Mama Life

Coping with grief and loss

I should probably start this post off with a little warning. This post is an extremely personal one, and one that I have been trying to decide if I should write or not. I’ve decided that I should. There might be someone out there that has been or will go through a similar thing. I apologise in advance for the long ramble you might be about to read. I wrote this on September 5th. It also explains my absence from this blog and social media for the last month or so.

Today is my fathers funeral. But I am not there.

To some that may seem like a strange way to start a blog post. In fact I know it is but I don’t know any other way to start it.

I grew up without a father, some of you might remember I wrote a little about that here. My mum brought me up along with my grandparents, (her parents) who we lived with until I was 16. I have no memories of my dad. I’ve seen various pictures of my parent’s wedding and them together so I knew what he looked like. But apart from that I didn’t know what he sounded like, what his hobbies and interests were, or what his favourite food was. Growing up I never had any contact with him. I never received birthday cards or presents. We stayed in contact with, and saw my grandparents on his side, up until about 8 years ago. When my grandpa passed away we were told about it, but that was it. No invite, nothing. That was actually the last time we heard from them. Until two weeks ago.

I was shopping in Tesco’s at the time when my mum called me. She said grandma had just called her but that it probably wouldn’t be a good time to talk. I told her to carry on because I really wasn’t expecting her to say what she said. My dad had died of a massive heart attack a few days before. I didn’t know what to say. I told my mum I would ring her back and hung up. I turned to Jess, burst into tears and ran out of the shop leaving him with the basket and Clem on the way out. I was confused and in shock. Not just with the news I had received but I didn’t understand why I was crying. My heart was racing and I was struggling to breathe.

Why was I crying for a man I’d never even known?! I realise that might come across as sounding incredibly harsh but it was what I was thinking at the time. Grief is a strange feeling. It’s even weirder when you are grieving for someone who you never even knew. It definitely doesn’t make it easy to understand. You can google pretty much anything but trust me when I say if you ask google how to deal with an absent parent dying, you don’t get many results.

I didn’t go the funeral because I thought it would be weird. I wasn’t sure how I would feel. I don’t regret not going, I think it was the right thing to do. Although since then I have found out that I was his official next of kin. He had remarried but got divorced, they never had children. So I’ve had to spend the last few weeks sorting some things out and I decided to take some time out from social media and blogging to deal with it.

Yes, this post is extremely personal. I just find writing everything down easier than talking about it. I could keep it private but this blog is a place where I share things and experiences. Dealing with the death of someone is never easy. Grief has many stages, 5 in fact, and can last for a long time. However I’m doing ok. If you’ve taken the time to read this thank you.

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19 Comments

  1. Sassy

    3rd October 2016 at 4:13 am

    Grief is a strange thing.It’s better to express it than bottle it up. Sending big hugs xxx

    1. Ky

      3rd October 2016 at 9:53 am

      Thank you Sassy. I agree. x

  2. Sarah Rooftops

    3rd October 2016 at 8:27 pm

    I’m so sorry. It doesn’t sound harsh that you wondered why you were crying; it sounds like you’ve spent so many years being the person who didn’t cry over him, it must have come as a shock. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with grief and I’m sorry you’re having to deal with all the bureaucracy, too. Wishing you well. x

  3. Angela Watling

    3rd October 2016 at 10:00 pm

    So sorry to hear about what has happened. Grief is a strange and complex emotion. It sneaks up on you at times and in ways you don’t expect. The fact you didn’t really know your father doesn’t mean you can’t grieve. You will be grieving for the shock, for things you never had, things you wanted and everything in between. Also, the death of anyone you ‘know’ has an affect and reminds you of the fragility of life. It will be a tough time but just face into it so you can come to terms with it. And don’t be surprised if it resurfaces now and again. All the best x #MarvMondays

  4. Topfivemum

    7th October 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I’ve just commented on our Beef Casserole post and thought I’d have a look around to get to know you a bit better. This post caught my eye as I think I can understand how you feel. I haven’t seen my real dad since I was about 12 and never had anything to do with him since (my stepdad adopted us when I was a teenager). In recent years I’ve often thought about getting in touch with him as I’d be quite interested to hear his side of the story. I have a feeling my mam didn’t tell me the whole truth about what went on. He’s been on my mind since having kids recently too. How could he have not fought to see us? But equally, I know how hard it is now with an 18 month age gap (my mam chucked him out when I was 3 as he was having an affair) and I can relate to how it must have been to see your kids brought up by someone else they call dad. Anyway, all this to say that I do often reflect on whether I should get in touch with him, and I worry about how I’ll feel the day I get the same phone call you’ve had. Will I regret not having made the effort to contact him? Will I mourn the father I never really knew but often wish I did? I think when the inevitable happens, I’ll probably grieve in some way, but maybe less for his passing and more for the fact that we all went through this life without each other. And it’ll be the grief associated with the feeling of being ‘abandoned’ as a child that will probably come to the surface all over again. I don’t know if this may be how you feel, but we all grieve in our own ways and in our own time. Thanks for this post and for making me reflect again. Best wishes, Ruth

  5. OddHogg

    8th October 2016 at 10:39 pm

    I’m so sorry. I’m sure you feel totally confused. Grief affects us all in strange ways! Writing it all down hopefully will have helped #kcacols

