Bouncing Back Doesn’t Happen

I have lived the last seven years of my life without my father. And now almost a year has passed without my mother. And I will not bounce back. Plain and simple.

Death changes you. And although I have my husband and children and my sister to love and care for, nothing can replace the family I had when my parents were both living.

Time passes and things get done. And chores are accomplished, recitals are attended, activities are created, play dates are made, and friendships are even made. But my life has changed. And my losses will stay with me my whole life hereafter.

I realized after my father’s loss, seeing my mother and recognizing my own feelings, that this was a true and deep love. I was fortunate to have loving parents that were incredibly kind and compassionate.

My simple conclusion about loss is this:

The people that tell you to move on or bounce back, have, sadly, never experienced the heart-swelling, mind-bending, soul-comforting love that you have felt. If they did, and they lost that, they would understand.

So do not let the straightforward and quick comments get you down or make you feel you need help. Search your heart and pray, and know that your love was one that will keep you grieving your whole life. What that means, is up to you.

Whether it takes days, or years and decades to move on, it will happen. But your loss will not leave you, you will not bounce back, you can’t. Losing my parents has been like losing a part of myself. Losing a chunk of my heart. I am slower, weaker at times. I take longer to process things, and I have a hard time completing projects. My mind races and my heart hurts. When I feel these things, I have to remind myself this is just the reality of a great and powerful loss.

Each day my heart aches, but my heart grows.

I write this today for all the mamas (and papas) who have lost their parents. Being a young parent without your own parents is lonely and sad. It is hard to face your heartache when you are busy pretty much 24 hours a day with children who need you. You have to keep going, and save face and stay strong for them. 

My children remind me of my parents all the time. The love I have for them is all encompassing and reminds me of all the love I was blessed to have with my parents. It was short, it was too short. But it was fantastic.

And for that, I wake up, and I go on. And I count my blessings and absorb all the happiness this world has. But I will not bounce back.


Are you a parentless parent? I’d love to hear from you and know if this, or anything on this subject, is something you would like to read more of.



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Valerie Pyke April 18, 2014 at 4:12 am


angela April 18, 2014 at 4:12 am

i lost my dad when i was 16…so he never got to meet my husband or know my kids. and it is terrible often. but, and this is huge, i get to see my dad in my kids and that is ridiculously cool and reminds me of him every day. hugs to you, it is tough. and tougher knowing that they did not want to leave you as much as you did not want them to go. death does change you, but i hope that it has made me a kinder, gentler, more appreciative person and parent.

Julia a.k.a Mama MOE April 18, 2014 at 4:17 am

It always does, Angela. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I absolutely see my parents in my children, it is a blessing.

Jeannie April 18, 2014 at 4:28 am

Thank you for this post. Thank you for writing that it’s okay to grief the way we grief. Thank you for saying that sometimes you don’t bounce back. Simply put, Thank You!
I lost my dad exactly 3 months and 5 days ago. It’s crazy how I am able to count those days, just like when I counted the months and days after my son was born. I miss him every single day and there are days I am unsure if I am able to move forward. I talk to my boys about their grandfather, sometimes as if he’s still here with us. I want them to remember him, although I know they are much too young to remember moments spent with him, so I tell them stories about him every single day.
Grief doesn’t get easier over time. It changes. When I hear someone trying to console me, I think they don’t really ‘get it’. I lost my dad. The very person who gave birth to me. The person who taught me so much of what I know and who I am.
I am grateful everyday that I have such an amazing and supportive husband, but there are times I don’t think he quite gets what I’m going through. This post of yours is what I’m feeling; what I’m thinking. Thank you. Thank you so so much.

Jeannie April 18, 2014 at 4:39 am

Okay, my dad didn’t actually give birth to me, per se, but you know what I mean! Just had to make that correction!

Julia a.k.a Mama MOE April 18, 2014 at 4:43 am

Oh Jeannie! My heart hurts for you. I thank you for your kind words about this post. Truthfully, I wrote it a couple of months ago. I wasn’t sure if it made sense to post it here, but the more parents I met who were grieving the loss of their parents, made me realize, this is exactly the thing a lot of us are going through. PS talking about your dad like he is still here, well, I do that too in a way. Children want to remember their grandparents, and we are the only ones who can help them with that. {hugs} to you.

Christine April 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Julia, this post made me cry. I too come from a closely-knit family. Though I still have both my parents, I’ve lost three out of four grandparents…all of whom were like parents to me. The pain and the emptiness, and the missing them doesn’t ever go away. Life does go on, but I catch myself in moments of complete break-down and just have to get a good cry out. You’re right. Bouncing back doesn’t happen. If it did, then I’d be worried.

Thank you for sharing this post with all of us. Sending you lots of hugs, my friend. Je t’aime! Bisous! xoxo

Julia a.k.a Mama MOE April 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

I know you had losses, those are just as strong and painful. Thank you for your kind words, they mean so much. Thinking of you, too, my friend.

Sandy April 18, 2014 at 2:25 pm

What a wonderfully written tribute to your amazing parents, Julia. My heart breaks for you. You’ve made me pause today to think about how lucky I am to still have my parents here. They are both in their 80’s so I know how precious time with them is. Although I haven’t been through it yet, I am certain you never bounce back. I know I won’t. Big hugs to you, my friend XOXO

Julia a.k.a Mama MOE April 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Oh Sandy, thank you for your sweet words. I really appreciate them. And yes, enjoy your moments with your parents as much as you can – time is so very precious. xo

Patty April 23, 2014 at 3:27 am

What a beautiful post Julia. I am a parent less parent and will never be the same. My life with my mom was a rocky one but at the end of her life we grew closer than ever. Grief comes in waves and no one teaches us how to ride them out. Sometimes grief is furious and violent, other times it’s calm and it shakes you inside out, sometimes it’s so cold it leaves you numb,and the whole world keeps moving on, not noticing that for us time has stopped. Grief is raw. It leaves us changed, never the same but it does do one thing, it binds us together like lifesavers, or a raft keeping us afloat in the vast ocean. Knowing that there are people who know this pain, this grief, understand it, makes it a little more bearable. Hugs to you my beautiful friend. Your parents live on in you and in your children. Their love for you and what you shared was extraordinary, let that love surround you, envelop you, and keep you in the days where the grief is a little too much. Let that be their legacy.

Julia a.k.a Mama MOE May 18, 2014 at 3:13 am

Aw, Patty! This is so sweet. Thank you for this beautiful comment.

Fariha April 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I completely feel and understand your every word. It’s true, bouncing back does not happen and it’s hard. It’s also something that no one else can ever understand. One thing that a friend once told me, is to take comfort and solace in the fact that I (as you) was blessed to have had a warm, exceptionally comforting upbringing whereas there are many who still have their parents but have never experienced that. Lots of hugs and strength to you my friend. For what it’s worth, your parents would be so proud of you. xox

Julia a.k.a Mama MOE May 18, 2014 at 3:12 am

Thank you, Fariha. Thank you for taking the time to write this. xo


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