An Orphan – Harry Potter, James Bond, Peter Pan and me

Being An Orphan

I read a post from a friend on Facebook last week, her mum died this year, her dad had already passed a few years ago. She wrote a heartfelt message about how much she misses her parents and how hard it is to be without them.

Reading things like this trigger a huge reaction from me and bring all the tough feelings back. It has made me reflect on everything over the past 20 years of being an orphan that my parents have missed.

There is a small group of people who are an orphan. You may know them too, James Bond, Harry Potter, Peter Pan, my forever friend Becky. I am in pretty good company there. And look what happened to those people so there is hope of amazing things to result from such disaster in early life.

My mum died when I was 16 and my dad died 3 years later the week before my first-year exams at university.

All the big life events that followed happened without parents to cheer me on, to ask for help from or to cry to.

University Life

University was hard for me. I reacted badly to my parents both dying. I drank a lot, studied very little, spent so much money. Somehow I managed to do okay, mainly due to most of my degree being based on the final year when I worked a bit harder. One of the stand out moments was graduation. Everyone had their parents there, I had my sister and my boyfriend. Its moments like that that kill you. The pride and happiness in everyone parents face’s.

My First Relationship

I met my first properly serious boyfriend when I was 21. A man 10 years older than me who worked in London. It was by no means a perfect relationship but I had no mum to talk to about it. I know I stayed in that relationship for security for a long time. I moved in with him after leaving university and got a job in London near him, both working for banks. He was an accountant and I was training to be an accountant. Eventually I left but not until we had bought a house and built a life around ourselves. He was a substitute dad. But how do you know these things when you lose your moral compass and guidance?

My Career

I did various jobs through my twenties and thirties with no parents to say well done and be proud of my achievements. But there was always a huge internal pressure that I needed to earn the most money possible from as young an age as possible. It does not take much to work out that I was intent on providing for myself as I had nowhere to turn to for financial support.

Getting Married

This was a toughie, getting through the biggest day of my life without my parents. There are many points throughout a wedding day where traditionally parents have a significant role. My bridesmaids made a wonderful fuss of me in the morning getting ready when my mum should have been there. My nephew walked me down the aisle. And my forever friend Becky did the most wonderful speech in the place of father of the bride.

Having Babies

A whole host of poignant moments here, finding out I was pregnant, through the pregnancies and giving birth. The hardest time was the weeks after my first child Dylan was born. All my friends having babies had their mums there on hand to help with advice and guidance.

Time Heals

They say that time heals, it does. Things do get easier as time passes and your first thought in moments of needing parent stop being your parents. A week could pass where I don’t think of my mum or dad. But then I might have a tough week where I get down and I am not even sure why.

Losing my parents at a young age has made me fiercely independent, a bit of control freak and very self-reliant. Sometimes I can conquer the world and other times I want to hide from the world. Mostly it’s the positive learning that shine through. My family and friends are the most important things in the world to me. I have a solid base of a house and financial stability. My kids are happy boys who have a great life and love from their parents. And I have a business, my own business that is thriving and the harder I work and the more I focus the more successful it will become.

So much good can come from such a tough start in life.

If you want to read more about my mum and dad, or are going through something similar have a read of these posts.

The day my life changed forever

A different kind of Fathers Day



More to explore


Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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2 Responses

  1. woah can resonate with that except my parents are alive but so toxic I have to stay no contact with them…for me, someone passing away and not being present is easier to wrap my head around

  2. Hi, I am in the same situation as you. I lost my mum at 16 and dad at 25 and all your feelings resonate with me. Now I am 41, and I still have my low days when I miss them so much and my husband cannot cannot understand it. As years pass by I feel sadder and sadder as their memories are beginning to feel so distant. This deep loneliness is constantly there. Recently, I had a great achievement in my professional life, but the next day I felt so down as I knew my dad would have been so proud but wasn’t there to share it.

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