Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Balance

Font Size

The Loss Of Parents

'I felt abandoned'

continued...

 

"I was always the caregiver. I always had to be there. Now I can go places, travel, move. I'm freer. There's no question about it," she says.

 

Indeed, in her research, Secunda has found that many of her 100 study participants reported positive consequences of parental loss. They became more self-reliant, reordered their priorities, and often changed careers. Of the 50 who changed careers, 69% said it was a direct result of their parents' death. A nun left her convent, entered graduate school, and embarked on a whole new career. Others said they were able -- without guilt -- to leave high-paying careers in law or medicine, for which their parents had paid educational expenses, and work for nonprofits.

 

"It's a final opportunity to grow, to think in the best possible sense, of what is in your true best interest," says Secunda.  "If you don't do it now, you never will."

 

Although his grief remains, Wood acknowledges that he has grown. He has realized that work is not all of life. He spends more time with his four siblings and his friends. He volunteers for numerous charitable causes.

 

"I know now that life is short, that the loss of parents tears the fabric of your soul," Wood says. "But I also know that there's new meaning in my life because of their deaths."

 

Rochelle Jones is a writer based in Bethesda, Md. She has covered health and medicine for The New York Daily News and The St. Petersburg Times.

1|2

Today on WebMD

Hands breaking pencil in frustration
Quiz
Dark chocolate bars
Slideshow
 
teen napping with book over face
VIDEO
concentration killers
Slideshow
 
man reading sticky notes
Quiz
worried kid
fitArticle
 
Hungover man
Slideshow
Woman opening window
Slideshow
 
Woman yawning
Health Check
Happy and sad faces
Quiz
 
brain food
Slideshow
laughing family
Quiz