Losing an Estranged Parent

Two years ago today my Father died. I suppose there are a few things I should tell you in order for everything to make sense. The last time I saw my Father was 17 years ago at the time of his death, there was no fall out or argument. I had tried to contact him again in the summer of 2009.<!–more– Read More> A few texts was good until I suggested meeting up and then I didn’t hear from him again. I found out that my Father died by text.

When I received the text it was my 4th day at a new job so I had been feeling that mixture of excitement and tiredness that starting a new job can bring. Time stopped for a few brief seconds until I realised what the message said. Then it felt like I was winded whilst a wave of rejection poured over me and such a sense of loss came. A sense of loss of all the things that could have been and that never had been. The sense of loss was not for the actual person as that loss had been mourned many years ago. I was under no illusion that we would ever be happy families and nor did I expect him to make contact, but it still hurt.

The truth of it is that I should have been able to expect more from him as he was my parent, I should have been able to expect him to give a shit about his children but didn’t because years of disappointment and being let down meant that ship had sailed so long ago. I was sad because I didn’t know him. Nobody knows what to say to you, sure everyone is sad for you when it happens but really he wasn’t a day-to-day part of your life so what can they say.

Then I found out about his life, how great everyone thought he was, how he used to babysit his stepdaughters children who just loved him. Oh and other than his wife nobody in his life even knew he had children. That, that right there is when you feel like the worst. After a short while I realised that I was happy for him that he had found a place in the world where he could be who he was and that he had created a life where he was happy.

It has definitely made me give zero fucks more, that life is too short so get out and make the life you want to happen. He hadn’t even made it to 60 when he died so it gave me a huge reality check in how precious life is. Now, I know what date he died, I know what date he was born and I know that I will always cherish the people I love and let them feel it. Maybe he did teach me something after all.

I decided to share my experience because it’s not something people know how to deal with so maybe if one person reads this and knows its ok then that will be good enough for me. 

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