Dead Parent Club

cycle_life_circleUltimate happiness can only be found in going beyond suffering, death, and finding enlightenment. (via @Deepak_Chopra)

Death is a part of life so it follows that the more life you accumulate, the more death you accumulate. It’s rational. Yet, nothing really prepares you for the strange and disorienting departure… and subsequent absence… of a person who defined your life.

Two friends lost parents yesterday. We’re all between late twenties and late thirties … so it’s not SHOCKING per se, yet still … it’s an odd association to share. Our deceased parent  will not be there to see us marry, procreate, or anything like that. When I came back to work after my Pops passed, a colleague who had also lost his Dad (age 60ish) to cancer, stopped over to pay a shiva call. “Welcome to the Dead Dad Club,” he said.

We agreed: it’s weird, it sucks that our parent died young. Yet we are fully formed adults, capable of remembering them (perhaps even an idealized version of them) and keeping them alive in our hearts … So it could be worse.

But life is not about comparing our lots. It’s about living our own lot, and embracing and enjoying it. Like James Brown said in the song “Hot Pants”…”You’ve got to use just what you have/ to get just what you want.” The fact is: many of us have lost a parent or both parents at a relatively young age. It stinks. That said, it can be coped with. We can recover from and move beyond. If we’re really lucky, our parents even prepared us to do so.

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1 Comment
  • superdave524

    In the immortal words of the mortal monty python: LIfe is quite absurd, and death’s the final word. My dad died when I was 18 and a Freshman in college (that’s not monty python, there; That quote ended after “death’s the final word”. You knew that). I’d not even had a serious relationship during his life. I’ve had more birthdays than he ever had. Not sure what any of that means, but it seemed relevant.

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