10 Things Nobody Tells You About Losing a Parent

I’m not quite sure if I’ll ever publish this, but at the slight chance I do muster up the courage; I hope this resonates with at least one other person. Or if nothing else, I hope this lifts the huge weight I have on my chest right about now. So, to acknowledge the elephant in the room, my dad passed away a few months ago. It probably wasn’t too evident on account of me distracting myself through a daily blog post challenge called Blogtober [ which I succeeded in btw] & keeping a sense of privacy. It just goes to show you never know the full story of a person. Chances are most people hide away in highlight reels instead of allowing reality to smack them in the face. But I also felt like someone out there may be going through something similar & could use a blog post like this one to reidirate the fact they aren’t alone. Plus, grief [ especially on this kind of level ] has allowed me to learn a few things, evolve as a person & change the way I want to continue my life in the future. Here are 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Losing a Parent

You’ll Feel Numb & A Bit In Denial

I thought the next time I’d go visit my parent’s house, he’d still be sitting in the kitchen or watching the football game in the living room. I thought he’d be around to hear my latest adventures or whatever home improvement projects were in the works. Even the endless texts & calls of condolences couldn’t solidify the fact he was gone. The silence that echoes when I went back to that house & the absence of his voice saying “how’s my girlz” is deafening & couldn’t solidify it either. And I’ll be honest, I kind of enjoyed this phase of grief because the pain wasn’t all quite there. Sure, I still had moments of sadness, but I would quickly brush it off & was able to muddle through my daily routine & find the joys in each day like nothing was missing. It’s almost as if it didn’t happen.

Other People’s “Relatable” Stories Won’t Be Comforting

Telling me about the time you lost your grandparent or the time you lost your parent when you were 50 aren’t the same as losing a parent in your late 20’s or at 30. I’m not trying to downplay loss here or sound rude in anyway. It’s sad & tough to lose anyone at any age, but I found it quite difficult to find these stories relatable or comforting. I went to Youtube videos or the very few people who I knew who went through similar timelines with loss. And even then, it taught me the hard truth. It taught me everyone’s experience is different & no one will fully understand mine. You can have support but feel as though you are going down a journey of solitude at the same time. I also gained a sense of understanding that people honestly don’t know what to say during times like these & the best way to receive the comments is with a grain of salt.

Future Plans Become Blurred

I’ve been engaged since May. And although the wedding planning is going relatively well & we have a date set for next spring, I personally didn’t think it was possible. I thought I’d need time to heal before I even thought of looking at color schemes, writing guest lists or sending out save the dates. Luckily, I managed to go the route of pressing on & looking forward to my future. This doesn’t mean I still have a lump in my throat as I go through each task some. And I’m definitely making decisions by the beat of my own drum. Loss has just taught me to continue to live life & not to waste time on our futures. Life is short. My dad won’t be walking me down the aisle. Instead only his photo will be in my bouquet & my brother will be giving me away. And I don’t mean it to sound like I’m down playing such a beautiful way to honor him. I’m just explaining the reality of the situation that he won’t be physically present for such a milestone. And on my hardest days, that’s a tough pill to swallow.

It’s An Endless Cycle of Milestones

Yes, he witnessed me get my drivers license, embraced me during my first heartbreak, watched me walk across the stage at my high school & college graduations. He saw me win the championship games in softball and watched me dance in my company dance recitals. And I’m so grateful my fiance was able to ask his permission to marry me. But the grief will hit me on my wedding day as well as becoming a mother & knowing my future kids won’t get to know their grandfather. Of course, we will tell stories & show photos, but it’s not quite the same. And although we do learn to accept these things, it will always be on my mind.

People Expect You To Get Over It

It’s hard when other people start talking about holiday plans or even work endeavours when you are still healing from loss. People ask questions like, “why are you sad?” or say things like, “it’s been long enough.” I’m someone who advocates talking through your grief, but I’ve also learned only a few deserve your time. Grief is a lonely journey for the most part. You put on that smile before you walk out the door to prove to others you are strong. The thing is strength is there whether you smile or you are fetal position crying on the floor. Always remember that. Grief has no time limit. We merely learn to get use to their absence. We are never over it. And that is ok.

You Become A Better Person

A positive spin to it all, is I personally became a better person. It’s almost like my dad left parts of him with me to endure the rest of life. We’ve always been quite similar but I feel as though I can channel his calmness or the way he articulates situations. Or maybe it’s my way of making him proud. I hope to live life to the fullest, even more so than I already do. I want to see the world, experience all I can & love the people in my life with all I’ve got. And I know he, along with other passed loved ones, will have front row view from the clouds.

