Grief Journal

Mourning the Death of a Parent Who’s Still Living

Written by Tiffany Rodriguez

Mourning the death of your parent while they’re still alive feels so wrong.

Why is this a thing?

Why am I going through this?

Lord, I’m praying for answers . . . Do you hear me?

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Lord, please.

I miss my dad. I love him more than he’s even earned. He’s living, but I’m mourning him as the figure he was before I had to start pretending that he is dead. The man I share DNA with is gone. The man who is living isn’t my father, he’s a zombie, possessed by addiction.

Why does it have to be this way, Lord?

I pray for answers. I trust your will, God.

Why does my heart still ache?

The tears fall down your face at a steady pace when you mourn the death of your living parent. You cry unexpectedly, sometimes multiple times a day. The moments of sadness are so easily triggered when there are so many things that remind you of the person you miss.

You never quite get used to the void.

I’m missing the dad my father can’t be. If I’m being honest, he never has been the perfect dad I wished for. Still, he was my dad, and I believed in him.

When you mourn the death of your living parent you feel angry. It’s so hard to understand why you could never be enough to save them from their demons.

Lord, why doesn’t my dad love me enough to change? Can’t he see what is happening?

I’m mourning, because my children won’t know the man who used to make them giggle when they were babies. Their memories of him will fade as they grow into young men. He’s unrecognizable now. Their papa is gone.

You always sort of expect to mourn the death of your parents when they’re taken to Heaven in their old age someday. Grieving the abrupt disappearance of your parent isn’t fair. Knowing they love their addiction more than everything else is heart wrenching. Accepting there is a chance they may never come out of the darkness is terrifying. Realizing no one can change your parent’s inevitable course of destruction feels awful.

God, I’m praying you will grab hold of my father.

Remind him that he is loved.

Introduce him to your amazing mercy and grace.

Show him what it’s like to be forgiven.

I know you’re there God. Please hear my prayers. Please give him a reason to change. Please cover my heart with peace, because it’s hurting.

I’m crying, Lord. I know you have a plan Lord, but in this moment it hurts.

When you mourn the death of your living parent you hear the ticking of a time bomb every single day. You fear the explosion. Each morning when you wake, you wonder if today will be the day you receive “the call”. You know it’s coming. You fear every “unknown” phone number that calls you. You’re expecting the day someone calls to say the demons finally took your parent. Even though the memory of the your loved one is already dead inside of your heart, nothing can prepare you for the dark reality. So you just wait.

Mourning the death of your living parent is awful. It’s a pain I don’t feel equipped to endure alone. Thankfully, I can put my trust in a God who loves with the heart of a father.

I trust that God has a reason for this turmoil. I know he will make beauty out of these ashes.

If you are mourning the death of your parent who is still living, I am so sorry. I know what it feels like to have the memory of your loved one stand still. Life goes on, but inside you’re heartbroken. Inside, you can’t help but think about all they are missing. I know the brokenness all too well. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

Please, even when things seem bleak, don’t ever stop praying for your parent. Use the hurt, worry, and shame as a reason to stand firm in your faith. Ask God to help you persevere. Pray that God might use this situation to make your parent anew. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to spark a change. Even though you’re exhausted from watching the life of your parent unravel, please, don’t give up hope. I know it probably feels like things can’t get worse, but please realize maybe they just haven’t hit their rock bottom yet. We aren’t equipped to decode God’s plans, but I believe our prayers are being heard. Don’t stop praying, because God is listening . . .  I can feel it.

About the author

Tiffany Rodriguez

Tiffany falls somewhere on the spectrum between Proverbs 31 and Tupac. She’s a Jesus following wife and a mother of three boys. Tiffany is raising her family in the beautiful So Cal Mountains. She is a city girl turned mountain mama, and she’s committed to raising her little dudes up as men after God’s own heart. Aside from writing, Tiffany enjoys creating art, face painting for parties, cooking, and all things beauty. She is a self proclaimed lipstick and perfume hoarder . . . but that may be because she’s determined to keep her femininity in a house full of rambunctious boys! You can follow Tiffany on her blog and on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest for more posts about how she survives the #boymom life.