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Avatar universal

Fear of Parents Dying

  Hi all. Recently one of my Mom's friends died and never before has the dread of losing someone close reached such a feverish pitch. I never used to think this way. Uncles died over the years , as well as my Grandfather , but the fact that this hit close to home had really affected me. My parents are getting older , and I'm sure many people go through this process. It's hard to watch. They are still in pretty good health (they're in their mid 70's and have had parents that lived a long time) but I excessively worry about losing them now. How will it affect me? How will I react? How will I carry on with my life? How will the remaining spouse handle the situation?
  I drive myself nuts. I discussed it with them and they just say that it's part of life , and to worry about things of this nature prevents you from living your life. Good advice , but not always easy to follow and put into motion.
  I've found that when something strikes me hard , I tend to dwell on the topic for weeks and possibly months until I calm down (might take some zanax). I just hate the whole unpredictability of losing them (or anyone for that matter). Again , they say that one has no control over these things. You just try and keep as healthy as possible and the rest is up to fate (or whatever).
  The worst times are in the morning. I've been getting awake early lately (before the alarm) and then I 'll just lay there and my brain will fire up with all of these anxieties that I have been talking about.
  Does anyone else feel like this (or have you )?  
38 Responses
366811 tn?1217426272
I'm going to make something up. Given your other post (about religion, disaster, etc) and given your obsession with your parent's exit and given your upbringing, I'm guessing that you see your parents as the one last link to a life -and an afterlife- of certainty, where things are ordered and good and predictable and safe.

But that's just my stupid theory.

Look, BV, you are a high-functioning person and your anxiety relates to pretty abstract material -very mental, very psychological. Translation: you're intelligent. So get yourself in front of a psychiatrist with enough mental muscle to interact with you so YOU can come to grips with everything. You've got a big enough noodle to do it -so go do it.

And then let me know, won't you, whether my theory had any merit. Now - GO!
165308 tn?1323190145
Your fears are exactly what mine were.  I was terrified of losing my parents.  They were my safe place, my unconditional love.  I would dwell on it constantly and had a therapist who I talked about it to all the time.  Well, it happened to me.  When I was 33 my dad passed suddenly and my mom died 4 months later.  I was totally devasted.  My world fell apart.  At the time I was still living home with them and my sister (who was 36 at the time).  I grieved long and hard about it.  But ya know what?  I survived.  I went on to get married (as did my sister) and I have adopted a daughter from China.  My life GOES ON.  I am not going to lie and say it was easy.  It was the hardest thing in my life.  There are times I still break down about it (I am 41 now) but I always remember what my dad used to say.  "Life is for the living" and believed in moving forward.  My advice to you is to live your life and enjoy every day with your parents.  Don't dwell on them being gone.  You will lose time that you can be enjoying with them instead of "awfulizing" about horrible "what ifs".  You cannot control what happens in life.  Just take it day by day and try to look at the positive of everything.  They are here today...that is GOOD, and don't worry about tomorrow.  Believe me, it will take care of itself.
Avatar universal
Hi people. I appreciate the responses thus far and did start talking (on the phone for now) with a counselor through my EAP program at work. She stated that my fears seem a bit irrational (that may be , but sometimes thoughts like this are hard to shake or keep at bay). She will be looking for appropriate people in my area for me to talk to. She also said that I could probably use a mild anti-depressant. Right now I'm on a little Zanax for my anxieties.
  Thanks again for your replies. Every little bit helps.
Avatar universal
i read both of your comments one on religion and now the fear for your parents you have told about all of the knowledge you have acuired through the books i know that makes you a highly educated person but all of the knowledge in the world cant help someone if they dont have plain ole common hore sense  to know how to use the knowledgei am not insulting you i am glad that you could do all of this but i guess what i want to know has it made you happy i have lost a daughter mom dad it is hard but one cannot dwell on it costantly or you will get sick are you married/> maybe afraid of beong alone you sound like a very lonley person i hope that you are not ..do you work do you have anything to occupy your mind like maybe trying to help others some cant read write are illeterate you have the knowlwdge to really help others donate some time and please dont borrow trouble as my mom used to say it comes soon enough i do hope that you can try to focus on today and not dwell on lots f things in books  i think if i reall took everything i read seriously i could not think straight just use the ole bean and be happy    lots of luck   jo
299889 tn?1257342977
Just a comment, you obviously suffer from anxiety.  Do you take a mood stabilizer?  Xanax and others pass thru your system rather quickly I have been told.  You seem to be getting a lot of highs and lows.  Talking to a counselor should prove to be a good avenue as he or she has had experience with people just like you nd can offer some powerful solutions.
Avatar universal
Try again,


