May 13, 2022
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This is what we lose when our fathers die

This is what we lose when our fathers die

The death of a father is one of the most difficult events in a person’s life. And it doesn’t matter how old you are and what kind of relationship you had with him. Even a distant and absent father leaves behind a deep void and a tangle of emotions that is very difficult to unravel. When a father dies, we have to rediscover our place in the world. For some time, the usual place in the universe is lost. In addition, we begin to perceive ourselves differently. Without a father, we are not who we used to be.

Although we usually become stronger and closer to our mother, the figure of the father always looms somewhere on the horizon. Even when he is not around, his presence serves as the background of all life. He is our mentor and protector, even if he does not instruct or protect. We mentally ascribe this role to him, without even realizing it.

When a father dies, our identity changes

You are one person with your father, and after his death you are another. It doesn’t matter how old you are: 30, 40 or 50. While our parents are alive, some part of us still lives in childhood.

After the death of our father, our entire identity is shaken up. Now we are leading the next generations, and no one is leading us. This is frightening and creates a feeling of loneliness. Then the process of creating a new adult identity begins. This does not happen automatically and not without pain. We need to re-aware ourselves and our place in the lives of others.

When a father dies, we seem to lose our anchor. For a while we are carried by the waves.

There is nostalgia for the unfulfilled

We will never have another father. This is a completely irreparable loss. Whether we had a good relationship with him or a bad one, we will always yearn for the unfulfilled.

If the father was a close and loving person, we will miss what he gave us. For all the efforts he made for our happiness. It will seem to us that we are unworthy of his gifts, that we have not thanked him enough, paid him insufficient attention.

If the relationship with the father was strained, then everything will be more difficult. We will begin to worry more about quarrels and conflicts with our father. After all, now we no longer have the opportunity to make amends for them and tell him that we love him no matter what.

Similarly, in the case of the absent father. To the long suffering due to his absence is added the sad realization of eternal loss. It’s like a circle is closing that has never been closed.

And the desire to move on

Whatever the specific circumstances, when a father dies, we usually suffer. And we change, sometimes for the better. Perhaps, in the absence of his strict figure, we allow ourselves to develop some aspects of our personality that he overshadowed.

However, the loss will still respond with pain for quite a long time. It will get easier over the years. The main thing is to understand that pain and suffering after the death of a father is normal. Even if you are 50 years old, it is still scary.

Psychologist Gene Safer advises you to think about the legacy of your father. Find answers to 5 main questions:

  • What did I receive from my father?
  • Which of these do I want to keep?
  • What do I want to give up?
  • What do I regret that I did not have time to receive?
  • What would I like (a) to give him, but did not have time (a)?

The answers will help you better understand yourself and your father’s place in your life. And with understanding comes acceptance…

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