Wish my dad could meet my daughter

Hi everyone!

First of all I think it’s fantastic there’s a place like this for people to share their stories, I was directed here by one of my colleagues and after browsing a bit and seeing the support the community are offering thought it’d be worth a shot to sign up.

I lost my dad after a 9 month battle with cancer back in January 2018, it was a strange time whilst he was ill, but I’m also so glad we got those 9 months as he went away with my mum a few times, caught up with friends he’d not seen in years, and managed to see Derby County beat Forest one last time (sorry to any forest fans, and good luck in the prem this year).

After he passed I’ll admit that I didn’t really process what had happened for a while, as me and my brother were busy supporting mum, dealing with all of the admin following a bereavement, arranging the funeral etc. Until recently I held a bit of resentment towards my mum as I felt I wasn’t able to grieve at the time because I needed to be strong for her. She’s recently met another man and I’m really happy for her, it’s great to see her getting out of the house again and enjoying herself - we had a long conversation about the situation and a lot of emotions came out, and it has improved our relationship since then. It’ll always be weird seeing her with someone that’s not my dad, but I’m fairly sure he wouldn’t have wanted her to become a hermit so it is what it is.

I had my first child in June 2021. My little girl was born 3 months prematurely and weighted less that a kilo. After 3 months in the neonatal unit she came home (requiring oxygen at all time at first, she’s been fine in air since Feb) and she’s absolutely thriving. It’s been a brilliant, and terrifying, year since she’s been with us and I’m really enjoying being a dad. However, it has thrown up all sorts of emotions - I’ve never missed my dad as much as I do now. I feel so bad that he will never get to meet my daughter, and she’ll never get to meet him. We’ve visited his memorial tree together which was really nice, but it’s not the same as meeting the person. There’s no one I would want to ask for advice more than my dad too, because although my mum can give some tips, she’s a mum not a dad.

I was just wondering if anyone has any tips to help process this completely unexpected new challenge, as I’m starting to find myself getting angry when we’re spending time with my father-in-law because he gets a relationship with her and my dad didn’t (although I am glad she has one grandfather as both mine passed before I was born).

Apologies for the long post, seems there was a bit more to unpack that I first thought!

Cheers,

Tom

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Hi Tom,

Firstly I am so sorry to hear about your Dad but also congratulations on the birth of your daughter.

I have no advice I am afraid but we recently had a similar conversation as my brother and sister in law are having a baby due in November and we lost our Dad very suddenly in January.

My Mum quite rightly pointed out that although he won’t be here in person he is still with us. That goes for your Dad too, just keep showing her photos and telling her stories and taking her to his memorial tree, that is what is keeping him alive inside of you all!

Stay strong!

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