I am not an orphan (my dad has promised that he'll make it to 100, and I believe him) but I understand part of it. I mean, since my mom died, I've made a conscious effort to try to clean up my act -- I'm being healthier, I'm trying to be more responsible, and I'm trying to eliminate extraneous things from my life, particularly if they don't make me happy. But I can't get behind the central pretext of the article, that "The death of your parents can be the best thing that ever happens to you."
The author tries to justify, or maybe just explain:
"The death of a parent -- any parent -- can set us free. It offers us our last, best chance to become our truest, deepest selves," Safer writes. "Nothing else in adult life has so much unrecognized potential to help us become more fulfilled human beings -- wiser, more mature, more open, less afraid."
I find the whole thing offensive. Even if all the rest is true, since my mother's death, I don't find myself being free. Not even close. And I'd trade any wisdom or maturity or fearlessness that I may have gained in this shitty process to have her back -- even with the merciless nudging, the constant complaining and the high expectations, coupled with my need to make her happy (or at least placated). I miss it. I need someone to kick me in the ass sometimes.
All of the re-prioritization in the world isn't worth it.