I hope you're parents are still well!

I am in my mid 40s....am lucky enough to have my parents still, though it is clear that they are getting frail.

I am not married, live alone and so can sympathise with your fears.  

When I've finished work (shift) they are always the people I call to see what happening.  My Dad  deals with technical stuff (he is bright) and my Mum listens to day to day niggles, of which there are an increasing number.

So, your note  sounds very familiar.

Avatar universal
I have an irrational fear of my parents dying that acts up sometimes.  I noticed it most recently earlier this year when my grandpa died.  For a while after, I had an absurd fear that my parents were going to die, beyond what I think is normal.  I would be preoccupied by thoughts of them dying.  For example, I went to see a play and the entire time I was worried that my parents were dead.  I almost cried, and had to text and call to make sure they were both okay.  This faded after maybe a month or so, but now the fear is back (though not as severe).  I have been anxious lately as I am heading off to college in two weeks, and worry about something happening to my family while I'm gone.  I try to talk about it with people, but they just tell me "everyone worries" or "they'll be fine".  I know that everyone worries, but not like I do.  Also, thinking that they'll be okay doesn't really help because really, no one knows that.  Then I start thinking about ridiculous accidents and such, and I just get overwhelmed.  I know it's irrational and that really, there's nothing I can do.  I know that, no matter what I do, when that time finally comes (which I know it will), I will still feel like I haven't had enough time with my parents.  I guess I just wish I didn't have these thoughts so often.  I frequently have issues obsessing over things I can't change, and I don't know how to make the thoughts go away.
Avatar universal
I have the same fear. My wife and I live with them in the same house.I am obsessed with the thought of losing my parents. A year ago my uncle passed away and I still can't believe that he doesn't exist. I am 33, married and my father is going to be 61 this April of 2010. My mother is 59. My wife has her parents in India and she says my fear is craziness. She cannot see them, but she is still calm and not anxious like me. What can I do ? We are expecting a baby. I don't want to think about losing my parents all the time. Feel hopeless sometimes.
Avatar universal
I have always had a fear of something happening to my mom. My dad was sick from the time I was 11 yrs old i lost him 9yrs ago . I thought after losing him my obsession with losing my mom would get better but it only got worse. Recently my brother was in intensive care and we almost lost him. After that ordeal my mom seemed distant at first i thought it was just the trauma of my brother but whe i pushed the situation she told me she found a lump in her breast the day before christmas. we still don't know yet if its cancer but I am scared to death. I like you have a close family in my 30's still live at home. Your words gave me comfort TY  Gina
Avatar universal
I am 44 my mom has been Ill for the past 12 years with Chrones and she is the reason I moved back home. I was living in California had a good job, but I could not focus because I was having dreams or visions of my dad dying. My father has been sick off and on over the past few years but was allways ok. He fell saturday and broke his hip and now has to go into a Rehab place. My mother is very scarred and I am feeling just anxious and upset.. It seems I did make the right dicission to move back home because I have been able to spend alot of time with them. I just need to loose this feeling of my parents dying...I am just scarred my mom is going to get sick agian and they will both be in the hospital.. My dad is 76 and my mom is 71... I really thought this stuff would be happening in there 80s...Does anyone have any suggestions in what to do...
Avatar universal

I'm Mike I'm only 22 and I'm getting sleepless night over the dreadful thought of my dad passing away. He's in his mid-60's and I find myself tearing up every couple of nights over the thought of this. I think someone said it before in the comments about losing a safety blanket. But it's really the thought of losing someone who has been there your whole life and watch you grow into a man/woman from those days when you once grazed your knee and they got a band aid to the days when you grow older and have those serious talks. I sometimes think to myself if it were possible I'd give up my life if it would give my parents another chance. I love my family unconditionally they mean to world to me and I know life goes but if I feel like this now then I know I will break down.

