The early departure of a parent is a loss that can never be regained. This departure can take many forms. The parent may die, or leave the family home to be on their own, or join another family. It may be the children who are the ones who are forced to leave – they may be taken away from their parents – and when you are a child who is separated from that regular figure you may well keep asking “What did I do wrong?” , “Was I to blame?”, “Is it my fault?”. This doubt can haunt a child throughout their life if they are not answered with honesty and love at the time.
However the loss occurs, the children that have been separated from their parent will experience a vacuum that can never quite be filled in. There are some good fitting substitutes but nothing is quite the same as that original parent. The loss of constancy may haunt a person throughout their life. The need to avoid commitment because of a fear of repetition of the separation may be a paramount – even if it is not acknowledged.
Sadly, this is reality for so many people.
Happily, many people also manage to live full and content lives even if they have had an early break in their family unit. This does not mean that they will not experience quiet and sad moments, but it does mean that they are doing their best with the life they have been blessed with.
Everyone’s road is different but we may overlap at times. It is on these occasions that we need to be our gentlest with each other.
The heart is strong ... yet fragile. Handle with care.