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Her parents died of AIDS when she was a child – says

Her parents died of AIDS when she was a child – says
Her parents died of AIDS when she was a child – says
This is how you support someone in grief

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Losing parents is an inevitable and sad part of life, and hard no matter how old you are when it happens. But losing both parents as a child is probably hard to get used to, if you haven’t experienced it yourself.

For Sydni Dunn, growing up was marked by grief and loss, as she lost her father to AIDS when she was four years old, and her mother to the same disease four years later. But despite the horror of being orphaned at such a young age, Sydni looks back on her childhood with great warmth, because her parents – who knew they wouldn’t live long enough to see their girl grow up – did everything they could to to strengthen and prepare her for a life without them.

In an article on Vice, Sydni Dunn writes about the special upbringing, and her parents’ struggle to give her a good life after all.

“No preparation in the world can prepare a child for the death of a parent. No amount of preparation can make a child ready to be orphaned at age eight. But my mother, who had watched the love of her youth and the father of her only child lose her battle to AIDS while fighting her own battle, did what she could to give me the tools I needed to endure the days, months, years and decades after their respective deaths,” writes Sydni Dunn.

Prepared for his mother’s death

She tells how the mother did not try to protect her from grief and death, but instead worked so that the daughter would learn to embrace it. When her father passed away three months before Sydni turned four, the mother still tried to explain the death on a toddler’s level. She also made sure that the father was not forgotten – so even if Sydni doesn’t have many memories of him, he has been a part of her upbringing.

The mother’s concern about her daughter’s unusual syndrome

After going to the movies one night, Sydni’s mom starts talking about what would happen if she passed away – Sydni would move from Texas to Louisiana to live with her aunt, and get bonus siblings and a dog.

“What did I think of this plan? Did I have any questions? In fact, I hadn’t – I was so sure it wasn’t going to happen. Sure, she was often sick, but she wasn’t dying,” Sydni describes her thoughts as a child.

This is how the death of her parents has affected her

But at the age of eight, Sydni had to see herself without parents. But even from beyond the grave, her mother tried to give Sydni the best upbringing – at her aunt in Louisiana, Sydni was allowed to open envelopes with old memories and pictures that her mother had prepared for her.

Now Sydni is the same age as her own mother was when she learned she had a terminal illness, and began planning for her daughter’s future. And her parents had been proud of the person she has become.

They were best friends for 60 years – then they found out they were brothers

“My parents’ deaths are engraved in my identity. I see life in clear before and after chapters. I have anxiety over things I can’t control and my sadness lurks behind joyful milestones like graduation days, new jobs and my wedding day. But the combined efforts of my mother and family taught me how to deal with life’s inevitable challenges from a young age.”

The article is in Swedish

Tags: parents died AIDS child

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