How are you suppose to deal with something like this because I'm finding it hard to think about anything else?  
Avatar universal
Soundswitch, your message is very touching and I have the same wish (that I could give part of my life to my parents so they could live longer).  The anxiety I feel is overwhelming at times, and I wish I could understand why the Lord would have planned life with so much pain.  At other times though, I am at peace knowing I will see them again when I die.  I hope you can build that kind of faith and I urge you to get involved with a church and talk about these things with people you can trust.  Having friends to lean on in those rough times helps more than you realize.  Peace and long life to you and yours my friend.
Avatar universal
i am going through the same exact thing, it has became so bad that i worry about letting my mom go into a grocery store by herself (the fear of her getting shot, when i could have been there to take the bullet). I check on her every 5 seconds when shes sick and in bed.. every time a life ensurance envelope comes in the mail i feel like breaking down.. I know that shes eventually going to die.. but i cant even think of that,, Its like i stay up all night waiting for her to die, when in reality.. im killing myself.. it all started when my father threatened my mother with a gun, and i wasn't home,,due to that i would never go to any of my friends houses i would stay at home.. i avoid trying to spend TOO much time with her, because i think that if i do that i would REALLY miss her when she dies. but i make sure to take 10000000's of pictures of her and recording her voice (kinda like i am obsessed with my mother) i tell her that i love her every time i see her. and im sure that when she gets sick that im right by her side.. I went to counseling for this.. but it doesn't help.. i open up to her.. but then i start to worry her about her well being.. so i just sit alone worrying about this topic.. Does that medication you take really work? because i really need help
Avatar universal
Thats why having a relationship with god is so important!  If you develop one, you will still have that "safe place" to go to, as you did with your parents.  I know it may sound corny.  Realizing this is much easier when you really have nothing left.  Or nowhere to go.  Or mom or dad to cry to and hug.  I have a relationship with god, but dont it give as much attention as I should.  Im sure I will when my mom and grandma passes.  Thats just how humans work.  I have this same problem-  I constantly think about my mom dying because shes overweight, smokes and works 60 hours a week.  I can't imagine what I would do.   I suffer from serious depression and thinking about it makes me much more depressed and anxious.  I have failed to become independent at 26, im always depressed, and my mom loves me way too much and helps me with everything in life.  When she goes I feel i will lose it.  I need to get my **** together and start my own family so im not alone in this world when that time comes.  But I can't seem to get it together!  I need help too.  I feel like I should also have a better relationship with her, and that things arn't right, and that she will die without us having had a awesome relationship.   Just writing about it right now is making me anxious.  The other thing is that when im out of town (which is often because I rock climb) I feel like my grandma is going to call me at any moment saying that my mom died.  It gets really intense when im  on a trip out of town.  Every morning, and every evening I have to call her to say I love you. (more so to make sure shes alive)  This makes going on climbing trips, and just living daily pretty unenjoyable.
Avatar universal
I'm 14 now and something just flicked me a couple of nights ago which made me think about my mum and dad dying especially my mum because she is 51 now and she is getting old. These last two nights i have cried my self to sleep and last night was the worst i couldnt sleep and i had to get my mum into my bedroom because i just wouldnt go to sleep, my dad said to me "is there something wrong with your head"   but i dont know what to do because i feel like i cant talk to anyone because i feel stupid about being scared of dying.   can someone tell me what to do that will take my mind of it because it scares me and im only 14 and its effecting my school work because sometimes all i want to do is cry in my lessons and when someone ask me whats wrong i cant tell them.
Avatar universal
I know it might feel like the fear of loved ones dying is a silly one, or something to be made fun of- it is not. I really recommend going to talk to someone- whether it is a school counselor or a therapist. That's what helped me though the dark times in my life.
