My father

There’s not much point in this post, but indulge me. My father died a few days ago, July 29th at 12:40 in the morning. He had bone, brain, lung, and adrenal gland cancer. He was suffering, and no longer is. I miss him, but am happy that he’s free of his pain.

He and I went through a rough patch for about four, maybe five years in which we barely spoke to one another. I nearly changed my last name so that I would no longer be identified with his family. We did not get along. Last December or so, however, I decided that I was being petty and tried to mend our relationship.

That’s what I’m driving at here. It went quickly, we made up, and became good friends again. About six months later, I held his hand as he died. I spent five years being convinced that I was right, completely right, that he deserved no sympathy and no forgiveness. And then, all of a sudden, I discovered I was wrong, and we had six months of a wonderful, meaningful relationship.

I cannot imagine the crushing regret I would currently be under had he and I not made up. That’s the true point of this post – not to gain sympathy or pity, because I already have far too much of that being poured out on me. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world because my dad and I made up and got to be a true father and son before he passed. That’s all I really wanted to tell you guys. Even if they don’t deserve a second chance, give it to them. Don’t fill yourself up with arrogant hate. It drains and corrupts you. Don’t spend your life beating yourself down with your own negative feelings. Either let them go, or mend them. The last thing I said to my father was just a simple “I love you.” There’s so much comfort in that that it’s indescribable, especially knowing where we were just a year ago.

I know I’m rambling, but I feel obligated in a way to pass this message on and this is the only way I know how. When someone dies, you cannot give them a second chance. Don’t spend the rest of your life wishing you had.

I’m really happy for you, that you can have peace with his dying and not regret or pain over not having worked things out. Reaching out doesn’t always work but it’s wonderful that in your case it did and that you know you did the best you could.

Peace be with you.

I’m sorry for your loss, but more than that, wanted to say this was a beautiful post; thank you. My estrangement from my parents has been going on for just over one year, even though I know neither is in good health.

My sincere condolences. I’m so very glad you were able to resolve your differences before his death.


I’m sorry for your loss…but wow, that’s awesome. A good message to many of us.

Thanks for sharing that.

My condolences to you and everyone else who loved him.

Soul, that was very touching. Thank you.

Thanks Soul for the touching post.

Of course you’re right, and you’re lucky to have had knowledge come to you before it was too late, as I’m sure you’re aware.

I often am struck by the very real challenge of forgiveness. To me that challenge lies not in giving forgiveness to those we deem worthy. No, the challenges and rewards of forgiveness must surely lie in giving it to those whom we may not feel are worthy or deserving.

Thanks so much for reminding us that the world would be a finer place, as would our lives, if we all gave forgiveness more freely. In honour of your Dad I shall strive to do so in future.

Your father must have had some fine virtues to have raised up such a person as yourself.

Thank you for that post, Soul–and bet your arse there’s a point to it. :slight_smile: My sympathy for your loss; may your father rest in peace, and your family has my best wishes and prayers.

My sympathies for your loss, Soul…I’m very glad you were able to make your peace with your father.

I lost my dad two days after my 13th birthday. And while he was by all accounts a great father, we were simply of two different worlds. My memories of him are all but brief flashes – nothing truly substantial. As a somewhat new father myself, I recognize how sad it would make him to know this.

I’m happy to hear you were able to have those six months.

I, too, add my sympathies.

My dad and I have a cordial relationship. He’s a completely self-centered narcissist, and he only calls me when he needs something (ironic, since he told me, once I finished school, that the “umbilical cord was cut”, and I was on my own). I’m polite to him, but after my many unrequited suggestions of dinner, I’ve stopped making an effort to connect on any personal level.

Still, it’s important to not allow a bitterness to develop. I’ve worked hard on that, finally just reconciling that he doesn’t have the interpersonal skills to relate to other people (he also has no friends), and it’s not malicious. Still, I sometimes have the random, angry-at-dad dream.

Thanks for reminding me how fruitless those angry feelings are, and how important it is to make peace with those who are closest to you, and thus capable of touching the biggest nerves. Life is short and precious (the disaster in Minnesota recently reminded me of that), so I’m glad you got some quality time with your father before it was too late.