Posts Tagged ‘getting older’

When your parents go, you’re next

January 4, 2013

We feel many things when we lose our parents.

Of course, we have the typical grieving experiences, such as we may think about all the experiences we had with our parents and we know we’ll never have them again.

But also, since they were our parents, as their children, we may miss the parental figures that have been “above” us, ahead of us on the path of life.

We now feel the buck stops with us. There is no one to answer to anymore. We’re the ones at the top.

If we’re in your 40’s or maybe 50’s when you lose your parents, we may not notice another feeling – “I’m next!”

If our parents were, say, 30 years old when we were born, then we may have 30 more years left on our lease on life. The clock is ticking.

This conversation raises the whole issue of confronting our own mortality.

In the first half of our life – however many years that is – we may generally think we have our whole lives ahead of us – more time ahead than behind us. Plenty of times to accomplish all the goals we’ve created for our lives. Plenty of time to make all money we thought we’d make. Plenty of time to find that real love of our life. Plenty of time to reach the heights of success we’ve wanted to have. Plenty of time to try that new career. Plenty of time to have those children, write that book, be nicer our loved ones, plant that garden.

But we hit a certain age when we decide there may be less life ahead of us than behind us. What a sobering spot.

It seems the pendulum comes to rest for a moment in the middle of life when you’re right on the cusp, but then all of a sudden you realize you’re going down the other side. Perhaps it’s like a hill you’ve been climbing, now you’ve crested it, and before you know it, you begin sliding down the far side, and – alarmingly – at a seemingly increasing rate.

What a sobering time.

I’m next!