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Old 02-14-2006, 11:19 AM   #1
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Absentee Father Died - How Can I miss someone I Never Knew?

My father was absent my entire life save for a brief period in my early 20's when he and his wife tried to reach out to me and get me to know their young family.

It did not work out in the end and we lost contact again.

Fourteen years later, I'm 37 years old and get a telephone call out of the blue last week telling me that my father died. Of lung cancer. He probably knew for 2 years he was dying and NEVER BOTHERED TO CONTACT ME??? No one did. Not his sister, an "aunt" whom I believed cared enough to follow me through my mother over the years. Not ONE of my four half-siblings (now grown). NO ONE.


I wouldn't know today if it hadn't come to me purely by happenstance through the grapevine.

I feel -- devastated. Like I missed some "daddy" -- that up to last week I would have said unequivocably didn't exist anyway. I feel so rejected. How could he die and not care enough to look up his oldest child? Wouldn't the curiousity have gotten to him? Nothing?

I meant so little - yet it's tearing me up. I can't eat well. Sleep well. I'm obsessing. Replaying conversations in my mind. Over and over. What I should've, could've, would've done differently 14 years ago if only I'd known it would feel like this.

When does it get better if you can't have closure?

 
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Old 02-15-2006, 04:42 PM   #2
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Re: Absentee Father Died - How Can I miss someone I Never Knew?

So understandable to feel that despite the fact you didn't know your father..you 'miss' him...perhaps you miss him because of the loss of not having him as you grew up..and miss him because you feel that there's so many things that you could have done with him..or things you 'couldve, shouldve' said etc. From what you were saying, it's seems as if you're questioning 'why wasnt I told?!'..'why did noone think of me in all this'- and feel there's so many unanswered questions.

'When does it get better if you can't have closure?'.. is there any way of contacting the relatives and maybe asking the questions you want answers to? Although finding the answers would help... there will be many feelings to work through before you feel a sense of closure..but I can imagine it will take a lot of time..has your mother said much to you about anything?-ie has she been able to answer any of the questions you hold so far?

Caroline

 
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:50 AM   #3
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Re: Absentee Father Died - How Can I miss someone I Never Knew?

welcome writermom1,
i dont often come to this board. i felt you here.
my birth father died almost 2 years ago. you and i walked the same path. no contact, then a knowing that went sour, followed by more years of no contact.
the closure comes from within you. it has to. you are the only one who can make it happen. what i did was forgive my birth father and myself. i realized he was a person i would not have sought out as a friend, so in reality i missed nothing. he helped make me, and i appreciate that.
i don't know about you, but i had a great step dad. he died when i was 21. i am past 50 now. i went and spoke at my birth fathers memorial. i did it for his wife. see she called me. not to tell me. to lean on me. we stayed in contact for about a year or so after, till she no longer needed me.
you and i are throw away children. that is how it feels, yes? a throw away child must find power within to rise up out of that dumpster and live. you are so much more than the sum of your parents. you are a unique individual with many gifts to offer.
as children we hunger for the love of our absent parent. we create stories to soothe our feelings. then as adults reality slips thru the stories and we are slapped upside the head. so we back way off and go about our life. once again you are at a crossroad of decision.
peace,
bluelakelady

 
Old 06-25-2008, 04:54 PM   #4
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Re: Absentee Father Died - How Can I miss someone I Never Knew?

WOW.....yes, I feel compelled to respond to your message_My father abandoned our family when I was only 3, my sister 2 and my brother 1-after many years of dealing with self worth, abandonment and trust issues, I moved on to a happy chapter in my life, married an amazing man, I am happy and I consider myself to be a survivor---After 20 plus years of no contact with this man who I absolutely despise, he creeps back into my mother's life and they sadly "have reconciled"...This has wreaked my mother and I relationship and I have cut all ties with her -she now justifies his manipulative behavior and (I need to protect my sanity and the self-love I still have for myself)-Last week, he had a heart attack and while in the hospital waiting to be operated on my mother asked me to speak with him ---I told her that when he is ready to face up to what he did, like a real man and apologize for what he did, I have nothing to say to him-however, I do want closure with this man and move on, enjoy my life like I was meant to do on this earth, I have zero feelings for this man and I can't miss something I never had-The only thing that saddens me is that I will never, ever have a father- I am considering having a last conversation with him but wouldn't know where to start

 
Old 03-08-2011, 12:54 PM   #5
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Re: Absentee Father Died - How Can I miss someone I Never Knew?

hi writermom1, i know you posted years ago but almost the exact same situation happened to me 2 days ago. i don't know of anyone who's been through this particular experience, can't find any books/support groups/et cetera. if for some reason you get this message, please reply--i'd love to know how you managed.

