My children lost their biological dad...

by Theresa
(Colorado)

This is about my children and their loss. I received a message last Thursday October 25, 2009 from my ex-brother in-law. He told me that my ex-husband, the father of my three older children had passed away. I felt awful for his family and my children....Oh my Dear Lord! I asked him to please not post anything on social web sites such as Facebook until I could personally tell the kids, this is something that has to come from someone they love and trust, not some words on a social site.
My children have not been close with their biological father, he never took the time to come see them, call them, and send them birthday cards, graduation cards, nothing. And yet I had a feeling that this would send them over the edge. Two week prior to this news my daughter had an argument with her father over the phone, and she told him that he may not make time for her but she would make time for his funeral when the time came. Allie had told me of this argument and I told her that she had every right to express her anger and disappointment, however I wish she was careful what she said, not to be overly harsh.
When I went to her apartment first, she came to the door and had a feeling something was wrong, when I told her that her biological father had passed away, she lost it. She cried and said it wasn’t fair, she fell to the floor and was just a mess. I told her that nothing she said to him resulted in his death that she is not to carry that burden on her shoulders. Her boyfriend told her she should grieve because he wasn’t involved in her life. She is grieving because she had nearly 21 years where he could have been there, and for the future years that he could have taken a chance and been there. How do we make him understand that she can grieve, she is allowed to grieve for the past and future?
I next went to my home and let my youngest son know his father had passed; he leaned on me and cried. He has not seen his father since he was just 6 weeks old and that was at our divorce hearing. He has always known he has another dad, and when growing up he opted to not have contact with him, he said if his own father could not make an effort to know him, then he wasn’t worth his time. Now….he is grieving because he will never have the chance to know him.
The final step was to call my oldest son Justin; he lives in Grand Junction, Colorado, away from friends and family. He was three years old when I separated from his father; he said he has memories but mostly from what he has heard from other people and from myself. He received one birthday gift from his father back in 2000, one card. He got real quiet when I told him over the phone, and I asked him if he was ok, he said his chest hurt but that he would be ok. He has not talked to his dad since about the time we divorced.
How do I help my children mourn their father who they don’t even know? How do I help them mourn the years that are lost in the past and future? I have created a page on Facebook and asked friends and family to please post pictures and memories for my children, and I am sad to say that only a couple friends have posted anything. So now there are being robbed of any memories by family members. How do I help my children?

Comments for My children lost their biological dad...

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Oct 30, 2012
My children lost their biological dad....
by: Doreen U.K.

Theresa you have asked HOW you can help your children? First realise that the fractures in a family will show up mostly when there is a death. Because the death was from your 3 childrens' natural father they could each benefit separately from grief counselling. I feel that far too often children get left out at time of death. Parent's try to protect their children from facing pain and sadness. Which is part of life. A counsellor is TRAINED to support individuals within a family all with different needs and different life experiences. This would benefit them also from the point of forming relationships that will last with nothing getting in the way, because in NORMAL LIFE. Relationships are hard work. A lot don't survive. This would be the best gift to your children. I have encouraged each of my Adult children to go for counselling. I did the counselling bit, and Got my life back from the edge. I then worked for a counsellor for 8 yrs in voluntary work in Mental Health.
My husband died of cancer 6 months ago. We were married 44yrs. My husband worked all over the world his whole working life of 47yrs. Coming home tired and working long hours he did not have time to be a father like he wanted. This has left scars for us as a family. When my husband was dying of cancer and none of his children gave him the time he needed. It was then he felt the raw Pain of those lost years. He suffered the emotional pain of being an absent father. WHO was a great man working for his family. Putting a roof over their heads and food on the table. He got his cancer working with asbestos. I told my husband not to beat himself up. He was the best father he could be. He couldn't do it all. But he paid the price once again with absent children.
My 3 Adult Children lost a father. I lost everyone. Loss is hard for everyone. You can only do your best and it looks like you have done a good job with your children to still have them close and in your life. Best wishes

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