What My Father’s Death Taught Me

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This is a user submission to IRL. The opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of IRL or its affiliates. Reader discretion is advised.

I was 28 when I lost my father, and from the time I’m writing this, he has been gone for 2 years.

One thing that’s definite, I’m still coping.

Through his death, I learned many things I had wished to remain ignorant on but was forced to see such as:


There is no greater pain than the pain of losing a parent – not the pain of a lost lover nor the pain of a failed career.

Nothing will trump this.

I still cry uncontrollably when the pain hits again.

For however much time comes between the day my father passed away and now, I will never be over it. My mind still confuses itself by telling me to call him and see how is he doing.


Watching someone you love wither away in front of you will haunt you – it does things to your soul and will forever leave a mark.

Honestly, how does a person comprehend the idea of having no father in their life anymore?

I can’t pick up the phone and cry to him anymore nor can I hug him as well.

People say he’s still here in my heart and memories but let’s face it shall we, it doesn’t help.

I don’t want a memory. I want him physically here laughing at my stupid mistakes.


You will not die the way you deserve to die – my father did not die the way he deserved to.

That is life, no one is immune to death and most of us will not go with the dignity we deserve.

Touching/holding/bathing your loved one after they’ve passed on is equally terrifying and beautiful – us children had the opportunity to bathe him one final time before we buried him.

Touching his cold body and feeling how stiff he had become wasn’t terrifying.

It was realizing that that would be the last time I touched him was.


Finally, be generous with how you feel – tell the people close to you that you love them.

Be open.

Go for that person you like, however bleak that opportunity may seem.

If you want someone/something, do your best. You don’t want to regret the loss.

In Summary

When my father was alive, my actions towards him rarely equate to what I say when it comes to my feelings – but I loved him.

I loved him from the first moment I knew what love meant, and during all the times I rebelled against him.

If life brings me no other love, then I’m happy to know that my greatest love was him.

For more stories about mourning the death of a loved one, read: My Abusive Husband Died in My Arms. Here’s My Story and How Losing My Dad at a Teenage Age Has Changed Me.

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