When you lose a parent at an early age, you soon find out that there are a lot of people who want to step in. When my mother died, the two people who wanted to take over most were my maternal grandmother Rose Nord and my paternal aunt Miriam Kurmen. As a 13-year-old, I didn’t understand why since my father was alive and well and certainly capable of raising my brother and me. They saw it differently.
The fighting started almost immediately. While I sat upstairs at my uncle Albert’s home in Pittsburgh, I could hear my grandmother arrive, hysterically crying at the thought of her oldest daughter’s untimely death. My father was numb. And aside from the, “how could this have happened?” conversation, talk quickly turned to who is going to take care of Cindy. Philip was in his freshmen year at Penn State. But I was in my last year of middle school. No one as far as I could tell considered what he or I wanted. Her body was still warm and they were fighting. It was a mess.
Not that I want to bring up unpleasant memories, but I’m sure that I’m not alone. Life and death is certainly an everyday occurrence. I’d like here from those of you who experienced an early parent loss and from professionals who deal with children and parenthood. I know what happened in my family and I’ll be telling the story as this blog develops. But I welcome your stories and advise to help others in similar situations. What do you think?