But other than that, make sure you are getting out of your house. Talk to other people and try and join activities that match your interest. You need to meet people. <3 While it might feel like your parents are getting old, 52 is still the middle of their lives, or even more- you never know the future. If it's still bothering you, try interacting with your parents in a different way. Exercise with them, go on walks, make dinner with them. Resist the urge to sleep in the same room as them. Try distracting yourself when you fall asleep by reading books or watching tv- soemthing that comforts you. You are not alone, and you are loved by many- not just your parents. Expand your self-network and realize that you are your own person- even if you are supported by your wonderful parents.
Stay positive- and get some sleep! Sleeping will really help!
Avatar universal
It's worse after you lose a parent. It used to be that I would turn the lights off in my office and contemplate the death of my father as a means of preparation. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease when I was 13 and struggled with it for about 11 years. He really went down hill in the last two years of his life; he died at age 74. (That's right, he was grandfather age but was my father). After having moved back home with my mother I can't stop thinking about her death when she isn't in my presence. The only time I feel safe is when I can see or hear her. Every phone call, every unusual email - every morning before I open my bedroom door, I expect to find her dead. I have to prep myself before I exit my roo, expecting to see her cold and pale in her bed. It sometimes helps to imagine that your solitude at any particular moment is all you have, and suddenly the old adage comes true: the moment is all we have. The past becomes irrelevant. The present does not include anything but me. Somehow, that is comforting. But it doesn't last.
Avatar universal
hello,this is Geoffrey and I also live with the same fear. I came to the US from India when I was 16. Now I am 35 and I live with my parents, wife and daughter. I work as a teaching assistant. I get very depressed and anxious thinking about losing my parents sometimes. My daughter's almost two years old. My dad and mom work and we three pay the bills like mortgage, etc. My dad's 63 and my mom's 61. I am very attached to both of them, and also my wife and daughter. My wife is studying to be a nurse. Two years ago I went through a severe depressive episode thinking that my parents are going to die oneday. I woke up in the middle of the night often and was terribly anxious while driving to work. I don't earn enough money and am worried that I am going to struggle financially after my parents retire. I love them very much, especially my mother. I didn't finish college and regret it. I suffered from depression during my late teens and this continued throughout my twenties. My last depressive episode was when I visited India last year and when returning to the US I felt bad about not being able to see my father-in-law who was really nice to me. He used to make me tea and coffee and I used to enjoy it with cigarettes. I wish I had the money to go visit India with my family every year because I have two months off during the summer. I am not stressed at my workplace and I like my job. My greatest fear that one day I will come back from work and my parents won't be there. There will be this EMPTINESS that no one can fill. My mother is the backbone of my life. I derive all my strength and courage from her. She is very religious and tells me that GOD will take care of you when she and dad are no longer there. My mom is the reason that I have a job, and everything else that I have is because of her. I love my wife and daughter but I fear that I am going to break down if my parents are no longer around and I wouldn't be able to function. I am also not a social person which makes my situation worse. I don't have a brother and sister and I am the only child. The only solution that I see is reaching out to a community or group of people who are in a similar situation and praying and trusting in GOD and wishing my parents live long.I also pray that you find peace and comfort.
Avatar universal
I feel the same way I just feel like my mom is gonna die even though she is healthy, it often keeps me up at night, ive even had a nightmare about her dieing. I'm 15 and I love my mom so much, and dont know what I would do if she died. I hope this doesn't mean anything
Hi, im experiencing the same thing right now but i just want to know if the feeling goes away eventually ?
Avatar universal
I appreciate others' comments here. I already lost one parent and I am just hoping and praying that the other will live to see me married with children. I am trying. And it helps to read all of your notes.
Avatar universal
I love my parents. They mean world to me. I am living away from them since last ten years (education and now job). Thoughts of loosing my parents drives me nuts and I think of leaving behind everything to unite with thrm. But I have to support my family and if I go back there is no prospects of getting a job there. This dilema is tearing me apart. I know if I loose parents before returning, I will never forgive myself.
8896413 tn?1400487925
Hi David,

