Growing up without grandparents

Courtesy of CNN | 02.15.11 | Stephanie Chen, CNN
Jeff Gelman, here at 11 with his parents, lost the two of them in a car accident. He regrets he can’t ask for their advice on kids.

(CNN) — For Tarah Epstein Baiman, parenting without having parents of her own to rely on is like “piloting a plane sans rudder.” She learns to make adjustments without their guidance. Extra help comes from people and places she never imagined.

Baiman lost her parents as a teenager. Her mother died in a shooting, and two years later, her father passed away from diabetes. As a married mother of two children, the 40-year-old has learned to navigate the parenting maze without her mom and dad.

“As adult orphans, we are consciously or unconsciously afraid that our children, like our parents, will die, and we will be emotionally devastated again,” says Baiman, who started the Orphan Society of America, a nonprofit group that helps children whose parents are victims of violence.
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