To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers on Father’s Day

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers on Father’s Day

It is a day to remember, but for me, it is also a day to cry.

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A little over five years ago now, on February second of 2013 (Groundhog Day), I woke up to the raucous and confusion that was filling my Father's house in Elkton, Virginia. My grandfather knocked on the door and said that there was something wrong with my Dad. The paramedics were in his room administering CPR and that things looked pretty bad. Not very long after this... my Father was pronounced to be officially deceased. My Dad was dead.

His death was just another deep cut to go with the other losses that I experienced in only the span of three years, but his cut was definitely the deepest.

This caused a lot of changes in my life. I was now fatherless at only sixteen years old. My role model, my best friend, was gone. Gone forever. And I knew that once he was gone, I could never get him back. It was then that my depression began to grow rapidly, coming to full fruition my freshmen year of college. It is a battle I fight to this day.

At first, I felt nothing. I was numb. Then, I actually felt some form of relief. You see, my Dad had not been happy in quite awhile. In just a year or so prior to his death, my sister -- his daughter...his first-born nonetheless, passed away. This devastated him, as well as me and my brother. I felt a sense of relief in knowing that he was out of pain. He could finally escape the personal, solitary hell that he was trapped in here on earth.

His birthday, Christmas, and Father's day were each filled with dread and sadness. Losing him caused me to run away from what would remind me of him, including an entire half of my family for over a year (time that I will never get back), but I could never get away. Every time I look in the mirror, I see him looking back. Now, you must understand, I have never wanted to forget my Father, but at the time the pain was so great that I could only try and calm it by running away.

I would dream of him. Of him and I. And every time I would wake up, I would start grieving from step one, all over again.

Over time, I have healed, though I will never be whole again. Not how I was. Not how I would be if he had died when he was supposed to. I am better these days, but I still do hurt.

In just a matter of days, we will celebrate a holiday that is for father's and all that they are, do and mean to us. Before my Dad's passing, Father's day always used to be a fun day. One that we could seize together and have adventures. Now, it is a day of remembrance...and some tears. I often wonder if others who have lost their fathers in this way, far too soon, feel the same.

To all of my fellow sons out there who have the great fortune of being with their fathers this coming holiday, please do me a favor: Make the day special. Make it spectacular. Give your Dad a hug and tell him you love him. You never know just how special it is...until he is gone.

To my fellow sons whose fathers are no longer here. I am with you, and I feel your pain. Know that you are not alone. Know that you are loved. Your Father will always be with you.

Never forget it. Happy (almost) Father's Day.

Cover Image Credit:

https://unsplash.com/photos/uNNvGTSwFtw

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Dear Mom, From Your Daughter In College

Here are all the things our phone calls aren't long enough to say.
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Dear Mom,

Do you remember when I was three and we would play together?

It was the age of princesses and carpet that was actually lava, and you were the prettiest woman in the whole wide world. Do you remember when I was in high school and the world seemed too big and scary? You would know exactly when to take me on a mother-daughter date and have me laughing about anything and everything, and you were the smartest woman in the whole wide world.

Now, I'm buried in homework and deadlines hours away from you and we don't get to talk as much you want, but you're still the prettiest, smartest woman in the whole wide world.

I'm sorry that I don't call you as much as I should, and you know a lot of what goes on in my world via posts and pictures. Our schedules just seem to never line up so we can have the three-hour conversations about everything like I want to. I know we don't agree on absolutely everything, but I cherish every piece of advice you give me, even though it probably seems like I'm hardly listening.

I know that sometimes we get on each other's nerves, but thank you for putting up with me for all of these years. Thank you for listening to me cry, complain, question things and go on and on about how everything in college is. I know I don't come home as much as I used to, but I think about you all the time. After all, you're my first friend, and therefore, my best friend.

Thank you for celebrating my successes with me, and not downing me too hard for my failures. Thank you for knowing what mistakes I shouldn't make, but letting me make them anyway because you want me to live my life and be my own person. Thank you for knowing when to ask about the boy I've been talking about, and when to stop without any questions. Thank you for letting me be my crazy, weird, sometimes know-it-all self.

Thank you for sitting back and watching me spread my wings and fly. There is no way I could have known how to grow into the woman I am today if I hadn't watched you while I was growing up so I would know what kind of person I should aspire to be. Thank you for being the first (and the best) role model I ever had. You continue to inspire and amaze me every day with all that you do, and all that you are.

I don't know how I got so lucky to have a person in my life like you, but I thank the Lord every night for blessing me with the smartest, prettiest person to be my best friend, my role model, my confidant, my person and most importantly, my mother.

Love,

Your daughter

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Your Relationship With Your Parents Changes Over Time, Here's Why

Four ways in which your relationship with your parents change from age eighteen to twenty-two.

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Over spring break I had time to think about all the different ways in which my relationship with my parents has changed throughout college. We've definitely had our ups and downs, but as graduation grows closer, I take time to note how far we have come. From freshman to senior year of college I have undergone a drastic change in how I appreciate my parents.

At eighteen, I wanted to get as far away from my parents as possible. I was going to college in order to be independent, study, and hopefully make a career for myself. Nothing could stop me and no one could give me advice. I was stubborn and hungry to explore the new life that awaited me. I didn't realize how hard it would be being on my own for the first time ever. I had never even been to camp let alone moved to a different state not knowing a single soul. I was happy for the new opportunities but quickly realized how much I had been sheltered. Initially, I resented my parents for my little life experience going into college but as the years have passed I realized I can't be so immature to put my lack of knowledge on them. As an adult I now make things work and advocate for myself. Your struggles as an individual humble you so you can come back together better and stronger than before.

Here are some ways in which the relationship between you and your parents change:

1. You don't live together 24/7, so you appreciate time spent with them.

When you're not sharing a space with your parents and they are not there to nag at you about chores, you finally get to know them as people. As an adult yourself you begin to relate to them in ways that weren't possible in childhood.

2. You realize what is worth fighting over and what is not.

You have learned how to live on your own and set boundaries. As an adult, you come back home knowing what can be improved upon within the relationship and what are things you can let go.

3. You have experience with adulthood now and can understand how really great they are.

Adult struggles are real and now as someone older and wiser, you have experienced a great many. You then begin to realize how your parents took on all these responsibilities plus the responsibility of raising/providing for you. You don't know how they did it, but suddenly you're mad at sixteen-year-old you who fought them on everything.

4. They are your biggest support system in wanting you to achieve your dreams.

There is no one quite as invested in your dreams like your parents. When you have no one to turn to and nothing to give you that extra boost of motivation, parents are there. They may not be perfect but they love you more than anyone so call your parents.

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