I can totally relate to it. I am in the same situation.
I am in my mid 40s, single, living with parents. No siblings.

II have been facing this fear for the past few weeks, and it was triggered by my maternal Uncle's death. Since my Dad and my Uncle are very old friends and is just one year apart by age, so we did not even disclose my Uncle's death to Dad.

I am desperately searching the web to find some good read. But I guess, only time will help me get over this fear.

I am very attached to both my parents and they are all I have. Hope you are doing good.


I get you meenakshi.
Avatar universal
Have read all the stories and sympathize with everyone.  I feel the same way, worried about my parents and them aging and passing away.  
Avatar universal
Please feel free to reach out to me.  I would greatly appreciate chatting with you.

Thank you.
Avatar universal
I am 20 and my father is 54. He is a heart patient and this thought makes me cry
Avatar universal
I have something similar as rest of you guys. Out of the blue i started having fear and bad thoughts about my mom developing Alzheimer disease. She had a head injury when i was 12 and now, after 23 years, a part of her cranium is still open due to the fact that they cannot close it because it might cause a some sort of a blood cloth or something. Besides that we recently diagnosed cataract and she removed thyroid couple of years ago. All in all she has undergone a lot of surgeries in her lifetime but was always ok in the end and she is always positive and fun character to be with. Now i am 35 and past Wednesday i returned from a trip and the second i visited her and she greet me the thoughts began. I focus on everything she says and see it with a negative view like a sign for Alz. She just turned 60yo. And to make things worse i started digging through the internet and as usual i got deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. I am sure you all know how it is like. You see the list of symptoms and you think you recognize them on everything she says or does. I am sure mostly its probably from my head but i just cant get over it. Today was the breaking point. She was sitting and i went to her and just broke into tears and told he how i felt. Of course as all mothers do she comfort me and told me not to worry. But the thought are still there. I honestly don't know what to do. My head started hurting and i am constantly depressed. I am now waiting eagerly for next week when she will have cataract surgery and we will also do an MRI for her old head injury. I plan on going with her and asking the Doc to run a test for ALZ just to get my head in place, though i do not want to make her anxious and transfer these thoughts to her. Please tell me what to do. I cant sleep properly, cant think cant do anything. I just want her to be OK, and she is OK. I await eagerly your replies. Thank you for taking the time to read through my story. Take care and god bless.
Hi. I woke this morning, enjoying my time alone when I caught a news clip about a upcoming NASCAR race, my mom loves NASCAR,so I text her to see if she wants to go next weekend to P.H.I. (phoenix international raceway), my treat, her response sent me into a state of irrational anxiety. I was overwhelmed with the fear of the reality that my parents will not be with me forever (I can't even say the word). I immediately Googled 'aging parents' to find counseling services and I ended up here, I never reply to users posts but with my eyes still wet, I read your post and just wanted to let you know it helped to know I am not the only one who feels this fear enough that I found myself online looking for support so really, I just wanted you to know someone in this world shares your feelings and sometimes such a small gesture helps, it did for me,I felt like the only person on earth experiencing  such fear, so strong, for that moment...I dont have the answer on how to deal with this, I'm scared too, but just know you are not alone ..we are stronger than we think....thank goodness, right...???
Create a awesome day operlan25.
Avatar universal
Hi. I am near a teenager and my parents have heart issues. My dad got hit by a vehicle. Now his leg hurts all day. Is always worry everyday all day for my parents. My parents hurt a lot. And it scares the heck out of me.  I haven't told anyone at all about my fearing of losing my parents or something bad happening about them.

