Every week I think about what I want to write on Sunday mornings which is when I write my post for the week. This morning as I straightened the picture of my Sister on the wall, I decided it was the right time to write about being an orphan.
When I tell people I’m an orphan I get all sorts of reactions. Some people think of orphans as children only, my husband’s Aunt gets mad at me if I mention I’m an orphan because this hurts her to think that I am and others just look confused.
Let me share with you what being an orphan is all about for me and I encourage you to share your experience. When I lost my Mum at 15, I became an orphan. I did not know that losing one parents qualifies you as an orphan but I looked it up in the dictionary and alas yes. I think I lost a bet on this one and if you knew me, I hardly ever lose a bet in fact no one bets with me anymore. Then I lost my one sibling, my Sister when I was 37 and my Dad eight years ago. Most people cannot fathom losing their entire family but I know there are people reading this who have.
Being an orphan is weird. It’s the disconnection to the past that is difficult. I remember when I was pregnant with my youngest and the other two had chicken pox, my Doctor wanted to know if I’d had them and I had no idea. My Mum was gone so I couldn’t provide that information. When I got promoted at work and my first thought was to tell my Dad, I couldn’t and I remember driving along the road with tears pouring down my face. There is no one to reminisce with about Christmas’s past and silly things that happened. I really miss that.
There are a number of strange things about being alone here on earth without any of my original family. I adapted and I am just fine, in fact I’m thriving. I have built my own family and my family of friends which I am super blessed to have so please don’t think I’m complaining because I’m not at all. I do miss them terribly and one of the comforts of when I do die, is I know I will be with them. I’m not religious per se but I do believe in God and the afterlife and have proof that we still exist in spirit form. This is the subject for another post….
Thank goodness we humans are adaptable because most of the time I don’t think about being an orphan but every once in a while the longing hits you like a ton of bricks and I feel overwhelmed with grief, I have a good cry and then I’m fine again. I do this in private because I cry very badly, not like on TV. I get a red face, my makeup runs and it’s really not attractive.
There is even the occasional advantage to being an orphan. At my age I have several friends taking care of aging parents and this can be very very difficult. One such friend’s life is totally consumed with dealing with his Father and Mother at the same time. He has had to cancel dinner three times with me and we joke and that I’ll see him after they die. So you see, I don’t have to worry about this.
I do have my memories and I share them with my husband, my kids and my closest friends whom I trust with my soft squishy center. I recently had a dinner party for some of my girl friends and I toasted them with “friends are family you get to choose”. My family and friends fill the hole……almost.
P.S. please tell the people you love that you love them all the time, try hard to forgive and don’t waste time arguing over things you’ll regret when they’re gone.