It’s A Year Of Firsts

His absence is deafening with every holiday passed, his birthday & even football Sundays. And people say the first year is always the hardest & that it’s the year of firsts. First times without them present. But the way I look at it, yes the first year is tough; but honestly the yearning for his presence will always be there even years from now. Like I mentioned before, you don’t necessarily get over it but simply understand it is what it is.

It Will Hit You At The Most Random Times

You’d think the sadness will only hit during the obvious times, like his birthday, holidays or Father’s Day. But I discovered I can cry during the most random of moments – like during an episode of Ted Lasso [ the episode did revolve around a father’s funeral ] where a line in the dialogue will resonate with you too damn hard. I’ve learned to just let it take its course & know this is a part of healing. In a lot of ways I appreciate these moments because it shows how much I care & cared about this person.

Their Memory Helps Keep You Going

I always like to say, although they are not physically present, they are with us through the breeze of the wind, through nostalgic smells that brings you back to a memory or the color of my eyes when I look into the mirror. I’m grateful for the time I did have with my dad. And I know in my heart, he’s watching over me with every passing day & guiding me. Of course, I’ll always miss him.

You’ll Still Have Happy Moments

I think one of the most important reminders is it’s ok to have happy moments & to have fun. I know there are days where you may feel guilty for not outwardly being sad all the time. But I’m here to tell you it’s healthier to embrace those fun moments & to encourage yourself to do things that will make you happy once in a while. Go on a weekend getaway, treat yourself to some new clothing or experience something new with friends. Have moments of laughter, good conversation & carefreeness. There’s nothing wrong with feeling happy & your parent will actually love to see you enjoying life despite such a loss.

As I share this, it has only been a month & some change.Time is a weird thing because a month without him here feels both long & short at the same time. Fall was always his favorite time of year so in his honor, I’ve been embracing this season. What helps me move forward is knowing how proud he was & still is of me. And I was able to get the nerve up to finally tell him I started a blog & read a few of my posts to him before he left. To those who unfortunately have gone through a similar situation like this, I write these words for you. I hope you find peace, acceptance of such a change & embrace all the ups and downs as they come. You’ve got this.

I post this on what would have been his birthday. So, happy birthday, dad.

-B

71 thoughts on “10 Things Nobody Tells You About Losing a Parent

  1. I haven’t lost a parent, so reading this really was eye opening. I can relate to the grief part of this though. When my best friend died and people would tell me about their own grief experiences it didn’t help at all. It made it worst almost. Because at the time people were telling me how I would heal and how the pain would go away. But when you’re in it, you don’t want to think about forgetting about your loved one or moving on from your feelings. So I can 100% sympathise that those stories do not help at all. I think though, that its peoples way of relating to you and trying to think of something comforting to say. Which is kind, but it’s difficult to receive.

    You are amazing B. Thank you for being open and vulnerable by sharing this with us. You are loved by so many!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so much for your kind words / support, olivia! I remember reading your post about your best friend & i’m so sorry that happened to you. you are so right – it is like you don’t want to hear those words from people about how the pain will go away because it’s cathartic to feel those sad feelings even though it hurts. it’s true – you don’t want to forget. but i’m learning there are different ways to keep their memory alive.

      love ya!

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  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. But I just love this post. I also lost my mom about 13 years ago. And all the things you mentioned — I experienced. Losing a parent is different from losing anything else, definitely. It’s been awhile so I have moved on — but sometimes it hits me when I reach milestones. That is the saddest of all, knowing they won’t be there to experience them with you as you’ve always imagined. 😦 But at the very least it does make you a better person b/c it makes you stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for the kind words, helen! 🙂 i appreciate you sharing your story about losing your mom. I agree- i think losing a parent is quite different from any other loss. i’m with you, i think it will always hit me during certain milestones. i def have become stronger through this experience for sure. thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. Your post is a great tribute to your dad on his birthday. It has been 20 years since my dad passed away and I still think about him all the time and wonder what he’d think of my life, and how my daughters have turned out – especially the younger one because she’s like him in so many ways. I suppose that means he lives on just like your dad lives on in you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Please accept my condolences for your loss. I lost my dad six weeks after my 20th birthday, 9 years ago. The few months were extremely difficult for me as I was later diagnosed with complicated bereavement due to his passing.

    I can tell you that the pain never really goes away but it dulls with time. Every moment will be bittersweet, my dad never got to celebrate our major milestone moments. But everytime I celebrate one of those moments, I take a few seconds for myself to think of how proud he’d be of me if he were here there.

