At the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley talked with Ashley Maderr, who lost her father. Together with her mother and sister, Maderr now serves the bereaved. Located in California, Maderr was 20 years old when her father died. As an adult child, it can often be a disenfranchised loss that isn’t recognized. It was one of the toughest things she’s been through.
As a daughter, she didn’t realize how much she needed her dad until he was gone. Going through dating and being an older sister, it was critical to have a male perspective. At 20 years old, she was just starting to think about her father walking her down the aisle when she got married.
Moving Forward without Dad
Maderr and her father both had birthdays in the same month. It’s really hard to talk about the subject, but Maderr says that it’s okay to cry and it’s important to keep her head up. She refused to cry at his funeral, but she gave a eulogy. Afterward, she broke down. She encourages others to ask for help and feel free to cry. She didn’t want help, wouldn’t talk to her friends, and now that four years have passed, Maderr realizes these are things she should have done. She wanted to stay in her cocoon and made everyone leave her alone.
It’s okay to have alone time, but when you’re ready to talk about it, there will always be support. However, you might need to be the one directing those relationships and conversations. Losing a parent is never easy at any age. As an adult, your friends and family might not know how to give you the support you need. It’s up to you to take control and tell others what you need from them.