1 Year On...Dearest Dad, We Miss You ...

by S

I am finally having the courage to come and share our story, it's been too painful and deep before now.

After my dear dad passed away in August last year, I was shell-shocked and was not able to focus on work for a while and discovered this site while looking for help in the darkest time.

Many people on here have shared similar stories, feelings, thoughts and I cried for many of them. This was indeed a healing tool and I'm very grateful for that, and for everyone on here. It's a true blessing.

Having gone through all our first 1sts, we have now entered the 2nd year, just, so it's still tender and raw but we will survive with his memory and love with us always.

When you had a really good father, who was kind, thoughtful, caring, considerate, loving, with good principles and morals, a trusted husband and wonderful father who taught us sooooo much, it makes it all the harder. When your family unit is small, and you all got along and loved each other, it makes it that much harder. When you didn't say the words because you didn't need to, ALL our actions said it all the time, to each other, it makes it that much harder.

I had the ideal childhood not because we were rich in material things, but rich in the ways that count, the ways that matter. My parents gave us the security and stability that comes from a good marriage. Where the vows were taken seriously and honoured. So I felt safe, happy, and comfortable knowing my parents are there for us no matter what.

They worked hard, both of them, for many many years until retirement. They never took holidays, didn't eat out, didn't know the word entertainment because they came from troubled times so they had to work hard to make a future for themselves and their children. They knew we would want to study further, so they made sure they got savings in place long before then. They worked shifts and long hours to buy all the beautiful things we now have.

So everything we have now, a beautiful paid up home, the cars, the pets, the university degrees, the wonderful careers, it's thanks to them and their support, their wisdom and their sacrifices.

One thing you can't buy... health, and that is where our fairytale ended. Some years ago my dad got sick with a degenerative disease however with medication life continued. He struggled, he fought, he was a hero and a champion. Only now when I have 1 small thing he might have endured, like a missing tooth, do I realise how strong he really was, what a fighter, how brave, to have endured so much, but he did, valiantly, daily. Yet he never changed - he was still Dad, who you could count on, trust, learn from, laugh with. He had a wonderful sense of humour and could diffuse any situation. From my parents we learnt the value in simple things, and in life's beauty - nature, animals, etc.

For some reason, I can't seem to go into the details of everything that happened to him - why? Maybe someone who has experience with this can share, but I feel it's too ... deep? Hurts too much? Too holy to get into? A part of me wants to share every last detail of what happened, another part wants to respect him and keep it private - which feels crazy as sharing helps us heal. Maybe that's just it - I have been sharing, with my boyfriend and friends, so I don't feel denied the privilege to share it with those that care, knew him, or know me.

Suffice it to say, even though he was sick, it was very unexpected and the way I was told made it 1 000 000 much much worse! Through a voicemail by a staff member at the clinic he was in. He was not in a life and death situation, so never in a million years did I expect that call. It's like I've had to get over that more than anything.

Then I realise also, how many people who have lost a parent and you never know how it feels until it happens to you! The hole, the earth under you being taken away, your identify and security shattered! Gone forever! No chance to say good-bye - that was the worst!!!!!!!

Now EVERY memory is treasured, every aspect of who he was, what he meant to us, is appreciated, loved, missed...

His legacy will go on, through us, his children. He has run his race, we have to take up the baton and go on with our race, with his love, teachings and guidance encouraging us along the way.

We also have to make sure my Mom is alright - if it's deep and earth shattering for us, even more so for her, her life partner gone forever. They were together so many many years and now this is what I am learning: you find love, you appreciate it and live a great fairytale but sadly as with the vows: together until death do us part (on earth) and I am now sorry to see that. I also fear losing my boyfriend as I know he is THE ONE, and I fear losing him to death one day. I fear getting to where my mom is: having the one great love since she was a young girl to now, and coping and surviving alone. She has us, the children, but it's just not the same for the partner. I know this because I know what my boyfriend means to me!

So many life lessons to learn, lots of personal growth to take place, but for all of those who have lost a dear dear Dad too - my thoughts and prayers are with you all: for strength and peace to face each tomorrow until we meet in Heaven again.

God Bless you all, and thank you for the patience in allowing me to indulge in my ramblings on here. It has been therapeutic.