    I know your wedding day will be hard, but he’ll be there with you in spirit ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so much, rachel! oh gosh, i’m so sorry to hear this. at that age, that must have been so heartbreaking. thank you for sharing that with me. yes- i know he will be with me in spirit 🙂 i think i plan to make a whole post about wedding planning through grief if people would be interested in that. i’ll include details of how i will be honoring him that day as well.
      if you ever want to talk about this or anything, feel free to message me on socials. it’s always nice to connect with people who have gone through similar things even though those things you wouldn’t wish on anyone. much love to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing this vulnerable part of yourself, Bee. I’ve personally never lost a parent, but I just know reading this is going to make such a difference to people who have. I love what you said about grief not having a time limit, and giving yourself permission to be happy. I’m so sorry for your loss, sending you a big virtual hug 🖤 Your dad will be there with you on your wedding day; you will carry him with you in your heart and I’m sure he will find little ways to let you know he’s with you throughout the day. Sending so much love your way xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you so much for your kind words, victoria. that is truly my hope – to make a difference for people. i’m sure he will be. he’s always sending me little signs already which bring me comfort and i’ll be doing a few things to honor him on my wedding day.
      love ya.

      Like

  6. The strange thing I have discovered is that I keep thinking of myself as becoming my mother as an old person and repeating the same end-of-life story. I know it is not healthy but I cant help it. I need to separate my identity from hers now.

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    1. thank you so much. it was in drafts for a while as i wrote it a few weeks after he passed. but i finally felt his birthday was a nice tribute to share it with my readers. thank you so much for the kind words. 🙂

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  7. Your courage & strength is admirable. Thank you for sharing this post.

    It’s amazing you feel comfort knowing your dad is watching over you.

    It’s also so lovely you will include your dad’s picture on your bouquet. What an amazing way to honour him.

    Such an honest post and I think it will make people take note of how to deal with loved ones going through the process of grief. Everyone is different.

    Sending love & hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Because I was suicidal at a very young age and was told my birth ruined my mother’s life, I have a very different relationship to death and almost no attachments to people. I often wonder if I’ll be bothered or not when my mum dies

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Much love to you. I found this a tough read. My parents are in their 70’s and I fear that they aren’t going to be around forever. They were older parents so it’s something I find really hard to think about.

    Corinne x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This breaks my heart to hear. I am so very sorry that you’re going through this! My Dad passed away 3 years ago and the grief is still there. It doesn’t get easier and it doesn’t go away. You learn to live with it… still not there. If you ever need someone to talk to you know where to find me.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The first point had me sobbing, it’s all so true. I lost my lovely dad to cancer coming up to 6 years ago as a 20 year old so I can completely relate to everything you said.
    Nothing prepares you for losing a parent and I send all my love and I’m just a message away if you’d ever like to chat.
    Love,
    Saph x

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow this post is extremely relevant to my life at the moment with my partner, who’s 33 and who’s sister is 27 who are likely to lose a parent soon so I’ll be bookmarking this, in case he feels like he needs to read it from someone who’s obviously been there, experienced the feelings and is able to share. Thank you x

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am so sorry for your loss and I am very familiar with grief. It’s the worse. And you’re right! This whole post is absolutely correct. Especially when people try to relate to you and its just not the same. The loss isn’t the same for everyone. I pray that God will provide healing and comfort during this difficult time. And yes, grief comes in waves but let it play out. There is no time frame as to when you’ll get better. The emptiness in your chest will always be there, you’ll just learn to live with it. Much love, Heidy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am sorry for your loss and I wish you and your family the best. I know this is of no comfort to you, but I lost my dad unexpectedly a couple of years ago and sometimes it still seems like yesterday. So much of what you wrote in this article rings true to my experience. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My deepest sympathies. I know it’s supposed to be natural that a child should outlive their parent but it doesn’t lessen the heartbreak when your parent passes. Having lost my father at a young age, I can sympathize with you. I feel it’s important that you point out you will still have happy moments again and your life will still be fulfilled after they are gone but you will never truly get over the grief caused by losing a loved one. Thank you for sharing. Your efforts to work through this time using words will help others process their loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My condolences to you and your family Bee. While I can’t possibly know exactly how you feel, I can relate having lost my own dad when I was 27.
    Your post hits the nail on the head though, in so many ways. My dad passed close to Christmas and the next few months went by in such a blur. I hardly remember to this day. But memories and anniversaries keeps him alive.
    I’m so glad you hit publish on this post and I think it will help others in the future too
    I think your dad would be so proud of all you’re achieving and what a beautiful tribute of a post on his birthday xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh. I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve felt that blur type feeling that you said. Gosh, around Christmas must have been extra tough. I know for myself, the holidays will feel quite different this year especially. I think he’s be proud of me as well. 🥰 Thank you for the sweet words.

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  17. I’m so sorry to read about your father’s passing. I can’t imagine the grief you are going through. I know there are no words of comfort I can provide during this time. Just know that I am here if you want to vent, cry, scream, share a story, or just be silent 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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