Facing the death of loved ones is difficult for many people. I remember the first dead bodies that I saw as a public schoolchild. Two friends died while yet school age and my uncle died when I was a senior in high school. My young sons saw dead bodies at a very young age as their paternal grandparents died at home. We have also taken them to local visitations. It is good to view death as a natural part of life.
For the adoptee, especially while yet a child, death can trigger pre-verbal memories of abandonment. There was a first mother who gave you away to an adoption agency and then went away. The adoptive parents came and got you. Death can really drive home to an adopted child that their first mother has gone away and never came back.
Coming face to face with death can also create fears related to the adoptive parents – will they go away and never come back? There are other kinds of death – What happens then, if one of the adoptive parents does leave because they have filed for divorce ?
Under such circumstances, many families break apart and become dysfunctional. An adoptee may take this kind of loss harder than a non-adoptee would. If the result of the divorce is leaving and selling the place that was always home, this can also be harder for an adoptee – “I always thought I’d have some place I could call home and now I don’t.”
Loss is often a lifelong difficult place for an adoptee.