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Losing a Parent in College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Marist chapter.

A week after my twentieth birthday, I received a call that took my entire world and shattered it.

My father had passed away.

At that very moment, I was taken to a different place. My old life, with my happy family of four, was gone. There was no going back to the normalcy that I once knew.

One of the worst parts is when people say, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through,” because the truth is, I really can’t fathom it either. It’s a frightening thought to know that I will never see my dad again (at least, on a physical level).

My dad will never meet my husband or his grandchildren. He won’t give me away at the altar on my wedding day. He won’t see me graduate from the college we both loved. But, even worse, there won’t be new little moments, like hearing his laugh from downstairs or seeing his dry-cleaned clothes hanging in the hallway. I will no longer notice his silly mannerisms or receive the biggest hugs in the world. The only thing left is “what was.” I speak of his life in the past tense, which is the most tragic fact of it all. 

Even if I had time to prepare myself for something like this, nothing in life would’ve shown me the reality of losing a parent. The entire process has been as tiring and heartbreaking as one would think, because after everyone’s condolences are said, you’re the one that’s left without a parent.

But, there’s always a silver lining.

Through tragedy, you learn what you’re made of. You do things you never thought you could. You become stronger than you ever imagined. Sometimes you cry, and you get angry. But, you also laugh, and you learn to smile at the life that your parent led because you know how amazing it was. That’s what gets you through the days without him or her.

Losing a parent will never get better. You will always have one seat missing at the table. But, it will get easier, and even though I’m nowhere near accepting my loss, I know acceptance is out there.

Anna Marotta is a Junior at Marist College where she is studying Marketing. She is extremely right-brained and loves to write, create, and travel. You can find Anna with her ten best friends at Lola's Cafe or stalking dogs on Marist Beach. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram! @annarosemarotta