Fear of leaving dad behind


I am posting as I need to get my thoughts out. I lost my dad in November shortly after a cancer diagnosis. Every new days feels like I’m moving further away from my dad and this fills me with dread.

Christmas was difficult but New Year felt excruciating. How can I be in a year that my dad hasn’t existed in?

The grief hits me at various points throughout the day, each time feeling like a new blow. Why did it have to happen? Allowing myself for a moment to imagine if dad was still here. Pointless questions and thoughts that don’t help but constantly run through my mind. I feel like I’m stuck in two worlds and I feel lost.

I dont want months, seasons and years to pass without my dad. I can’t see any end to this pain.

I am speaking with a councellor but I don’t feel like I am closer to understanding or accepting what happened.

I miss him so much.


Hi again @Katherine86,

I’m sorry you are having a difficult time at the moment.
I think its good that you are posting and writing out your thoughts here on the forum, as well as speaking to the counsellor.

Missing my Dad too. I have had similar thoughts about the New Year. I wasn’t expecting the first days of 2023 to be harder than Christmas for me.

Today I heard about a podcast about grief which I might try listening to. Usually watching tv or listening to stuff is a bit of a temporary distraction so this topic wouldnt be a first choice for me…but i wonder if might help me to hear others talking about it as I find it hard to speak about to those around me about it.

I am hopeful that over time that it will get easier or that I/we will ‘grow around grief’ (i just read about this concept this evening).

Sending best wishes.

1 Like

Hi Katherine
I completely get what you are saying about the new year but logically you know that this doesn’t really make sense. I think you are just panicking about the future when you should be taking one day at a time.
As I said before, it is still very recent and raw.

Take a deep breath and try not to worry about tomorrow. You will have lots of good times and things to look forward to, you just can’t see that right now.
As we’ve discussed before, you are going through the natural process of grief. This isn’t a weakness but proof that you had a loving bond with your dad.

I still can’t believe my dad is gone but feel a little more peace with it now. I still have days where I’m quite emotional and upset but I just try to keep busy.
Try and plan your days so you’ve got things to do and focus on. Let me know how you are today x


Hi Katherine86 I just wanted to say that totally understand the new year and leaving loved ones behind. You’re not alone with feeling like that as I know a few people that understand me when I try and explain. I’m so sorry you lost your precious Dad to that awful disease. I lost my Dad in 1999 to a cardiac arrest, just before the turn of a new century. More recently I lost my lovely Mum to cancer in November 21, her birthday is new year’s eve and whilst I celebrate her day for her, I feel such pain at another year rolls by. This year I tried to look at the fact that I was one year closer to them…as depressing as that sounds but it’s true. I promise you that you will have happier days ahead. You will always remember him and he will be forever be with you no matter how many new years there are. I often get compliments on my hair which I inherited from my Dad who had a beautiful head of hair. Women would often remark how wasted it was on him! I look in the mirror 23 years later and catch myself thinking, thanks for my lovely hair Dad! So you see, he’s still there staring back at me, he did exist. He was my guiding light in life and still is. I still see him in my dreams sometimes and it makes me feel happy. Even now though I can be catapulted back to 99 as though no time has passed maybe from a song or a smell or even for no reason other than I simply miss him. We never get over loss, we just get used to it. You’ll never leave him behind, he’s in your heart and mind forever. Stop trying to find acceptance as well, we don’t need to. I personally don’t believe in the stages of grief people bang on about. To me it’s a schedule and grief has no schedule. It’s early days for you and everything you feel is normal but your grief is unique to you as was your relationship with your Dad and therefore only you know how you feel. Let the thoughts in, get them to pull up a chair and sit beside you and let them wash over you. Here if you want to talk. Sending compassionate hugs to you x.


losing my dad was a true horror.

ten years later, I miss him so much.

you will not forget them. don’t worry. I had that same fear, I would move on with my life and they would be another chapter. no. they are as glued to your frontal cortex as ever before … just less painful.

take care. I know how hard it is. I still miss my parens excruciatingly.



Hi Katie,

Thank you. I know you are right. In my logical mind I know to try and stay in the moment as much as possible but then the sadness and fear makes me panic about the road ahead.

It’s dad’s birthday tomorrow he would have been 71. I think this is also affecting me a lot.

I hope you are doing as well as can be expected.

1 Like

Hi Katherine
No wonder you are finding it tough! They say all the firsts are so hard to deal with.
You have got by so far and things will get easier as time goes on.
Plus maybe when you are back home and have all your own stuff around it might help you settle a bit.
There is a theory that says if you act like youre happy then the more likely it is that you will begin to feel happy too! (I’m nor joking!) x


Hi Sal46,

I’m very sorry for the loss of your dad and mum.

