The Cold Hard Truth About Losing a Parent I Never Really Had

Sad girl looking out window cross in background death

Nobody really gets it, yah know?

If I were to ask the people you spent your time with, they would look at me with disappointment and say “He loved you, sweetheart. You know that, right?”. I would nod, say “yes, I know”, and then look away with a knot in my stomach. The kind of knot that feels like
it’s holding back the weight of the entire world. This was the routine.

That’s what people say when they don’t know the whole story.

Death Lost Parent QuoteThat’s the easy thing to say. And don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they tried… but they really didn’t get it. They weren’t standing in their living room, staring out the picture window at 4 years old, with their Lion King backpack beside them, waiting for somebody to come that never did. They didn’t sleep in a Barbie tent beside their bed for two weeks because it
“reminded them of you”. They didn’t cling to every chance at a conversation, and hold onto gifts for
years because it was a piece of you.

No, they got the good stuff. They got the hugs, and late night talks. They got to go fishing, and camping. They were allowed to get mad at you, because they weren’t afraid you’d never talk to them again.

Everyone says you were a “great man”.

I know that, because I saw it from time to time. Mostly when I got older, and could take care of myself. We had some great times. We did go camping, and we did go fishing, and I cherished those times. Like I said, when I got older, it was a lot better. But while I’m 21 now and I’ve gotten over the empty feeling… I’m also the 4 year old girl in the window, waiting for you to come visit. As great as some of our memories are, you can’t take back the bad ones. And while I miss you everyday (and I do mean every damn day), I think what I miss most is the chance to have what they had with you. Instead, however, I cling to the little pieces I have, that do connect me to you.Teen girl looking sad parent death loss

There is this misconception that I think a lot of people don’t realize.

When somebody passes away, that doesn’t automatically make them god-like. The bad things they did, still happened. They don’t just get forgotten because they are no longer with us. Of course we hold onto the good ones because we logically know there won’t be more. But yah see, I’ve been doing that my whole life… Because I never knew if there would be more.

When people hear that I lost a parent, they automatically assume I was close to you. When they find out that I wasn’t, they assume that means I hated you. It doesn’t have to be one way or the other. Death, like a lot of things, isn’t black and white. We weren’t super close, and there were years that I really was angry towards you, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t love you unconditionally.

Quote Hurt Selfish Death Nature BackgroundIf you’re reading this, and you’re angry about it, thats on you.

Some may read this, and think this is “taboo“, and that it’s “rude” to talk about you this way.
Probably the ones that were close to you, and didn’t sleep in that Barbie tent. And that’s okay, because they didn’t sleep in that Barbie tent. I did. I was there. These are my feelings, and they are valid. They had your hugs, and they had your fishing trips, but they can’t have my feelings.


Your Daughter.

PS – Contrary to the tone of this letter, I do forgive you… And I miss you in a way that nobody really understands (and that’s okay). 

11 thoughts on “The Cold Hard Truth About Losing a Parent I Never Really Had

  1. This was very heartfelt! I applaud you for sharing something that most people keep bottled up inside. I hope that writing is the outlet that will allow you to heal.

    1. You are a beautiful soul! This really brightened my morning… Thank you so much for taking the time to read my piece. It means a lot to me!

  2. Very well written. And although I haven’t lost my dad I understand how you feel and how you did feel when your dad was here. You have such a great talent in writing and I’m glad you can share things with us! Keep up the great work girl!

  3. Very well said Brett…you made me cry…I so get what you mean cause I remember you waiting patiently for him to show up to no avail…and I totally understand that the other ones don’t understand how you felt towards him. He did love you…but…that’s all I can say. I must say your Mom did a fantastic job in raising you… you’ve become a very talented young lady in so many ways!! Keep up the great work!

    1. Wow, that means a lot. It really touched my heart! My dad did love me in his own way, and I get that. But I think a lot of people that were close to him only see that side, and they don’t get my anger at all. They think I’m over exaggerating… They weren’t there, and they don’t know what happened. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  4. I understand your feelings and I think you are incredibly self-aware, to not only make these realizations, but to then say it with such clarity and heart. It took me 50 years to get where you are now. You hold on to the truth, and let the unaware stick their heads in the sand. Thank you for this great post!

    1. Thank you very much Dawn! That means a lot to me! I try to be very self-aware, as it is the only way I can feel better through tough situations! Thanks for reading hun!

  5. I can identify with this completely! It took me a long time to realize I wasn’t mourning my Dad’s death, I was mourning the relationship we didn’t have. It still hurts that others knew a better version of him than I did. Thank you for sharing!!!

    1. I totally agree! When people say “he was like a father to me” it kills me… Because that’s not true. If he was like a father to them, trust me… They wouldn’t be saying it under good terms. But anyways, thank you for reading! Means a lot!

  6. You were very brave to share your authentic self, and it was very heart felt. We all have a something we try to shake and we learn to cope with on the daily, but there are these moments when they creep back and damn they just hurt. Know you’re not alone. Thank you for being real.

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