And Then There Was This

So, my Dad is dying.  For those of you who’ve been around for a while, you may remember that I used to worry that no one would tell me when it happened, but clearly, that’s not going to be a problem.

I haven’t seen my Dad in about 34 years, and haven’t seen him with any regularlity since he and my Mom got divorced and he moved away.  So this is not a story of how much I loved him and will miss him, not a tale of what a wonderful man he was.

No, it’s more like, well, fuck, there are going to be feelings attached to this, and what the hell am I supposed to do with that????

He might live 2 hours, 2 days, 2 weeks – no idea.

He wouldn’t know me if I went to see him.

I don’t think I want to see him anyhow.  You know?


24 thoughts on “And Then There Was This

  1. monkey

    I know you don’t want to see him, and truly I understand that. My relationship with own my father complicated. Unfortunately, staying detached is not my strong suit so it feels a bit odd to be giving advice but I’m going to do it anyway. I suggest that whatever happens, and whatever emotions come up, you keep reminding yourself that a relationship is like a waltz, it takes two people, and your father chose not to dance with you. You might start to beat yourself up about your part in the estrangement (not saying you will, but I would be), but he didn’t pursue the relationship either. He hasn’t earned the right to make you crazy. Grieve the office of father, but you don’t have to grieve the man. I’m so sorry you have to go through this.

    1. sofia Post author

      Yeah, good advice, Monkey. I don’t think I’ll go there – I’ve spent tons of time and a fortune in therapy detaching myself and separating “the office of father,” as you put, it from the man who fathered me. But I could lose that certainty, so thanks for the reminder… wise words.

  2. rougedmount

    …you’ll miss what might have been..and know there will never be an opportunity for a future ‘what if’…distance and time have created a vacuum…and a void. But the reality of it is, when he dies, you will feel the pain of it. His life will have ended and with it, any opportunity at a connection that we so greatly need and may not even admit to, until it’s gone from us forever.

    1. sofia Post author

      Yes, thanks for that, rougedmount. I think that would be more true when I was younger and before I really let go of some of that longing for him — but I could be wrong. Those feelings could rise up and smack me in the face again. Sigh…

      1. rougedmount

        they will and it will surprise you…BUT…you will not just recover from will be able to get through it and be stronger for it. i promise. unfortunately…i know. you’re in my thoughts

  3. vanillamom

    I’m sorry…it’s a hard and peculiar place to be in. In some ways, you’ve already grieved the loss of him…sending you hugs and energies for clarity.


    1. sofia Post author

      Well said, ‘Nilla. I have grieved the loss of the father I wanted – now the biological man is going too. It’s an odd feeling. Thanks for the hugs and energy!

  4. jadescastle

    Fuck. i have lived for the majority of my life with this very fear. Do what is best for you, screw everyone and everything else. Do what you can to minimize regrets. Do what you can to keep yourself open.

    1. sofia Post author

      Thanks, Jade – all good advice. And it’s ok. I don’t think anyone wants anything from me – don’t think they have any expectations of me – so that part’s ok. Being open to what I’m feeling may be the tricky part – or it may be fine. Who knows… in any case, thanks for being there.

      1. jadescastle

        You know you can always call me. i’m down to listen, anytime. The good news-the great news-is that you raised daughters who broke the cycle and one has a wonderful husband. You made space for that little miracle. And you beat the odds yourself, finding love and a true partner. Don’t forget that no matter what this feels like…you broke the cycle.

  5. Sunshine Kukulcan

    i had a similar reaction to a father dying whom never really ever showed me any affection or love….and you know what? i grieve more over the loss of a friend or one of my cats than i did over that man. Do not think you must grieve as others do. You have perfectly good reasons (i am sure) NOT to.

  6. Kitty

    It sounds like your relationship with your father is the same as the one I have with mine – non existent. My father left my life a few years ago. I don’t know what’s become of him, and I honestly don’t care.
    However, I’ve thought about what would happen if I found out that he was dying. My conclusion? That not feeling grief the way I would grieve a family member is perfectly acceptable.

    I don’t know how you will deal with it. I just wanted to say that when it happens, if it turns out that you don’t feel anything, or that you feel somewhat indifferent, that’s fine. It doesn’t make you a bad person.
    If you feel the need to grieve, that’s fine too.

  7. Soume Stalked (Fury)

    What would you advise someone else to do in your shoes? I suspect you’d say something encouraging and lovely, and full of acceptance, or even permission if someone needed it.

    I also think that whatever choice you make will be both good and bad, right and wrong, fine and sad. He didn’t put in the time or effort to make you really care. And yet, you still do, though not as much as…

    Yeah it’s complicated. You must do what feels right for you.

  8. Eveningstar

    I also worried that no one would tell me when my mother died. It is an awful feeling. I was fortunate that my nephew let me know. I am glad there was someone to do that for you. Now you don’t have to wonder when the subject of fathers comes up.


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