I am here to work on losing a father I'm not sure that I ever had.

Discussion in 'Loss of a Parent' started by KAWEAVER, Feb 15, 2023.


    KAWEAVER New Member

    Beginning to deal with the loss of my Dad feels like an enormous burden. Dealing with him alive was also a lot of work, but I felt necessary.

    My Dad's dying coincided with the passing of his brother-in-law, who died two days earlier, and our dear family friend who was our youngest son's Godmother. Between December 16th and the 31st 2022, these individuals left earthly existence. Collectively and forcefully, their passing stunned me.

    I learned that my Dad was in a nursing home beginning early December, diagnosed with colon cancer. With my youngest son, his wife and two children, my husband and my sister, we traveled there to visit him. This was the first I'd seen my Dad in many years, though we'd spoken on the phone. Our trip meant that he would meet my daughter-in-law and his two great grandchildren.

    My Dad never married my Mom and never legally claimed me as his own. I have no father's name on my birth certificate. My Dad had 4 sons and a daughter in his married relationship. I met my Dad in 1989 when I was pregnant with my youngest son. Because I only knew one grandparent growing up, my mom's mother, who passed when I was 9 years old, I wanted my sons to know their grandparents. I prayed for forgiveness and worked to have a relationship with my parents. My mother passed in 2008 after living with my Dad since 1989. In the hospital, as she lay dying, he walked away from us as I stood on the other side of her bed. While my Dad was married to someone else, he and mom had four children together, three brothers and myself.

    My Dad's brother-in-law, Ed, was married to my Dad's sister, Donna. My Aunt Donna passed away a few years ago and I kept in touch with her husband. Aunt Donna made everyone believe the best about themselves and thanks to her, I felt like I actually belonged in my Dad's family. My Dad never made me feel that way. Uncle Ed kept in touch with me. He would call frequently and write and was a fine man who loved his family. He and Donna were like bookends and so sweet together. I feel the loss of Ed and Donna deeply and have remorse that I was denied the honor of knowing them growing up. What a blessing it would have been to know them as a young girl. They were so good to me. Aunt Donna and I would write letters, call to talk about books we were reading and send one another gifts. We loved some of the same authors. I will always treasure my relationships with Ed and Donna.

    Our son's Godmother, Carolyn, was a most generous friend. She was kind and thoughtful, always remembering holidays. The day her husband called to tell us that she had passed away, we could hardly believe what we were hearing. We had planned to get together with them and now there would be no more opportunities for that. We immediately went to see her husband to hug and cry and in the next few days visited the cemetery to pay our respects. Carolyn's dying gave me a sense of urgency to spend time with loved ones and prioritize relationships even more. If there were one message that I could impress upon my children, it would be that one. I will always be grateful for my friendship with Carolyn and for how important to her faith and family were.

    Unpacking the history of my relationship with my Dad is going to be work. I am giving myself grace and tons of patience and time.