Absent Parents: A Look at When You Grow Up by Yourself

by | Feb 14, 2024 | Contemporary Fiction, Family | 0 comments

Photo by Ron Lach

Edward R. Lipinski’s realistic fiction about a missing father draws deeply upon countless experiences that many people have with absent parents and the weight that brings.

The absence left by missing parents is not easily filled. It’s a chasm that stretches across time, leaving behind a landscape of unanswered questions, unresolved emotions, and an unshakeable sense of incompleteness. Whether separated by physical distance, estrangement, or the irreversible hand of fate, the absence of parents can cast a long shadow, shaping and challenging one’s life journey in profound ways.

Missing parents exist across a spectrum of absence. There are the children of deployed military personnel facing temporary goodbyes but carrying the constant worry of the unknown. Children in foster care grapple with the uncertainty of parental contact, often yearning for a connection they may never fully grasp. 

In broken families, the emotional absence can feel as devastating as physical distance. And then there are those who lose parents through death, forever haunted by the silence where familiar voices once resided.

A Look at When You Grow Up by Yourself

Each journey of coping is unique, reflecting the individual’s age, circumstances, and personality. Younger children may express their confusion and grief through tantrums, clinginess, or regression. Teenagers, often fiercely independent, might mask their pain with anger or isolation. Adults, carrying the weight of accumulated experiences, may grapple with feelings of abandonment, insecurity, and unresolved anxieties.

The impact of absent parents extends far beyond the individual. Siblings become anchors for each other, navigating childhood and adolescence with a collective sense of incompleteness. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even friends step in, offering surrogate connections and support. Yet, the absence lingers, shaping family dynamics and leaving its mark on generations to come.

Despite the challenges, it’s important to recognize the resilience that emerges from such experiences. Children of absent parents often develop a heightened sense of independence, self-reliance, and empathy. They learn to navigate complex emotions, build strong support networks, and find meaning in unexpected places. They discover inner resources they never knew they possessed.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing. There’s therapy, and there are support groups. Avenues for creativity like writing, art, music, or whatever else provide an outlet for expressing and processing difficult emotions. 

Ultimately, healing is a journey, not a destination, marked by moments of progress and setbacks.

Living After Absent Parents

While the experience of having absent parents is undoubtedly difficult, it doesn’t define who you are. It shapes you, yes, but it doesn’t limit you. You can choose to let the absence hold you back, or you can use it as fuel for personal growth. Embrace the strengths you’ve developed, seek support when needed, and allow yourself to grieve, heal, and find meaning in your unique story.


  • You are not alone. Many others share similar experiences, and support groups can be invaluable.
  • Healing is a journey, not a destination. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress, no matter how small.
  • Find strength in your resilience. The challenges you’ve faced have made you stronger than you think.
  • Honor your parents, even in their absence. Keep their memory alive in ways that feel meaningful to you.
  • Focus on the present and the future. Build a life that is fulfilling and enriching despite the void.

While the absence of parents can leave a permanent mark, it doesn’t have to define your future. With courage, compassion, and a willingness to seek support, you can navigate this challenging path that lies ahead.

Edward R. Lipinski’s Echoes of the Past series is realistic fiction about a missing father and the emotions that come with it. It’s available in all major online bookstores.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What Authors Say About ReadersMagnet


Google Review

Skip to content