Dealing with estranged father's death

This is my first post. I just found out that my father is dying of pancreatic cancer. I have not spoken with him in almost 30 years. He was an abusive alcoholic and I also experienced sexual abuse. I ended my relationship with him after many years of counseling. My favorite person in the whole world is my aunt. She too has not had much communication with my father. She found out yesterday about his condition and contacted me.
My reaction to this news was of complete ambivalence. I grieved for what might have been. I reflected on the very few positive times I had as a child. I realize that my dad didn’t have the ability to love me or my brothers. I know this does not make me an unlovable person. I know there will be ups and downs. I still feel like a cold fish. I have no sorrow for him. I don’t know how to grieve. I’m not sad for him. I’m sad for myself as I didn’t have a normal childhood.
I am looking for a book to read. A self-help book. Any recommendations would be appreciated.



I’m so sorry to hear about the abuse your father put you through - it sounds as though you made the right choice to cut contact with him, and his diagnosis doesn’t change that.

At the same time, it is probably natural that this news has stirred up some difficult feelings. I don’t think you are alone in not knowing how to grieve for him. Here is a conversation posted on this site by a user called Owl, who went through something similar:

It was posted a while ago, but you might still find it helpful to have a read to see how someone else dealt with a similar experience.

I don’t know of any books that I can recommend myself, but the NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood), has a list of suggested resources, including books:

They also have a free helpline (0808 801 0331), if you feel like talking this through in confidence with a supportive person.

There is a self help book called "shut up and carry (move) on " maybe a similar title