Estranged Dad

I lost my Dad 2 weeks ago, it was sudden and unexpected. Our situation is complicated as he left when I was about 2 and i used to see him for a few years when growing up, staying over for weekends etc. Myself and my brother were always led to believe that he never cared about us, which is somewhat true but not entirely. We kept contact over the years and kept saying we were going to meet again but never did. This is where the guilt comes in. I should of made sure we saw him. I did see him twice over the last 20 years, the first time he nearly drove us both off a bridge drunk, the second time he came to mine and it just felt awkward. My dad was a drunk, but over the last few years he made an effort and I found it hard to do the same. Then bam the phone call comes and I never have the chance to see him again or tell him how I feel. I feel I’ve let him down badly. On top of all the mixed emotions I’m also tasked with sorting everything out for him because no one else wants to. I don’t know how to feel, I’ve been a wreck, angry, vacant, I just don’t know. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Hi Proccers,

Just reading your message. I haven’t had similar experience although I don’t have any contact with my father for similar reasons.

You can’t put the blame on yourself and it is understandable that you felt difficult and possibly avoided contact with your Dad. You are only human.

It must be extremely difficult for you to sort everything out considering the bigger picture of your past relationship. And seems a little unfair that it has all been left to you.

I hope you have good support around you and others you can speak to. Don’t be hard on yourself and try to think of ways that maybe you can talk to Dad like writing a letter, etc. It might help.

Take care


I just saw your post and it struck a chord. My Dad also had issues with alcohol and my parents divorced when I was 2 ish

I saw him as a little girl but it became more difficult as I grew up because I couldn’t force him to accept help. My sister and I have had to go through the last 10 years knowing that call would come.

When it did come on 25th Feb it absolutely floored me. You can’t prepare for grief and having the relationships we had with our fathers certainly doesn’t make it easier or hurt less. I’m a mix of sad, guilty, angry and empty. No matter how far fetched it seemed I guess I must have always deep down had hope that he would recover and now we never have the chance to have the relationship we should have

I am allowing the pain to come. We are no less entitled to feel the grief we feel.

Take care x

Hi there,

I’m so sorry for the torment you suffered and the ongoing battle that’s in you (I feel it too). It seems your events happened just after me. I always knew the call would come, but I thought I wouldn’t care less, I mean he chose to leave and we have had some contact over the years but not a great deal. It took me by complete surprise too. Guess you never know. I think at the end of the day he was your dad, not a great one by the sounds of things and mine certainly wasn’t either. It will hit you, in waves, but let it…Ive tried to block it and it’s done me no good. Don’t feel bad or guilty for grieving either, another thing I’ve had to battle within myself. It’s your right to feel upset or angry, whatever you feel. I’m so sorry your going through this too. Big hugs xx

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