Can you be an orphan at forty-six?

Can you be considered an orphan at forty-six years of age?  The definition of orphan refers to a child, but I believe that when your second parent passes away you can feel like an orphan. No comparison to the pain that children who lose their parents at a young age must feel, but I can attest to the fact that there is still pain to be felt at forty-six and counting.

My father passed away eleven years ago today and my mother twelve years prior to that. Today I am reminded by the calendar. Other days it is a picture on social media, a commercial on TV, a precious smile from their newest great-grandson. Sometimes it is something I see that I know one of them would love or hate.  Yesterday I ran into a friend who is planning an 80th birthday party for her mother.  Although I am happy for her and her mom, I could not help but feel a pang of envy and longing.  I miss them both so much.

my mom and dad


I grew up in Cornwall, Ontario a small city not far from Ottawa.  With my parents and most of their siblings passed away, I feel my connections or roots have slipped away from the Cornwall area.  It does not help that most of my siblings have moved away too.

If you are lucky enough to have one or both parents alive, give them a hug or a phone call to show you appreciate their presence in your life.  Trust me, you will miss them when you no longer have that opportunity!


3 thoughts on “Can you be an orphan at forty-six?

  1. I kind of felt like an orphan after both my parents were gone. My dad passed away first while sitting on the sofa watching TV. My mother was years later. She went to bed and never got up again. She had lived with me for a few years in Georgia, but decided she wanted to go home to Pittsburgh. She insisted on living alone. My other sister got her an apartment nearby. I’d call a couple times a week to chat. I never worried when I couldn’t get hold of her because she sometimes slept on her good ear and couldn’t hear the phone, and other times she go with a friend to a church event. When I couldn’t get hold of her for 3 days I worried and called my sister. My niece went over and found her dead in the bed. I’ve often wondered if she’d stayed with me, could I have made a difference? I know God takes us when it’s His time, not ours. I guess that doubt will hang around until I get to heaven.

  2. my dad passed away in his sleep as well, but I believe he went when he wanted to and there was nothing anyone could have done. Sounds the same for your mom, at least they died peacefully

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