The First Time I realized I would never see my Daddys face again

I hate rainy afternoons. I think they remind me of the day my Aunt and her husband drove me home to meet the most heart scraping pain ever inflicted upon my life. The day I was told my Daddy died…

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I still remember odd scenes from that day. The way the rain splattered shy rain drops on my aunts white car. The way the trees seemed to tremble when the wind touched their dripping leaves and how as a seven year old, they seemed too big for my eyes to swallow all at once. Certain moments from that day seem to have been lost except that time when I was sitting near to the T.V. unaware that my life was about change forever. I did not notice my aunt walk up to me so all I heard was a careful whisper in my ear saying “your father died today”. Whispered in the same way a girl might whisper to her best friend “I like the colour you dyed your hair”. The same way a lover might whisper “I really had fun today” after an amazing date.

I couldn’t move for a few seconds…and when I did the only place I could find solace in, were the bathroom floor tiles. My young life felt like a cruel dream and has ever since felt like that almost too often to smile about. I did not understand what the death of my Daddy really meant but all my mind kept telling me was “you will never see his face again”. The days that followed were a mist between being held by family and sudden realizations that for the rest of my life I would not ever see my father’s face again.

I cannot remember much about my father’s funeral except my sister’s hysterical cries from his graveside. But I do remember sitting on my mother’s lap and looking at his coffin thinking “they didn’t let me even see his face for the last time”. After his funeral, I remember having vivid dreams where he was weak and begging me to help him… and the pain always hit the hardest when I woke up.

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I was seven years old. How do you mourn the death of your father at seven years old? I didn’t. Somehow I convinced myself that life is not this cruel and someday he will return. It has been fifteen years since his death and he hasn’t returned. I now have to face the fact that he is not ever coming back to me and have to start my mourning process. I do not how I will begin to make sense of my life without the hope I had been harbouring for fifteen years: just to see his face again.

How do I move on? How do I deal with the pain that threatens to destroy every good moment in my life? How do I make the little girl in me understand that Daddy did not walk out her life on purpose? How do I stop the irrational fear of feeling unlovable and constantly panicking that people will walk out of my life? How do deal with my denial that has kept me sane for fifteen years? How do I live knowing I will never see my Daddy’s face again?

4 thoughts on “The First Time I realized I would never see my Daddys face again

  1. My Dad also died when I was 7. I had actually not seen him since the previous year as he had gone to England for treatment of a different medical condition to what killed him. As a 7 year old I didn’t really mourn or understand my father’s death. Over the past 17 years I have had many dreams and fantasies about him not being dead, but simply sick or lost somewhere… Maybe he had been abducted? So I understand what you are feeling. I miss my father, but the truth is, as a 7-year old (5 when I last saw him) I didn’t really know my father, which makes me sad. The hardest part for me is when I see other girls with their fathers and I think about the father-daughter relationship that I have missed out on and will never experience. You and your mother and sister have been living 15 years without your Dad. I don’t know about you, but I’m very grateful for my Mum and brother and love them so much. I have had a wonderful life. Although there will always be a part missing from my life, it is now a small part and to compensate for this I constantly go over the few memories I have of my Dad to ensure that I remember him and that he did love me. I encourage you to look back positively on your life and see what you have accomplished. Although it is sad that your Dad wasn’t there along the way, you have lived and made it this far. This shows what a strong person you are!

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  2. Thank you so much Helen. Very wise and encouraging words indeed 🙂
    I guess for me it is the beggining of a hard journey, choosing to live your life in truth and not indenial. I am learning not to be grateful… everday. I am commiting myself to heal and to grow. This blog and all the people who share thier stories here have inspired me to take this journey. Losing a father at such a young age is tragic… but he lives on in the most beautiful corners of my humanity

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  3. I lost my Mum when I was 5 yrs old (to cancer). Unfortunately, it was a defining moment and probably the cause of my teen and adult depressions. However, although there’s always been a lonely sense of something not being right, something missing, and I knew it was related to the loss of my Mum – I could never fully ‘get to’ to the reality of this loss. It’s just this shadowy, undefined longing that seems to colour all my relationships. I just wanted to say, I’m now 53 yrs, I’m comfortable and I have some time to reflect. What I’ve found lately, is: I can fully imagine my Mum to be here right next to me, I can construct her in my imagination from what I know of her and I can mentally and emotionally construct conversations and other interactions between us, and in fact derive comfort from this imaginary life between us. It’s like I’m filling in the missing pieces – I give myself what I think she would have given me, had she been here with me all along.

    Of course I know, what I’m doing is pure fantasie, but right now, it’s helping me feel things I’ve previously suppressed. Maybe it will help me have healthier relationships with others eventually ?

    I’d also like to say, it helps me to read books about other people who’ve faced similar losses.’Motherless Daughters’ by Hope Edelman, addresses many issues about parental loss, that I think could be applied to both the loss of a Mum or a Dad, but I think there are books which specifically address father loss.

    Mourning seems to be an on and off kind of process that pretty much goes on forever, sometimes you feel heavy and wooden until you can cry, then you feel lighter again and somewhat enriched and you continue on with life as normal, and then it will come back again and you start all over again. But each time you grow a little. If you are lucky enough to have someone in your life to understand these feelings, you will feel supported and stay connected through these down periods. If you don’t have anyone like that, a counsellor can teach you about the significance of your feelings and offer at least some support.

    All the best, wish you lots of love,
    Joanne

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