Loss of the Parent

Jason P Stadtlander
Published on: July 2013
Death is the inevitable conclusion to all of our lives and it's also the unknown that haunts us. I know what you're thinking, "What kind of an inspirational message could you possibly be starting with a statement like that?"
loss of parent,message
Well, bear with me. My dear friend Chris recently came to me with the distressing news of the loss of his father. All his life he had been extremely close to his father and it was also his last remaining parent. I was neither qualified nor capable of taking his pain away, though I badly wanted to. Trying to wrap my head around how I would feel if I lost my father, I talked to Chris, but words would not heal. I didn't know his father well, but I did know him and knew him to be a kind and loving man with a rich love of his children and grandchildren. Childhood is a strange thing that lasts your whole life until your parents die. Yes, I know that you are perhaps no longer a real child after the age of twenty or so, but to your parents you are still their child. Even my great grandmother who died at the age of 104 and I was blessed to be able to interview at the age of 100, talked of her son who was in his 80's as her little boy. It never changes - at least not until that fateful day when you wake up and they are no longer there. Then you are in charge of everything, the direction your family will go, where you will go without having them as a sounding board, and having those familiar holidays with that empty seat across the table.

The key to all of this parent - child connection, is the reality that although our parents have us to not only enrich their lives and give them a purpose, but also to go on beyond them. To provide them an existence, a heritage that is passed on long after they are gone, and perhaps a chance for the memories of their lives to be shared with others. Even if we ourselves do not have children, there is still something that we leave behind in the name of our parents. Life achievements and accomplishments that we perform and create in our name but indirectly would never have been possible were it not for the choice our parents made to have a child.

Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson's daughter has been struggling for the past few years with the death of her famous father, a death of a man that was troubled and died far too young. People put Michael on this pedestal that they just love to push him off of with his fame and fortune. What the world too easily forgets is that he was human, a person just like you and I. He loved his children and did everything he could to protect them and cared for them just as you would care for your children. Although he did accomplish many great feats with his wealth and truly did want to change the world, his greatest triumph was not his singing, his star studded fame or even his benevolent generosity to all of the various charities. It was his three children, Paris, Michael and Prince. Four hundred years from now, people will remember his music but he will continue to live on in the DNA of his decedents and perhaps even through stories that are passed down through his family.
The loss of a parent, though sad - is not a tragedy, especially if they have lived a long life as my friend's father did. It is not a tragedy as long as we do the best we can with the life we are given, to always try to carry on the name of those we love most and have cared for.
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