One of life's painful certainties is that we will lose our parents. It is part of the natural order of existence. Many of our parents leave us when they are deep into old age, the result of their bodies' inevitable decline. But too often, parents leave us prematurely, following an unbidden and untimely illness or, perhaps, grim tragedy.
Whatever the circumstances, our task is to sort out what our parents mean to us, to reflect on their impact on our lives, whether sweet, bitter, or bittersweet. As George Eliot wrote, "Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them." We hear from 16-year-old Angie Scott, whose wise insights reflect the complexity of profound loss that occurred much too soon.
Angie Scott is an 11th-grade student at South Kingstown High School in Rhode Island.