This post is part of the ‘Tales From The Other Side Of …’ series. There are so many stages, achievements, milestones and heartbreaks we go through as parents and whatever we are experiencing, whether good, bad, exciting or terrifying, it’s always nice to know someone else has already done it and come through the other side. To find out how you can get involved and share your story/tips and tricks click here. Today we have the lovely Gemma from Mummy’s Waisted sharing howshe has coped with the loss of her father.

Now I’m not going to lie about it, losing a parent is not great, at any age, whether you’re five or fifty five. But in a way, you can come out of the experience being a better version of yourself.

My dad passed away on the 3rd February 2018, he was 66 and I was 34. He was a 20 a day smoker, so no-one was expecting him to live a long and healthy life. We were lucky in that his ‘being ill’ period was actually quite short, from starting to go for tests between Christmas and New Year 2017 to passing away peacefully six weeks later. Although he hadn’t got the results from various biopsies, I felt in my heart that his time was short, and thankfully managed to visit him for one last time with our children (aged five and 2.5) and also in the hospital with my husband to say goodbye.

How do you cope with the loss of a parent? Find out how Gemma of Mummy's Waisted has chosen to focus on the good life that her father led rather than the sadness of his passing

Since his passing, it’s not been any easy ride for any of us, but I do feel that I have learnt a lot about myself and have become stronger as a result. It was very hard to take at the time, but I knew that dad had hidden the extent of his illness from us all for a long time. For him, it was so much more important to see his family enjoying our children’s birthdays and Christmas without the niggling worries about them being ‘the last ones’.

That was comforting to me, as I feel that that is how I would like to be in the same situation. He didn’t want a big fuss or drama, and I’m the same. My family’s happiness comes before my own, and I would do anything in my power to protect that. Because of that, we didn’t tell our children that Grandad was really ill until he had passed away; primarily because of their ages but also we didn’t want them to treat him any differently (although we did stop them jumping on him quite so much). The latest Macmillan ad campaign is so true – a Grandad with cancer is still a Grandad.

I’ve not experienced the loss of anyone close to me before, so I did not know how I would react to the conclusion I knew was coming. I’m proud of myself for staying strong, for my husband and children, plus my mum and sister. That strength allowed me to read a poem at the funeral, despite my usual fear at public speaking.

There are some that would say I’ve bottled up my grief, but in fact I can’t be sad at the life that he led. There is not one person who met him that wouldn’t tell you what a caring and lovely man he was, always going out of his way to help others. It’s those moments that make me miss him the most; the fact that my daughter’s bedroom needs decorating – he would have jumped at the chance to come and do the wallpapering; and endless advice about gardening. I’m so pleased that the beautiful flowers that he helped me to buy and plant in the autumn are starting to bloom, it’s a lovely reminder of him.


flowers 1









I don’t think I will ever ‘get over’ the fact that dad is gone; it’s just getting used to a new normality without him. But this event in my life has taught me so much, and I feel that maybe I am a nicer person as a result.

Thank you so much Gemma for sharing your story. I think choosing to focus on the life your father led, rather than the sadness of his passing, is both beautiful and inspiring.

Gemma of Mummy's WaitingGemma is a mum to two children and has recently changed career from accountancy to internet marketing. She runs Waist Trainer UK and blogs as Mummy’s Waisted, which features family life and The Busy Mum’s Guide To…..




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12 thoughts on “Coping With The Loss Of A Parent

  1. That’s a lovely post. I lost my dad over 10 years ago now and it’s not easier it’s just different and it’s not in my mind all the time as it was in the beginning. I have happy memories of my dad and smile when I think of him now rather than feel sadness or angry that he’s not here. A song will come on the radio and i’ll Think of him and say ‘hello dad’. It’s not easy but things do get better. #familyfun

    Posted on 14 May, 2018 at 1:37 pm
  2. I helped my best friend walk her two parents to the grave. It is one of the hardest things to do. #familyfun
    Tracy Albiero recently posted…Adoption on Mothers Day…My Profile

    Posted on 14 May, 2018 at 3:24 pm
  3. Lovely post. I have not experienced this and of course hope that I won’t for a long time yet, but it is lovely to read about how you find happiness in things such as flowers that he planted in bloom. Thanks for sharing such a personal experience #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 14 May, 2018 at 4:13 pm
  4. Poignant read . Bit close to home on this particular day so will revisit when feeing stronger #FamilyFun
    Kate recently posted…Great dating ideas in CambridgeMy Profile

    Posted on 14 May, 2018 at 5:59 pm
  5. My mummy’s dad died when he was 52, as an alcoholic and it was the most painful thing seeing him pass away. It was horrible losing a parent and my mummy is scared of the future when she thinks about losing her mum and in laws. Time does ease the pain, but it’s still raw even 11 years on x thanks for sharing your perspective xx
    Bella and Dawn at Dear Mummy Blog recently posted…My Sunday PhotoMy Profile

    Posted on 14 May, 2018 at 7:59 pm
  6. So sorry for the loss of your dad. #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 14 May, 2018 at 9:41 pm
  7. sorry for your loss. I think this is something that none of us ever truly know how we will react to until it happens, no matter how prepared we may think that we are. #familyfun
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…The NFL, Pot, and Pain ManagementMy Profile

    Posted on 15 May, 2018 at 5:44 pm
  8. What an inspiring post, althought Gemma speaks positively I can’t say I have dry eyes. #familyfunlinky

    Posted on 15 May, 2018 at 6:47 pm
  9. I lost my dad 2 years ago and it still hurts as much now as it did then. He too was only 66, I was 37. It has definitely changed me as a person. Like you said, I don’t think I will ever get over it.
    Ali Duke recently posted…My Empties April 2018My Profile

    Posted on 16 May, 2018 at 6:27 pm
  10. I don’t think anyone is truly ready for the death of their parent, even when expecting it through Ill health. I’ve not had to experience this yet but I hope that I’d be able to focus on the good of their lives rather than dwelling on them gone. Ff
    Karen | TwoTinyHands recently posted…The Letter O #FamilyFunLinky #ABC123ChallengeMy Profile

    Posted on 16 May, 2018 at 11:05 pm
  11. I haven’t lost my mom and I don’t know what it is like to lose a parent but I know the day will come eventually. I don’t know how I will react or how I will grieve because everyone grieves in their own way. I love that the flowers have bloomed though! That is such a lovely reminder as if he is watching over all of you and the flowers are his way of saying, I’m still here. I don’t know if you believe in that sort of thing but it’s a beautiful thought I think. I’m sorry for your loss and I wish you well:) #FamilyFunLinky
    Michelle Kellogg recently posted…My Mother’s Day Weekend: Strong Like MomMy Profile

    Posted on 18 May, 2018 at 1:38 pm
  12. This is so sad! But inspiring at the same time… #familyfunlinky
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    Posted on 21 May, 2018 at 9:01 pm