 
Old 06-03-2011, 11:29 PM   #6
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Re: Absentee Father Died - How Can I miss someone I Never Knew?

I found out my dad died a few days ago. I never met him, but after my mom died about 8 years ago she left his name and a photo. I wasn't certain it was him that died, but in his obituary he left some names of his kids. I look exactly like one of them, and I never looked like my mom. Anyway, I never met him, and now i miss him more never being able to have that chance. I don't know if he ever new about me or not.

 
Old 01-29-2012, 10:46 PM   #7
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Re: Absentee Father Died - How Can I miss someone I Never Knew?

This thread is pretty old now but it fits my situation well. My dad left my mother, brother, sister & me shortly after I was born. When I was a teen I heard stories like infidelity and irresponsibility. For the first 5 years of my life I did not know what a father was. I would see him sometimes but I did not really understand who he was. Then when I was 5 my mother remarried and I grew up in a home with a great step dad. I would try to get to know my biological father several times throughout the years but I did not like him very much and I think he felt the same. I had a hard time respecting him though I always acted with respect towards him when I was in his presence. He said things to me like "your only here because your mom wanted you, I did not want anymore kids". Any type of relationship we may have had seemed like it would always have to be from my effort and never his. The last two years I got tired of the one sided nature of our weak realtionship after I called him on the phone and he told me he did not know who I was. Now I am nearly 50 years old. He died a few days ago. I feel sad. I could have tried harder but I chose not too. I miss him even though I did not like him very much and he did not like me. I loved him but I did not like him. Its very weird. I am typing this to help me work through my feelings.

 
Old 10-23-2012, 05:33 PM   #8
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Unhappy Re: Absentee Father Died - How Can I miss someone I Never Knew?

I just found this post and like many of you who have posted here, I just lost a man that I have always called my "Birth Father". I was adopted by my step father when I was 11 years old and had literally no contact with my birth father until I was 41 years old...then no cotact again until I was 46. I am now 52 years old. In August of this year, I was contacted by my Aunt and she said he didn't have long to live - cancer - so I went up to see him. There was going to be a family get together so I made a family tree canvas and asked everyone that was at the get together to put their finger print on it. My birth father loved it so much that he asked me to make him a larger version of the tree canvas for his viewing service. I made the tree canvas hoping it wouldn't be used anytime soon... but on Oct 14th I received the call that he passed. I put his name, date of birth and passing date on the canvas and drove the 9 hours to his home to take the family the tree canvas that he requested. His family (wife and two sons) were very nice. They offered to me one of the little laminated bookmarks of my birth fathers obituary. When I read it... I was confused and hurt to see that he didn't mention me (or my two sisters and brother - his children from his marriage to my Mom) at all. I'm having a hard time figuring out how I should feel. Maybe just feeling nothing is the feeling I should have. But there is the confusion too that I can't let go of. He asked me to do him a favor for his viewing service. I fullfilled his wishes. When I asked his sons (my half brothers) if they knew why four of his children were not mentioned in his obituary, they said he had written it that way and they wanted to keep his wishes. Any words of wisdom... thoughts or advise? I would really just like to stop thinking about this... but it keeps creeping back into my thoughts. Thanks for any responses!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMXR View Post
This thread is pretty old now but it fits my situation well. My dad left my mother, brother, sister & me shortly after I was born. When I was a teen I heard stories like infidelity and irresponsibility. For the first 5 years of my life I did not know what a father was. I would see him sometimes but I did not really understand who he was. Then when I was 5 my mother remarried and I grew up in a home with a great step dad. I would try to get to know my biological father several times throughout the years but I did not like him very much and I think he felt the same. I had a hard time respecting him though I always acted with respect towards him when I was in his presence. He said things to me like "your only here because your mom wanted you, I did not want anymore kids". Any type of relationship we may have had seemed like it would always have to be from my effort and never his. The last two years I got tired of the one sided nature of our weak realtionship after I called him on the phone and he told me he did not know who I was. Now I am nearly 50 years old. He died a few days ago. I feel sad. I could have tried harder but I chose not too. I miss him even though I did not like him very much and he did not like me. I loved him but I did not like him. Its very weird. I am typing this to help me work through my feelings.

 
Old 10-23-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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Re: Absentee Father Died - How Can I miss someone I Never Knew?

My wifes mother has almost an identicle story to yours. No mention from her birth father in his obituary of his first family that he abandoned even though they made attempts to have a relationship over the decades. I dont understand it. I pisses me off. Dont really have any advice. Time heals a lot of things.

 
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