Why Do Deaths Hurt More As We Age?

This month marks the one year anniversary of my Mother’s death. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. When she was ill, days seemed to last forever. Now, if I sit too long or blink, I miss a whole season.

How am I doing? Well, most of the time I think I am doing really well, then other times, a commercial for my mom’s favourite soap opera comes on, and I fall apart like it happened yesterday.

Losing your mother is unquestionably not like any other loss you have in your life. Even if you think you are prepared, the death of your mother leaves you with a huge hole in your heart and your life. No matter how much education you have, how many children you raise or how successful you are, you miss your first mentor, your hero, your biggest cheerleader and the arms of the person that was always there for you, even when everyone seemed to turn against you.

I watch my children and see them on the same busy path I was on at their age. No time for anyone or anything. Work, eat, sleep, repeat. I can’t tell you how many times I heard my mother sarcastically say, “You’ll be sorry when I’m gone.”, and sadly, she was right. So, so right. I hope my kids heed this warning but alas this kind of wisdom only comes from experience. Because I tell you, when your loved one is gone, you will wonder if you did enough for them, especially if they were ill near the end.

Lately, I have been acutely aware of loss all around me and it takes very little for my eyes to fill with tears. Is it hormonal? The change? Maybe. Or could it be that with each loss, I feel myself moving up the ladder.


Why Do Deaths Hurt More As We Age?


Lately, I have been acutely aware of loss all around me and it takes very little for my eyes to fill with tears. Is it hormonal? The change? Maybe. Or could it be that with each loss, I feel myself moving up the ladder. I worry about how many good years I have left. It also makes me realize that the time is now. If you want to do something, stop putting it off. You don’t know how much health or time you have left.

To send me right over the edge, yesterday, my cat of 17 years passed away. In the last 6 months, he had aged very quickly. He lost his vision and his teeth. But he still liked to cuddle and lap up leftover milk from breakfast up until 3 days ago. I think the reason I am so affected by his death is because his life is so very closely linked to my sons’ childhood. They are men now. And everything that framed my young motherhood is now gone.

It’s so very odd to me. I have never been one to dwell on my age. Why is it different now? The only thing I can think of is that when the kids were young, there was no time to think about time. You do what you have to do and carry on. Plus, I never wanted my children to see me troubled over something I had absolutely no control over. It seemed silly and a waste of time.

Well there definitely is no time to waste on it now.

Tell me. Have you been profoundly affected by a recent death and how did you deal with it?


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5 thoughts on “Why Do Deaths Hurt More As We Age?

  1. I’ve faced Death too many times already. During emergency brain for a stroke, I met Death in a dream. He sat down next to me in what seemed to be an empty pew in a temple. Just sat there, for what seemed like hours. I was frozen to the spot for what seemed like hours. It was actually three weeks, and I was all hooked up with IV’s and stuff, at Cedars-Sinai. I guess He was not paying attention, or something, because its been a dozen years and here I am!!
    Every extra day I have gotten, even the painful days, have been a blessing.
    Thank you for hearing me out.


  2. As we age, I truly feel I’m almost too aware of my mortality, especially when loved are passing much to often. Mothers and daughters are in a field of their own. I wrote a book on finding forgiveness for my mother after she passed after being estranged from her for years. Speaking terms or not, it’s a difficult swallow. I’m sorry for the loss of your cat. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As we age we get closer to our last day on Earth. It’s a hard pill to swallow, and indeed gets more difficult reacting to the death of parents, pets, and other beloved folks in our lives. Facing our mortality is a scary thought.


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