WPP 025: Kris Marsh on struggling after losing her mom at age 19

My whole life I had heard people say, oh, you’ve been through so much, you’re so strong. You’re so amazing that you were able to move past that and rise above it. But what they didn’t understand — and I didn’t understand myself at the time, really — was that was my coping mechanism, to keep moving so that you didn’t have to think about it.
— Kris Marsh

I had such a great discussion with Kris Marsh for this episode. I’ve had listener requests to hear from some people who really struggled after losing a parent at a young age. Kris lost her mom to suicide when she was just 19 years old, and she didn’t get the support that she now realizes she needed. She became, in her words, a “classic overachiever” in order to avoid dealing with her pain and loss. This continued until she approached the age her mom was when she died, at which point she couldn’t avoid dealing with it any longer. I’ll let you listen to Kris tell her story in her own words. She now feels strongly that grieving kids need support, and that just because they seem ok doesn’t necessarily mean they are. I’m so glad Kris was willing to share her story with us.

I hope you enjoy my discussion with Kris Marsh.

Links & resources for this episode

Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss, by Hope Edelman
Motherless Mothers: How Losing a Mother Shapes the Parent You Become, by Hope Edelman

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