If you have any suggestions please contact me on facebook at Kyla Wall or Skype Kyla Wall or mrs.***@**** for email or Skype.

Please help.
I mean mrs. kyla @ hotmail .ca no spaces and
Avatar universal
I mean mrs. kyla @ hotmail
.ca no spaces
Avatar universal
Hi, I'm going through the same thing about my mom dying but the thing is, is that I'm only 12 and my mom is 50. I just keep worrying
Avatar universal
This is topic is something i can relate with.

Both my parents were older when they had me so this fear started when i was young like 15.  I  am now 37 and still cant shake those feelings that occur sometimes at night in bed thinking about what life would be like without my parents who i talk with everyday and see few times a week, this feeling is tugs all my heart strings.  

I am married now live with my spouse, my parents are going away for 3-4 months back to our home country instead of being happy for them i been very sad at thought that i might never seen them again, i never told my parents of this fear i dont want them to worry about me.

thanks for listening.

Avatar universal
I thought I'd give you my own perspective regarding the following questions you posted: 'How will it affect me? How will I react? How will I carry on with my life? How will the remaining spouse handle the situation?'

Background: My Mom died unexpectedly when she was 43 (I was 24). Only child.

1. How will I react? - Just like any one else might I expect. Extreme anxiety, sadness, fear, & anger. Mom was the person I loved most in this world. It took a solid year for the extreme emotions to pass. I still miss her, terribly, but I've mostly come to terms with the fact that it was simply her time. Whether I liked/agreed with it or not.

2. How will it affect me? - To be perfectly honest, it's wrecked havoc on my anxiety. I have an intense fear of pain, suffering, & abandonment (no so much death). I'm currently working through it. On the flip side though, I appreciate all things in life much more easily now.

3. How will I carry on with my life? - You just do. I don't know how to explain it, other than you have two choices: sink or swim. And I for one don't want to disappoint my Mom by allowing her death to dictate how I live the rest of my life. That's why I'm desperate to gain control of my anxiety (see #2).

4. How will the remaining spouse handle the situation? - My Dad took it hard. He lost his 34 year old brother 3 years prior. Mom was his HS sweetheart. He & Mom are so young. It's been 5 years, but he's still not dating. Sure, he's talked to other women, but nothing serious. But like me, he just keeps trucking along. Even if life is a lot duller without her around.

I'm not sure if my answers will provide any relief to your anxiety, but at least you have an example to pull from. It's one of the toughest life experiences I've encountered, but you'll survive. You just do.
Thank you for sharing, it's hard to accept that there is no way to avoid this pain but it's reassuring to hear the truth and though it's a journey no one wants, we all will have to face it but you're right, honor your parents by not letting it destroy you, that is something a parent never wants for their children.
I am still blessed my parents are with me so instead of crying over the inevitable, I will cherish this time starting now.
Feel happiness that your experience just helped me...♡
Avatar universal
Hello to all.
       I remember at a very young age the strength of the love I felt for my parents, and I often worried that one day I would have to lose them. I'm nearing 34 now, and my parents are both in their early 60s. They are my absolute rock in life, and just lately the realisation that they are nearing the age that my grandparents died, has really increased my worries. I'm actually a firefighter and I deal with death of strangers pretty well. Just lately I've found myself sobbing uncontrollably at the thought of losing either or both of my parents in the not too distant future. I don't have any children and my relationship with my partner has had some troubles lately. Although I have many friends and a handful of very close friends, I feel like without my parents, I'd have nothing.
Avatar universal
I think this has helped me a little to read all of your comments. Im only twenty and getting ready to move out and find my own way, but I plan on going to a city that is 12 hrs away and my uncle just died this past month and my dad who s in his fifties is around my uncles age and they were close but very alike in that: When it came to having a pain or health issue looked at and maybe fixed and going into dept from medical bills they both had/have always chosen to avoid dept and not have things healed. I;ve felt so beside myself because I;m terrified- My dad is everything to me. He;s always treated me and my sisters with so much love and wisedom (hes a bit of a feminist) and I;m so afraid and Ive been crying a lot at the thought if getting The Call. My mom, too. She s older and has had health issues (she doesnt take good care of herself) and Im so afraid for her.  Ive had people i love and trust just tell me to stop worrying and let go and stop being over protective, but Im so close to my dad and I think I know how I;d react to losing him. Not healthily.
Avatar universal
Hi all, i've read through all the comments and it just amazes me that there are so many that are stuck in this train of thought.

