Losing a father I'd never had

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2004
Losing a father I'd never had
Wed, 04-10-2013 - 3:52am


I'm in a mini conundrum at the moment.  My father died on Saturday, and I'm not quite sure how I'm supposed to act and feel. I was raised by my mom and only met my dad when I was in high school.  (I looked for him..... his reason for not being involved was that he and my mom were not together and he thought it best to wait for me to be ready and contact him).  He got married and had another daughter and 2 step-daughters that he helped raise, but I was never really a part of his life.   I'm married and have a bunch of kids - including one daughter, and pretty much went on with my life without him.  I'd grown up idolizing my Grandfather as he was the closest thing I'd had to a dad and I longed for that relationship.  I've been living 3-4 hours from him for the past 15 - 16 years (when I was a child I was about 30 - an hour from him), but only spoke with that side of my family about once a year; although I do have contact with my step-mom and sisters through facebook etc.  A few months ago, my sister called me to say that our father was going downhill fast - he has been getting progressively worse with parkinsons and dimentia for the last 6-7 years.  I up and visited with him and my step-mom for the day and I was ok.  But my sister called last week to say he was rushed to the hospital and in ICU.  I went up to see him later in the week and stayed up there for 2 days as they made the decision to remove the ventilator and move him to hospice.  I was there until they moved him and then returned back home.  I was able to say good-bye to him and told him briefly how I felt in reguards to not having a relationship with him and I believe that he understood me - but who knows.  I sat in the room with my step-mom and sister as the remanised about this man that I never knew and it made me very sad..... not only for the loss of a family member, but for the loss of the chance to have the relationship with my father that I always desired, and it also made me jealous and deserted again.  I don't want to bring this up to them because it seems selfish and inappropriate.  Not to mention I was never a part of his life, so what right do I have to include myself with the people who actually knew him and are truely mourning his passing.  As my sister was talking about camping trips that they went on while growing up, I was crying.  Not because they will never happen again as the patriarc is passing, but because I was never invited and was excluded from the memories and felt abandoned all over again.   Everyone kept saying how wonderful he was and what a nice guy he was, and I don't even know.  Everyone that came to the hospital had to be introduced, it was this whole other family that I was denied, and as I see the condolences on the computer, I not only feel saddened by the passing, but jealous of the dismissal of my existance.  I almost want to jump in the posts and interject that I'm here too, but I can't because that would be rude and selfish and take away from the true mourning that everyone else is doing.  

I know I'm rambeling and I'm sorry, but my question is.......

How do you mourn the father you never had, and how do you do so with the family who had him;  and whom he chose over you.  


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2008
Wed, 04-10-2013 - 1:49pm

Hi. I am so sorry about your loss. What a tough situation you are in. I say you do what you feel best. I don't think there is any right or wrong way in your type situation. I can't imagine how hard it is on you to hear the stories and know you weren't part of them.

Good luck and let us know how you are coping.