeling queasy is quite normal. Plus, when someone dies suddenly, it appears the grief process is different than if you had a bit of warning.

      As for the wonder about whether you’re being punished for something, I’ve thought about that many times myself regarding my own life. I’ve had allegedly well-meaning people tell me that’s why my children died, my house burned down, etc. But in the end, there’s no logic behind that assumption. I’ve rarely broken the speed limit much less committed any heinous crimes and there are plenty of people whose crimes ARE heinous who do not suffer losses like ours. And if one believes in karma or retribution for past lives, it surely can’t be true either for why would I have been incarnated into such an overall good life had I been a Nazi war criminal or Genghis Khan or something? That is also illogical. The idea that difficulties such as the death of your mother or that of my children are caused by some “secret sin” in this life or a past one just doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny under any theology, philosophy, dogma or belief system.

      Therefore, it remains most likely that we are humans, fragile humans. Life happens. Death happens. People live and die for varying periods of time. And that’s it. Neither you nor I are specifically singled out for anything “good” or “bad.” It all Just Is. There’s a large amount of comfort in that if you roll it around in your head for a while.

      Melissa, despite your sorrow, I hope that your life will be infused with peace, love and joy from here forward.


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