No matter how hard we try, we will never fully understand what death is or even accept the fact that it must happen. It doesn’t matter whether we know that death is a part of life or that every life must eventually end. That leads to the question, what is the worst age to lose a parent? When it comes and when we lose someone dear to us, it hits us like a truck, and experiencing such a loss can be devastating.
One thing most, if not all of us, will experience at a certain age is losing a parent. It’s not a pleasant thought to think about, but it has undoubtedly crossed your mind at least a few times. You may have even wondered if there is a time in our lives when we can accept this more easily, an age when it feels less heartbreaking.
Today, we’re going to talk about death and losing a parent. Is there such a thing as the worst age to lose a parent, or does it depend on the individual?
How the death of a parent affects the child
A loss of any kind can be difficult. If the person who died was dear to us, we would grieve and feel pain. However, some people find that losing a parent can be particularly devastating. It will happen to 99% of us during our lifetimes, and depending on when it happens – it can affect us differently.
Children rely on their parents for emotional support and guidance as they grow up. That’s why losing a parent during childhood can be particularly difficult and traumatic and can impact a person’s further development, pushing them into adulthood before the time is right.
In most cases, it will feel like the whole world has collapsed. The death of a parent during childhood can have long-term effects on the child and their mental state. However, if the child has a strong support system and an understanding and loving living parent, they might get through it more easily.
Losing a parent during infancy
Some people believe that losing a parent during infancy and early childhood is the most difficult time to lose a parent. Of course, it can be, but on the other hand, an infant may not even remember any of the details, which might help make it better.
However, if it happens to a child older than four, the child will be able to remember, and the whole grieving process will be harder than it would be for a younger child. Depending on the age, emotional level, and relationship with the parent, it can be highly traumatic.
As a young adult
If the death of a parent occurs to someone who is a young adult, it will affect them differently than it would affect a child. It is the age when life is essentially beginning to become serious. People at this age are choosing what they will do for the rest of their lives, and it can be a time of big life decisions.
The death of a parent can significantly affect this individual. They might lose the ability to focus or even stop studying completely. Additionally, if the financial situation is tough, they might be forced to drop out of college. Some might even be forced to sell their houses to continue their education.
However, these individuals might have already experienced and dealt with death before, such as the death of a grandparent, and in that sense, it may be easier for them.
During older adulthood
This is the age when we are most prepared for the fact that our parents will eventually die. They are getting older, starting to become senile, and there may even be a disease that is taking over them. Most adults will be mentally prepared for this.
However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t hit them, that they won’t feel it. The death of a parent during older adulthood will be as painful as it would be during any other age. No matter how strong we think we are, no matter how mature we feel, and how prepared we assure ourselves to be, the loss will affect us.
It will affect some more than it affects others. It will depend on the relationship one has with the parent but also on their whole social and financial situation. People with a steady income or a family of their own might find it easier to deal with the situation. That is especially true if they have a sound support system from their friends and family.
Going through the grieving process
Grief is our mind’s natural response when we lose someone. It can bring a whole set of emotions and feelings like sadness, anger, and even guilt. Everyone will need to go through the entire process, and it will be unique for each individual, but generally, we can observe some similar steps.
As it happens, the person is usually in shock and doesn’t believe that what happened is true. Denial is the main aspect of this phase. Later on, as they confront reality, denial gets replaced by feelings of pain and guilt. People often get overwhelmed by these emotions.
After a certain amount of time, they usually get accustomed to their situation and adjust to it. Finally, acceptance happens, and peace can be found so that the person can eventually move on.
How to help someone going through grief
It’s a challenging and very personal experience – everyone deals with grief in their own way. There isn’t a single, correct way to help someone who is grieving, so we can’t give you direct advice such as “do this” or “do that”.
The best thing to do when someone is grieving is to be there for them. By offering your support and listening to the person, you will do much more than you can imagine.
These are the basic steps. Later on, you can see if the person needs anything else. For one person, a hug would be of immense help. For another, you could help out by making them lunch. Someone else might prefer to go for a walk.
Losing a parent at any age can be difficult and painful. Some people believe that losing a parent at a certain age can be particularly hard. If it happens at a young age, it can have consequences on their development, and if it occurs during adulthood, it may pose financial challenges.
However, the truth is that losing a parent at any age is difficult, and there isn’t a certain age when we can better deal with the situation. To answer what is the worst age to lose a parent, it’s always bad. It will depend on the individual and, more importantly, their relationship with the parent.