Comments for 1 Year On...Dearest Dad, We Miss You ...

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Sep 03, 2013
Thank You for your Responses 2/2
by: S

I'm so sorry for your very recent loss, and also the shock of no warning.
That is the right word: shattered. That is how we feel. I too think about my dad all the time, and that huge gaping hole will always remain in our hearts - because that is how much we loved them.
Fortunately, your husband and children will give you that balance to endure the sadness with happiness in the things they mean to you, in their actions, day to day living and new joys.
That is how I get through - my boyfriend is a Godsend in that sharing happy times with him helps me keep balance as I get through the worst time one can go through. Also sharing family time with my mom and siblings, in our family home where all the memories are, is healing. Every weekend it's a way to greet my dad there as I always did, and allow all the memories to come..... and on Monday's it's healing time again ;-) Having a career helps by being busy, but we are never too busy not to remember! So we allow those memories, and replace the sadness with love. Replace the deep hurt and hole in our hearts, with tender thoughts and memories of our dads, and help others get through their worst time. I now use what I learnt from the whole experience with others, to warn them, to guide and help them and prepare them too.
It's wonderful the things we are all learning: our new normal, trying to be more like our dads, the blessings that have come from this horrible loss.
You're right - we have all come here at different stages, times and ways but we can all relate to each other.
Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers, and wishing the same for you. Have a beautiful holidays as you honour and remember your precious Dad. God Bless you.

I'm so very sorry for everything you have endured - to lose your parents and husband all in such a short space of time - and not that long ago. You have given us hope and courage. Yes, the triggers that start the tears will always be there, but indeed it does get easier to survive. The good wonderful memories help and smiles do come again. I'm thankful that you are beginning to put your life back together, and that there are blessings like this site that help with the healing.
Thank you for sharing, for your courageous example, and for your prayers. We too will become prayer warriors on here, remembering you and all you have endured. God grant you His peace, love and strength going forward. God Bless you.

Keeping you all in prayer.

Sep 03, 2013
Thank You for the Responses 1/2
by: S

I pray for strength and peace for you and the rest of your family as November draws near.
You are right, we were very blessed to have had the devoted fathers we had, for as long as we did.
I believe we will all continue to succumb to tearful moments - as they say, it's a sign we loved them very much.
Hopefully one day you will enjoy your favourite Season of Fall again, as we focus on the good memories of our Dads, the happy times, the love we shared. That is how my mom is coping - forgetting the illness, the tough times towards the end, etc and instead, she thinks about the fantastic early days, happy lives shared and that keeps her going.
We will continue praying for you, it helps knowing we are not alone in this journey. God Bless you too.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and wise counsel. You are right about the younger generation but when you do come from a well rounded functional family, it helps in maintaining those values and enduring anything and everything for the commitment made due to the wonderful example given and the legacy left to us.
I'm deeply sorry for your loss - it's so sad that your husband (and you by his side) had to suffer through cancer. After all those 44 years to see him suffer through that pain! May you too find strength and peace going forward. My mom lost him on their Anniversary month when they would have had 47 years, so very close to you... as I mentioned above, she focuses on the early years of their marriage. She re-read the letters, thinks of the happy times and memories made. We also talk about him all the time, and he is still there with us, in spirit and in thought.
You are so right - we always heard "life is short" but after losing someone precious, we do live with even more awareness, love, patience and a different perspective. We "don't sweat the small stuff" because we know what truly matters and how short life really is.
I'll pray for you, for strength when you miss your husband especially, for peace when you hurt for what he endured, for blessings and happiness in life's treasures, whatever they be for you. God Bless you.

Rest to continue in other message - maximum characters exceeded ;-)

Aug 30, 2013
1 year on Dearest Dad
by: silver

My story is the opposite of yours.My father died Dec 2009,my mother June 2010 then my husband 2011. I know that feeling of not being able to grieve for one before the next one hits you between your eyes. It's so hard.My husband was the worst even though I loved my parents and still miss them very much.I am finally beginning to put my life back together.I also agree with you,this site has been my saving grace.Between the people who write here and the poetry,I have begun healing.Like all of us who have sent on our loved ones,I still cry some.There will always be triggers that start the tears but it does get easier.The good memories begin to start and the smiles do begin eventually.That really helps with the healing.GOD continue to send you strength and peace.I keep us all in my prayers.