  6. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops

    8th October 2016 at 11:44 pm

    I am so sorry to read this. Death is such a huge thing I thing that it does effect us all deeply and in confusing ways too. I don’t think that you sound harsh at all, you are trying to deal with it, and I hope that writing and sharing helps you. I know writing has helped me cope with it in the past. #KCACOLS

  7. Savannah

    9th October 2016 at 8:21 am

    Grief really affects us all in different ways. I think more than being sad that your father died, you were sad that any chance to have a relationship died too. It’s definitely a tough thing to deal with. Honestly, as someone who does not have a relationship with her father, the possibility of him dying does cross my mind often. If I’d regret not trying to maintain a relationship with him, if I’d regret the way things played out. Please allow yourself to feel everything. Don’t push anything away, and take your time to heal. I hope you find the strength I know you have <3 #KCACOLS

  8. Becky @ Educating Roversi

    9th October 2016 at 8:46 am

    I imagine this was a difficult situation to be in but, relationship or not, he was still your Dad. Grief takes many forms and we all survive the best way we can. Like you, writing things down helps me. #KCACOLS

  9. flying solo

    9th October 2016 at 9:30 am

    Your definitely doing the right thing by discussing it even if it is only on here, dont keep it in. I’m sorry to hear of your loss, I haven’t had a relationship with my dad for the last 6 years (my choice) I have no respect for him, I don’t like him and he treats everyone around him like dirt on his shoe, his children included. He is in his 70’s now and keeps saying to my sister, his last wish is to see me again and make up! you cant just make up for all the hurt you inflict on your own child and just because he is my dad doesn’t mean I have to put up with his nastiness and bitterness. I have no idea if I would go to his funeral or not, but I know that I can live with my decision to not have him in my life anymore. You are grieving for someone you didn’t know, which I can only imagine must be harder, you maybe have a lot of unanswered questions, a lot of dreams that were never fulfilled, a lot of what if’s … It may be worth considering having some grievance counselling when your ready, talking your thoughts through will help. #KCACOLS

  10. Ali Duke

    9th October 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Grief is a horrible thing. My dad passed away at Easter and I am still finding it hard to cope without him. I can’t imagine all the emotions that must be going through your head right now. You definitely did the right thing in taking a step back from everything.
    #KCACOLS

  11. Emma me and b make tea

    9th October 2016 at 7:09 pm

    aww goodness, what a tough time for you. and like you say, so emotional on so many accounts. I think just writing it all down sometimes can certainly help. it just gets all those feelings out in the open. just try and take each day as it comes, I know everyone says that tho. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday xx

  12. Alex Fihema

    9th October 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Wow, that’s emotional.
    There is no way to understand how or why anyone would feel this way but the loss of a parent is always difficult, whether you’ve known them or not.
    It’s good to read that you are doing well and coping with the grief #KCACOLS

  13. My Petit Canard

    9th October 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Oh Ky, im so sorry to read this. It sounds like you havent been having an easy time of it lately. Loss is never easy to deal with and can catch you off guard when you dont expect it. I’ve grieved for those that I havent been particularly close to heavily, and then less so with those that are probably more close to me. Its a strange thing to deal with and understand so I always think its better to go with where your emotions take you, to feel all the feels and then process it later at a time when your mind feels a little more clear.. Thanks for sharing such a personal post on #MarvMondays. Emily

  14. Amie

    10th October 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss xx In some ways I am able to relate and in some ways this will really help me in the future. I only recently found out my dad isn’t my bio dad and the bio one never bothered so when reading this I really wondered how I would feel to find out he would have died having never bothered to get in touch or anything. Thankyou for sharing this. I can say you’ve definitely helped at least one person whilst sharing such an awful time. Big hugs xx #KCACOL

  15. Louise

    10th October 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I’m sorry to hear this. My dad passed away suddenly and I had no contact with him, my cousin (who I had very little contact with) messaged me to tell me he needed to call me about my dad, but I was at work and told him to just tell me then (thinking he had done something stupid!). I couldn’t help but cry, I then had to break the news to my mum and sister and my dads sister too. I had to fly over to go to his funeral for closure, I sometimes wish I hadn’t gone because his funeral was so not him – his girlfriend had arranged it all, she’s Filipino and part of a Filipino Christian religious group. My whole life my dad had been an atheist so I found this very upsetting as the funeral wasn’t about a man I knew. One man was videoing the funeral and later on asked us if we wanted to see photos of our dead father. It really upset me, and I think made the grieving harder. I can understand why you would be upset even if you didn’t know your dad because he was still part of you. Thank you for sharing such a personal post. #KCACOLS

  16. Kirsty - Winnettes

    10th October 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Wow a very brave post. I think taking time out probably was the best thing to do, you need time to process that sort of thing. Grief is definitely harder when you didn’t know the person but they were that much a part of you. It’s as if the rule book doesn’t apply because you feel sad but feel like you shouldn’t. Good luck with processing this all.
    #KCACOLS

  17. Gabriela Green

    13th October 2016 at 11:59 am

    Grief is hard indeed, no matter the person. I know that writing about it helps because I did the same when my grandma died. I didn’t have the courage to publish it but every time I read that text it makes me cry because it is really powerful for me. The only thing I can say is : take one day at a time.
    #KCACOLS

  18. JerseyGirl

    19th October 2016 at 8:10 am

    A brave and honest post, well done for facing it and getting it out there. You never know how grief will hit you and it’s a personal thing, no right or wrong. Accept the emotions and take a day at a time Hun.

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