Loss of my step dad

To start with my biological father and I never had a great relationship. My mother remarried after her and my father divorced and that marriage didn’t work out either and I was never close to the man from her second marriage. But then 4 years ago she met some one new and got married. I was skeptical at first but the more I got to know him the more I loved him. He became the father I never had and a grandfather to my children. We became really close. Then 6 months so he suddenly died of a heart attack. It devistated me. I had finally gotten the dad that I always wanted and then he was taken from me. But some people in my life didn’t seem to understand that. I was asked why I was so upset. I was told it wasn’t like I knew him long and not like he raised me and was apart of my life very long so it shouldn’t bother me so bad or still bother me 6 months later. I should be sad for my mom that she lost her husband and that’s it. And this really hurt my feelings because it came from some one I thought I was close with and could tell my feeling to. And another person that I thought I could talk to about it that lost their biological dad that they were close to told some one that what we are going through are totally different because he was only my step father for 4 years so there is no way I could possibly know how she feels and it makes her mad when I talk about it and I am just being dramatic.(I am by no means a dramatic person) I know how I feel but I guess my question is are they right?


I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your step-dad. It sounds as though he was really important to you, and you have every right to grieve for him. Your feelings are valid and no one else can tell you what you ‘should’ be feeling.

The term ‘disenfranchised grief’ is sometimes used to mean grief that isn’t recognised as valid by society or people around you. The What’s Your Grief? website has this article on Understanding Disenfranchised Grief, which you might find helpful.

It’s important to be able to have outlets for your feelings. Can you talk to your mum about your step-dad, as she must be missing him too? Writing things down on this Online Community can also be a good way to get things off your chest. There are lots of supportive people here who understand what it’s like to lose someone close.

While you wait for more replies to your post, you might also find it helpful to have a read of some of the recent conversations in the Losing a Parent section of the site to see what other people’s experiences were. Feel free to post a reply if you see a conversation you’d like to join in with.

If there’s anything I can help with, or you have any questions about this Online Community, please get in touch on online.community@sueryder.org.

Community Manager

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Thank you so much for your reply and advice. And yes I can talk to my mom. It feels like now she and my sisters are the only ones I can talk to. My sisters say that they get the same thing like I described as they were his step children as well. I just feel so bad for unloading in my mom when I know she is having a hard time also.

It’s good that you and your sisters feel the same, it sounds as though that makes you feel a little less alone.I can understand you don’t want to unload too much on your mum, but she will probably at least appreciate knowing that you miss him too and are there for her if she wants to talk about it.

Please keep posting here if you find that it helps.

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