twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Losing Your Mom as a Tween

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

The death of Natasha Richardson really hit home for one mom.

Actress Natasha Richardson and her sons

Guest blogger Liesl Bradner: When I heard the news of Natasha Richardson's tragic death and the sons she left behind, Michael, 13 and Daniel, 12, it brought back painful memories of my own mother's death. I was the same age as Daniel when my mother died, coincidentally, from a brain injury as well. A sudden brain aneurysm at age 38.

How does someone so young cope with such a monumental loss? There is no easy answer. It will have long term effects well into adulthood. In fact I miss my mother more now than ever.

One of my therapists said that when a parent dies the child remains emotionally at the age they were at their parent's death. There are definitely times when I still feel like that lost 12 year old girl who still longs for her mother nearly 30 years later.

It's a pivotal time in life when children are teetering on adolescence, still needing the nurturing of home yet testing the waters of independence. A time when they break away from their parents and friends become the center of their life. Doing this caused a delayed mourning for me. It wasn't until college when I overheard some of my friends talking to their mothers on the phone about their wedding plans did I realize I would never have that mother-daughter connection.

The tween years are an awkward age when big changes happen (both emotional and physical) and luckily Michael and Daniel have their father to guide them through. I fortunately had my best friend's mother to help me out with those "things" a young girl needs. I was painfully shy and couldn't bear to ask my dad, who was pretty clueless.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a variety of camps (Comfort Zone Camp, Camp Haze) have sprung up for children to help them cope with the death of a parent and to talk to other kids in the same situation so they don't feel so alone.

Liam Neeson should surround them (and himself) with loved ones and relatives during this extremely difficult time. The pain may diminish but believe me, it will never go away.


next: I.P. Freilie
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
michelle March 31, 2009, 8:39 AM

I was touched as well by the death of Natasha. My husband was hit by a drunk driver and suffered a severe head injury. He is still with us but he is badly disabled. I waited and watched with everyone to see if she would regain consciousness, sadly she did not. We waited for him to come back and he did but the weeks were torture, and of course people ask me would it have been better if he died? Some times I do not know. He is declining and every sickness I wonder if this is the one that will take him. With the kind of cerebral bleed Natasha had, one wonders what kind of quality of life she would have had?…We have 2 small young girls and the entire trauma has changed our lives forever. They really do not have a dad anymore. No amount of money can restore a life ruined by an accident.

ame i. March 31, 2009, 10:39 AM

I lost my first husband when our daughters were 2 months shy of their 4th and 6th birthdays. To say his death was hard on them is an understatement.
My younger daughter has known my current husband longer than she knew her father. I make a point to mention funny things he did or said often.

Debbie March 31, 2009, 6:18 PM

My son lost his father 2 1/2 yrs ago when he was 10 yrs old. As he just became a teenager, it breaks my heart that his father is not here to guide him through these tough years as he enters into adulthood. My heart goes out to any child that losses their parent at such a young age.

leelee March 31, 2009, 6:34 PM

My husband lost his father at 14, and now in his 40’s is still suffering that loss. To make matters worse, his folks were divorced and his Mum tried everything to use him against his father, such as with-holding visitations and such. My heart breaks for those boys as well as my husband.

Anne April 1, 2009, 9:55 AM

Like with Princess Diana’s boys, I think better to have had a good and loving mother for those too few years than the abusive and emotionally cruel moms many have for a lifetime. But yes, it leaves a hole in your life that is never really filled.

Liza  April 4, 2009, 12:05 AM

I lost my mom when I was 17. Losing your mother at ANY age is difficult but it’s so hard to know i missed out on so much. she didn’t see me graduate, she didn’t see me get married, and she didn’t get to meet her beautiful grandaughter… It’s funny how life doens’t get better, it just gets different. My word of advise is for Liam to focus on his kids. My dad started dating less then a month after my mom passed and is now married. It made it so much harder and I still have yet to grieve and move on.

Jessica August 18, 2009, 9:13 PM

I am 16 years old and I lost my mom to brain cancer two days shy of my 13th birthday. Everyday, I feel something is missing. Every single day. However, I am very fortunate to have many loving people in my life (especially my best friend’s mom)and a caring, supportive family; but no one will ever replace for what my mom did for me and could have done for me as a teenager. I feel that I still psychologically damaged when it comes to relationships, and everyday I try to fill the emptiness I feel without having my mom. Watching anyone die is a tramatic experience, especially seeing someone you love unconditionally go through cancer, while you sit watching, being completely helpless. Teenage girls need their mother.

I can’t even put into words how internally beautiful and radiant she was and how many lives she touched. I do resort back to feelings of the heartbreak I felt the day she died. I have major separation issues, and horrific thoughts about losing more people that I love.

Nonetheless, I see a lot of her in me, and that’s how I get through my day —-knowing I’m the part of her that’s still alive.

Back to top >>