Aug 28, 2013
Feeling the exact same way
by: Anonymous

Dear S,

I lost my father in January. He died suddenly, from Cardiac Arrest. No warning, no feeling ill...he simply collapsed and died. My mother and I rushed to the hospital, and while he was kept alive for several hours, his body could no longer hold out, and he "coded" and was gone. My family was also very close. I am an only child, and my parents had a beautiful marriage and I had a wonderful childhood. Our lives have been shattered, and a day doesn't go by that I don't cry. I think of him all the time, and while I am keeping busy for the sake of my children and husband, there is a huge, gaping hole in my heart. I also worry about my mother. Like Debra posted, I am getting to know her as a woman, not as a mother or a wife. It has been almost 8 months....I dread the holidays, and the change of seasons. I cannot believe that I will not speak to him again, discuss books or have him watch my son play baseball or my daughter learn to drive. I am forever changed, (as we all are), and I am just learning to cope with the new normal. I am trying to be the kind of wonderful, caring person my Dad was. I try to take things one day at a time. I try to no longer sweat the small stuff. I try to be more patient. All of those "lessons" actually mean something to me now. I have come to realize through my Dad's sudden death that life is short, and tomorrow is not promised to any of us. I know my Dad would be upset if he knew how horrible we feel-he would want us to go on and smile, that's just how he was. This website has been a lifesaver for me. The people here understand the raw emotion, and even though we got here at different times, and in different ways, we can all relate to each other. I hope you find comfort, peace and blessings along the way. Be kind to yourself, and live a beautiful life...for your Dad. Barb

Aug 28, 2013
1 Year on....Dearest Dad, We Miss You...
by: Doreen U.K.

S In Portugal Thank you for telling your story. It was like a breath of fresh air. It is good to hear of someone who grew up in a well rounded and very functional family. You have so many rich memories and also history to pass on to your own families. It depends on the life partner one chooses. If you marry someone who is dysfunctional then their is a likelihood that this rich history will change down the line. But hears hoping that you will be as happy as your parents were. The one thing that is different is that we are living in a changing world and with the difficulties young people endure today it affects emotions and feelings and this is when it can all go wrong. e.g. Not enough money to live on. Losing a job. Struggling to get a home. Not being able to have children. Infidelity etc. This is what is affecting young people today. The older generation that I come from all had different values and we endured more. We had a different sense of Integrity to our world and responsibilities. We stayed put and worked it out. Whereas the generation now have more difficulties and not the strength to endure. Just part of the times we live in.
I am in your mothers shoes. She lost a husband and I lost my husband of 44yrs. 15 months ago to a deadly cancer. He got that from work. His dedication to working for his family to give them the best and it cost him his life. He died a sad painful death from this type of cancer.
When you lose someone precious you become vulnerable to other people around you dying. This is part of grief. The best you can do is not think of DEATH. Know it will happen one day, but don't let it's FOCUS rob you of the joy of each moment and each day you live. Endure life bravely and enjoy this as a gift from God. Treasure these times and you will in essence be Living how we are meant to. WITH LOVE. Commitment and Endurance. Weathering the storms of life and growing with them and from them. I wish you future happiness. Best wishes.

Aug 27, 2013
One Year on.....
by: DebraAnonymous

Thank you for your testimonial of your beautiful father. I lost my dad last November so we are nearing that one year mark. I'm not looking forward to the holidays at all. Your story touched my heart. Your relationship with your father sounds like mine. Ours was a military family with dad serving 22 years in the Army. We were a very close family. It was just as you said, it felt like a gaping hole when I lost him. Still does. He was my strength, my anchor, the one who was always there for me. You and I were very blessed to have loved and been loved by such a devoted father. I am healing. It is slow and painful, but I am making it through. I have used this experience to grow closer to my mom. I am getting to know her as a woman, not a wife and mother. She is becoming her own person now. It is beautiful and bittersweet. I still miss dad terribly and I would be a liar to say I don't succumb to tearful moments. But, I am beginning to smile again. The fall used to be my favorite season. Now it holds only sorrow. Thank you again for your tribute and words of encouragement. You have given me hope. God bless you.

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