I'm 31, still living at home, suffer with anxiety and occasional depression. So my parents (mid 60's) are my rock and my safety blanket. I have kind of taken it for granted that I didn't think about them dying before, now if one of them wakes up late, i'm in floods of tears and panicking about what i'm going to do.

This was all triggered by the passing of a friends dad last year. My parents aren't in the best of shape, my mother is quite a heavy smoker, so i've now become obsessed about their health. If one of them coughs when we're out for a walk, i'll go into panic mode and start to get annoyed/worried about them.

I just wish there was something i could do to take my mind of it a bit. To be a bit more comfortable with the idea. I'm hoping to go to college next semester, but i worry that i won't be able to do it as my anxiety is so high.

I hope some of you have found some comfort and that we can go on living our lives to the fullest, its what our parents would want.
This fear is completely paralyzing me too, and has for some time. I'm 33 and my parents are in their mid-60s. I have anxiety, specifically mild OCD, so this fear has become almost an obsession for me and leads to compulsive behavior at times. It doesn't help that I'm a teacher and have the summer off to ruminate. I have been crying pretty consistently for the past three days and praying a lot. This fear has been with me even stronger since my father's best friend passed a couple of weeks ago. It's almost as if something clicked in my head and everything that I think of in the back of my mind every day flooded to the surface.

My boyfriend also wants to move in with me at the end of the summer and it makes me sick because it means I'm moving onto another stage of my life, which in turn means I'm closer to them passing. If they passed, who would I talk to? Who would have wise words when I was anxious or had a bad day at work or had a problem in my relationship? Who would hug me like they do and tell me everything is going to be okay? I just don't know what I'd do without them and have even entertained the thought of selling my house and moving back in with them.

I am in counseling and am on meds for OCD, but nothing seems to help this. I wake up in tears and stay up late, unable to sleep. I went to church yesterday and cried through the entire mass, and the priest pulled me aside and asked me if everything was okay. I didn't have the confidence to tell him what was going on in my mind.

It's comforting to read that others feel the same way, and even more comforting to read about the experiences of those who have gone through this. Thank you so much for reading my thoughts, and for sharing your own.
Avatar universal
Dear All,
I sympathise with you all. I especially sympathise with those of my age (35) & above. As the reality of ageing evolves, it actually becomes harder to consider one's fear irrational & I think this makes it worse. I dread the loss of my parents as an only child. They are my soulmates & no one else will ever be able to fill that space. I have a Partner but as he has lost his parents, dealt with it & moved on, i'm not sure that he will be able to empathise much. Also the degree of closeness is very different. I wish my fear was truly irrational, i'd seek help but it isn't and with each passing month & worse, year, the anxiety gets worse. I have only just responded in this group however I wonder if a face-to-face meet up with people struggling in a similar fashion would be useful. It's just that people can share their emotions & fears. I know people are likely from all over the country/world but it's just a thought.
I'm 47, only child. Parents now in 70s...

No idea how I will go on without them around. My wife never knew her father and lost her mum when she was 16 ( but wasn't that close)

