This post is dedicated to all those who have lost both parents.
No matter how old we get, there is something profoundly sad about losing the last parent.
Even when we feel joy for their promotion to Heaven, there is a part of us that feels empty.
After all they were possibly the last ones who remember us all the way back to our beginning. We shared a treasure trove of memories with them.
We shared life’s updates with them. Often we still sought their advice. For many of us, they were the reliable port in any storm.
Often the passing of the last parent means the closing up of homes too, sometimes homes where we made memories. Just as the closing of a casket feels final, so is the last closing of the door of the childhood home.
We may also discover a “delayed” grief for the first parent we lost. When we have channeled all our energy into comforting our remaining parent in their loss, we have left little space for ourselves to grieve. When the second parent is gone, we may feel a double grief,
I dealt with many of these emotions after my father died. My mother had died four years earlier. Both were in their 90s, so I was blessed to have had them for a long time. But I still was not ready to let go of their physical presence.
I thought I was adapting rather well until someone said, “Well, I guess you are one of us now. We’re all orphans.”
If my friend’s goal was supposed to be a gesture of comfort in solidarity, it failed. I felt more alone than ever.
I resisted the label, “orphan.” But who was I?
Answer: I was and am a daughter. My parents live in another place. They anticipate our grand reunion one day as much as I do.
Paul says we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. I don’t know how these things work, but I like to think my parents and others I love see me and my family.
I like to think they cheer every triumph and reach down to dry every tear. I like to think when I feel tired of earth, they gently say, “Finish your work there and then you can come home. We’ll be waiting at the gate!”
And one more thing — Jesus Himself said we do not have to think of ourselves as orphans.
He is already preparing the place we will go one day for that grand reunion. And He Himself will escort us there.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
I go and prepare a place for you; I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am!