Loss of a Father

Updated on February 21, 2018
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Catherine Worcester has been a preschool teacher and nanny for 25 years. She now writes articles on parenting and family life.

Dealing with the loss of a parent

Loss of my father

Losing my father to pneumonia in a short period of time has been the worse grief that I have ever had to deal with. There are so many words I could use to try and explain the feeling of loss, but the one I identify the most with is numbness.

I have had friends who have had their parents pass away over the years and have helped them with comforting words and offers of help with funeral preparations or just be there when they needed me, but until it happened to me, I never really knew the range of emotions a human being could experience, all at the same time.

Feelings of guilt

I was living in Los Angeles in March 2014 when I received the news my dad, my 81 year old super hero had suffered with a stroke back in the UK and I remember feeling absolutely devastated and wanted to fly over immediately..

Not making it back in time

Fast forward a few months to July and I received the call that I had been dreading. I was told by family that dad had contracted pneumonia and the doctors had only given him a week at the most to live. I did not know how to respond to that other than with pure panic and disbelief. This could not be happening, I had spoken to my dad two days earlier on facetime and although tired, he appeared no worse health wise.

Goodbye Sweetheart

I stayed in London for two weeks leading up to and after dads funeral and it was like I was watching myself from above. I was like a zombie. Changing from being strong for other family members to completly collapsing at night weary from the emotional grief I felt. I did go through a time when I didn't believe dad had died and it was only after seeing him in the chapel of rest that it finally became reality. I gave him a kiss, messed his crazy, big Irish hair up, as it was combed neatly and that was not how dad liked his hair. I covered him in a duvet because he felt cold and I didn't want him feeling cold on his way up to heaven.

Guilt and learning to heal

It has now been nearly 4 years since dad passed away and I can say my grieving is not at raw as it was, but it has changed me. I have gone through all the stages of grief but the one thing I can not seem to move on from is the guilt that I wasn't there when he passed. Its silly, but I still think if I had got there in time to see him, he wouldn't of died. That sounds very arrogant, but it isn't, its just how my mind works. Maybe one day, I will move past feeling like this. I do have wonderful memories that I have, happy ones that now far outshine the feeling of the initial loss that I felt.

My dad lived his life the happiest he could. He was a true family man, loved his whiskey and soccer and was happiest when his family were around him. I like to think he is enjoying a glass of whiskey right now.

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