Feel like I've been worried about this all my life ☹️
Avatar universal
I think its important to think about the people answering this question... so many people have the exact same fear and anxiety so maybe this shows that its not physically a problem, but mentally. Im 15 and have been diagnosed with anxiety and OCD and my main fear is getting an awful illness or something even though I know I dont have any signs of it. OCD can create the obsessive worry about health. Its also helpful to really analyse your situation, your parents are healthy, theyve been here a long time (not saying theyre old :D ) and theres a good chance that youll be with them for years to come. Its also useful for me to push away any bad thought and replace it with a positive thought, repeat this thought in your head until it becomes subconscious. The more you start to worry and imagine bad things happening, you I'll start to see it as reality even though it most likely isn't. Hope this helped :) x
Avatar universal
I am 49 and my parents are in their 80&#39;s. I am always sick with fear. They are my everything and I am the youngest kid. When I was little I would feel sick every morning before school which I guess was separation anxiety. They are my while life for everything. I&#39;m married with a 6 yr old son who they watch 2x per week and during the summer. I am so scared to be without them someday that I am anxious all the time. And I am not enjoying my life because it makes me depressed. Mornings are the worst for my anxiety. Just like when I was a kud.
Avatar universal
Hey guys, I am 20 and my mom is 50, I don’t have a relationship with my dad at all so my mom is all I’ve had growing up besides my amazing aunts and uncles . As I am getting ready to turn 21 my mom is turning 51. Just a few days ago I started really thinking about how bad I’m going to hurt, cry, break down and just all out lose my mind if she passes before me. She is in great health, so I don’t know why I keep thinking like this , maybe because I see sooo many younger people dying and I’m just thinking about how anyone can pass at any given moment in good health or not and that truly turns me numb. I’ve gone through periods where I haven’t eaten , I barely sleep and I cry every morning when I shower. I have recently started online counseling as I’m kind of embarrassed to go see a therapist face to face . Also I have discussed the issue with my mom and she says to live my life now and stop worrying about her as she’s fine. It doesn’t get easier constantly thinking about negative issues  but I hope and pray that she has a long fulfilling life!
Everyone dies.  Nobody makes it out of this life alive.  If all goes normally, she will die long before you will, but you never know in this life.  But a lot depends on how people die -- if it's after a long painful illness, it's easier to handle because it's welcome.  If it's sudden and too soon it's harder.  But we all go on.  We have all always gone on.  Your Mom is right -- letting this interfere with your life before it happens just means you're going to suffer twice.  It sounds like something might have happened to you recently that has tested your self-confidence, and this is common at your age.  You're at the age when you will be a fully independent adult, or at least what humans pretend to be.  It can be a difficult transition, especially if there are things going on with you that aren't going so well that are important to you.  As for seeing a therapist in person, it's not embarrassing, and we all have tells you can see in person you can't see over the internet that means something to a good therapist.  There's no need for embarrassment.  But unless you're developing an anxiety problem, and it's common at your age for these things to come out, I'm guessing you'll get through this fine.  Because this is bothering you this much, I would say it's a good idea to see a therapist in person if you can find one and see if you can't figure it out and get passed it.  Best of luck.  Life will always have rough patches, so enjoy it when those patches aren't really there.  
Thanks for your comment, I’ve had a fairly easy life and nothing bad has been going on with me lately that’s new. All the feelings just hit me at once all of a sudden and I just shut down automatically, it’s very strange as I would consider myself a pretty outgoing and adventurous person. Also I myself am scared of what the future holds for me as I am unsure what I want in life , career wise. I’m currently taking gen Ed’s at my local community college but I feel like I’m getting knowhere. I know I’m just starting my life and I can’t stop stressing what the future holds for me and it’s very very scary.
If I may presume to guess something I can't know for sure, I've been there, and I think that's your current trigger.  Figuring out what you are going to do for a career has been given more importance over the last several decades than it used to have -- most people historically were either farmers or merchants and usually did whatever their parents did.  Now we choose, and it's hard to do.  If you're 20 and still doing general stuff at a community college, you probably hadn't put much importance on this earlier and probably didn't have something you were driven to do for a career.  You're going to be a late bloomer, and you'll appreciate it more when you find it, but most of us worry about this.  You'll probably never stop worrying some about this.  I think this uncertainty and the importance you're feeling about it from outside yourself is what's set this off.  
And it might not hurt to take some stock.  What do you really love to do in life?  That might be where you need to focus this energy.  Or not.  Peace.
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