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Old 01-19-2016, 03:59 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
16,415 posts, read 5,350,870 times
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I've felt like an "orphan" for many years. I lost my father when I was 37, my only sibling when I was 42 and my mother when I was 49. My husband's parents are both long gone, and he was an only child. I have tons of family photos that I can't identify and questions about my family history that will never be answered. Like ndcairngorm, I regret not asking more questions when I had the chance.
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,834,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saralvr View Post
My mom, almost 90 has buried 2 husbands, parents and siblings. Her sister and her were very close and she misses her terribly. My late grandfather once commented to me that the worst part of getting old is outliving all your family and friends.
Where does the notion of not outliving them rank?
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,018 posts, read 17,335,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcairngorm View Post
When I became the "last one standing," so to speak, the one thing that came through to me was this: I am now the last repository of family history. If I don't know a particular something about any of my parents or aunts and uncles or older cousins, not one person left in the world does know it. If there are family pictures with people in them I can't recognize, no one else will know who they are either, ever.

I then wished with all my heart that I had asked my parents, my aunts and uncles, and everyone else who was related to me about everything to do with their lives, to tell me their histories so that I could know and remember and pass it on. But all these things are now lost. There is no one left to ask.

My brother and SIL, with the help of many relatives, wrote a 500 page book about our family, filled with many stories and hundreds of photographs and we still wish that we had more information.


While all of my siblings are still alive, everyone in my parents generation, except one aunt, is dead. I am actually shocked at how many things come up that I wish that I could ask my parents.


It must be absolutely horrible to be the last one left. I am not looking forward to that (or to not be the last one left).
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:38 PM
 
5,425 posts, read 3,445,259 times
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no, I would not say it is "absolutely horrible to be the last one left" at all.

It is not horrible at all.
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Ohio
19,883 posts, read 14,224,806 times
Reputation: 16076
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Last week, my only remaining great aunt/uncle passed away at the age of 72. Her passing left my grandmother, 79, the only remaining sibling of either eleven or twelve that made it to adulthood. When we were at the funeral Saturday, she brought up the fact that she was the only one remaining and had buried all of her siblings, parents, and also my grandfather. It seemed to shake her up significantly and made her realize her own mortality and age more than I think she typically does - she's a healthy 79, lives independently, and still gets around well.

Have any of the posters on this board faced this situation?
My father is the last of 8 (of 13) surviving children. His mother died of cancer when she was 42 years and his father was killed in a coal mining accident (the day he was to retire).

I would like to ask him about it, but I don't know how.
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,612 posts, read 9,676,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcairngorm View Post
When I became the "last one standing," so to speak, the one thing that came through to me was this: I am now the last repository of family history. If I don't know a particular something about any of my parents or aunts and uncles or older cousins, not one person left in the world does know it. If there are family pictures with people in them I can't recognize, no one else will know who they are either, ever.

I then wished with all my heart that I had asked my parents, my aunts and uncles, and everyone else who was related to me about everything to do with their lives, to tell me their histories so that I could know and remember and pass it on. But all these things are now lost. There is no one left to ask.

I am not the "last one standing" at this point but what you wrote fits perfectly. I know more about my ancestors, and related families, than I do about my family today! They are always asking me questions and enjoy hearing all the stories but nobody wants to get involved in doing the work. lol Lucky for me I had family members that were pretty 'gabby' about their lives and the family. My granddad was the one who got me interested in family when I was a little kid, always talking about his family roots, etc..


My grandparents, parents, uncles, all but one aunt, two sisters and one brother are gone. A few cousins as well. I still have three brothers but might as well not have. One is in prison so our only communication is through the mail. Another one I am completely 'detached' from and don't care. The feeling is obviously mutual. The third brother I get along well with but he doesn't bother to stay in touch. They both live here in town. I gave up on being the one to initiate and keep in touch. I started feeling like I was 'bugging' him so decided to let him call me if he wanted to talk. I guess he doesn't. Because of all that, though, I sometimes feel like I'm the last one.
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,612 posts, read 9,676,241 times
Reputation: 10950
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal2NC View Post
I am the youngest of 3 daughters. One sister died in 1999, the other died this past September. Both parents are dead.

It has hit me kind of hard that I'm the last one...... I think of it sometimes as I'll be next.

No one left to talk to, etc. Difficult time for me.

That's what I miss the most about my mom. Sometimes she drove me crazy just trying to get a word in edgewise with her but I miss hearing her voice. I've watched some of the VHS tapes my parents made over the years just so I can see them and hear their voices again. They were so funny, even when they didn't mean to be.
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Old 01-19-2016, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,110 posts, read 8,149,204 times
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Well, there are 4 of us living up here in northern Maine, aged 66 to 72, waiting for the final countdown. It's myself, my wife, my brother, and my wife's brother. We all consider ourselves family.

Actually, we're not waiting for anything. We're all pretty busy and involved in our lives up here. None of us feels that we're any more likely to pass on soon, as we ever were. Probably a lot less. At least we're not alone...not yet....
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Old 01-19-2016, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
1,886 posts, read 2,298,046 times
Reputation: 5326
I'm 62 and the last male in my generation, and the oldest one in my family. They are all gone.
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Old 01-19-2016, 06:28 PM
 
672 posts, read 837,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
Where does the notion of not outliving them rank?
You have a point. I just remember him sitting alone. He used to play cards and dominoes with friends and I guess he just missed them.
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