My Dad

Hello, I wanted to tell my sad story to try and cope.

A long time ago my parents split up when I was 6, initially my mother didn’t want my father to see me and my sister, eventually access was granted from years 8, for every 3 weeks collection and visit.

My Dad was resident with another family who I knew well ( because they used to live down the same street ). Eventually they became a family unit.

It was all very confusing living two lives. When I used to go there, there was no bond no son father building, so I felt I grew up without that. I think Dad didn’t know how or found it difficult.

I also grew apart from my sister as she had the same issues and couldn’t face being with her as it was omitting my issues.

As the years grew past school and teenage years 20’s 30’s I had my own things to do. I got married and had two boys.

The other children in the other family also had children of their own, I thought now was the perfect time for Dad to engage with my boys, it was me that took them round, I wanted Dad to make the effort.

As visits got more infrequent, it became tense and difficult to arrive on the doorstep. My children sensed it. They didn’t want to go. So I gave up.

Present day, i haven’t spoken to my Dad for 5 year.

I received a birthday card at the beginning of July with a post-it note saying please call when you can, I ignored it

Last Friday my wife’s parents brought round a letter they received in the post.

“Your Dad has passed away on bank holiday though terminal cancer”

I now so wish I hadn’t taken that decision to give up 5 years ago. Perhaps my boys now 16 and 13 would of known Dad better.

I wish I had acted on that post-it note as that was his message to tell me he was dying. Why didn’t I think.

I am empty and so sad. Sadest day of my life

My Dad is dead and and I can never amend the problems

So sad

I’m so sorry to hear that you have lost your dad and that you are feeling so much regret about not being in contact with him. It is understandable that you are grieving for him and for the relationship that could have been. However, it’s important to remember that the fact that you weren’t close goes back to decisions made by your parents when you were just a child, so please try not to hold yourself responsible for this.

I am glad that you’ve found this site and I hope that it helps a little to have this space to get things off your chest. I have found some recent posts from other people writing about losing a parent that they had a difficult relationship with - you might find it helpful to read and reply to these:

Your words of reply feel good. It’s day 4 now since receiving the news, I have decided to come into work to keep busy, dispite them telling me to go home. I now have to make the brave step of talking to the berived family, as I don’t even know if there is a funeral or where it is. Perhaps they will allow me to say goodbye. My mother might call them

Best of luck with contacting his family. It must feel very daunting but it is worth reaching out to send your condolences and ask for details of the funeral.

My daughter died unexpectedly at the end of 2017. We had always got on. She left my home only when she was ready to move in with her partner, at age 26. They lived near me, so I saw them whenever I or they wanted. I helped with a contribution to their mortgage, and we were, I like to think, a happy family unit. I was with her at the moment she died, and shortly before she went, she told me she always knew she had a mother who would do anything. And guess what? Nearly 2 years later, I still feel guilty about things I should and shouldn’t have done, said, interfered in, prevented …. the list goes on. In some ways I think guilt is the uninvited guest at most scenes where we are mourning close relatives. Family is the great area of vulnerability for all of us. I am gradually coming round to the view that most people do the best they can at the time and in the circumstances- which invariably means that we will look back and think there are things we should have done differently. Live your life and don’t let guilt spoil it. I am quite sure that the deepest wish of any parent, however uninvolved, is that their child or children should have a happy life. Believe this, and work at making it happen. I wish you success.

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Thank you for reading my story, I am happy to report I feel much stronger now than I initially did. Your words about guilt hold true in my mind, if only had I tried harder with Dad. But you are right every parents dream is for their child to be happy. I must now transfer all my energy into my own kids. I read your story with a tear in my eye. Such beautiful words. Thank you for sharing and I wish you all the best.

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