Thank you for your reply. I don’t feel like I have anyone who understands being fearful of leaving dad behind. My mum tells me that dad will always be with me which I understand as he is a huge part of me but it feels isolating to not have anyone who understands these thoughts.

I think it is important to celebrate your parents birthday even if it is painful. It’s my dad’s birthday tomorrow and I am going to get him a card as I normally would I know this might sound silly but I can’t bare the thought of not getting him a card. Dad never cared to celebrate his own birthday but it was always inportant to me.

Its lovely that you got your hair from your dad and this is a reminder of him when you see your reflection. I like to think that my dad is also my guiding light. Our thinking processes were similar so I know when I want his advice I know what he would tell me.

I am used to being able to apply strategies to get certain outcomes and I feel with grief there is no control and i think I am struggling with the unpredictability. The fact that grief isn’t really discussed openly makes it feel isolating and like there is something wrong or I should be doing things differently.

Your words have given me some peace. Thank you so much.


Hi Berit,

Thank you for your reply. Dad said if I keep moving forwards I will only be left with happy memories. I hope thats the case. I never want to forget any of our time together.


Hi Forestcat,

Thank you for your reply. I do feel like reading and posting on here is helpful as it feels like a safe space where there are other people who understand.

The concept of time moving forwards makes me worry I’ll forget dad. It all happened so quickly from us finding out that dad was ill to him passing away and I think the distress from that time has clouded my memories of him. It was only two months of dad being seriously ill but I think going over it so much makes it difficult to remember all the good times before that. It is difficult to explain. I hope that I can try and put the time from knowing dad was ill to passing away to oneside a bit more and focus on all the great memories of when he was healthy.

The podcast might be worth a try. I haven’t listened to many discussions around grief apart from one from someone who lost her father in similar circumstances. In it the person mentioned about feelings of guilt stopping her from accessing her father and his guidence which I was and still am struggling with.

Sending best wishes. X

Morning Katherine86

I just wanted to drop by and say Happy Birthday to your lovely Dad today. I hope you are able to draw on some happy memories of birthdays gone by to give you strength. It doesn’t sound silly to me at all that you are going to get a card. You have to do whatever gets you through. My Dad kept the last one I gave him and I have put that up every year since. My Mum however kept every card I gave her! I can never choose so I put them all up!

I have found too that no one knows what to say. Grief seems to still be this taboo topic. I had forgotten how much until Mum died. I try now not to blame people as they simply don’t understand. How can they? They’re not where I am.

Time I feel doesn’t heal, it just changes things. When someone dies, we count first the days, then the months, then the years since that day. We count the birthdays, the anniversaries and the Christmases. All the while it’s like watching someone in a rearview mirror as we drive away. At first if ever I saw a date, I automatically thought “He was still alive” or “He was gone by then.” I certainly still do this with my Mum a little over a year on.

Perhaps we are not moving away from each other in time but living together in this block universe, simply out of sight of each other.

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling! I hope you have a truly lovely day whatever you decide to do x


Hi Sal46,

Thank you for your message. I was able to think of happy memories of birthdays gone by including dad’s 70th last year. Dad never liked a fuss but I always tried to make his birthday special which he appreciated. I got him a card which I wrote out last night and I took my dog for a walk before bed to spend some time thinking about him. I even said some words out loud to dad which I found quite therapeutic.

I like the idea of putting the cards up each year. I think my parents have all the cards that my brother and I sent in recent years so I may have a look and do that in the future.

I agree about grief being a taboo topic. When people have asked how I am I don’t want to pretend but then when I have said how difficult I am finding it there isn’t much further response. I think people just don’t know what to say. I have found people on here very understanding which I am grateful for.

I understand what you mean about dates. Currently my mind just thinks back to last year. This time last year dad was still here… I think because we were so close and living near to my parents everything reminds me of him. My house, walks, supermarket. It feels like there’s no escape from the sadness sometimes as I can be driving along and see somewhere we visited together. It’s mums birthday in Feb and then mine and we all had a lovely holiday together last march. I am going to speak to the councellor about it as I seem to be anticipating feeling sad on these dates but because we were always doing something together every month seems daunting! It’s very strange.

I am going to try and just let whatever I feel be what it is. That will have to be ok for now.

I hope you are doing well. Thank you once again.

1 Like

my dad is gone nearly ten years now but it makes NO difference. I still miss him a lot. the only improvement is that I have adjusted to life now. I am less wracked with emotional pain and staggering feelings of loss. this year was my promise to myself that I will carry on and quit thinking of suicide etc. and face life no matter what.

in fact tomorrow he died ten years ago.