Updated: Oct 14, 2022
A daughter grieving from the loss of her father whether it was physically, emotionally, or mentally, is too much to bare. It's hard to cope with such a thing because whether you like it or not you'll always want your real dad.
Oooouuuch! The word and reality that I never wanted to face growing up.
I want to give a BIG shoutout to the male figures in my life such as uncles, brothers, and male older cousins who gave me support, honesty, and masculine comfort.
This post is a tribute to the father I barely knew.
To the guy that was supposed to keep me safe, warm, euphoric, and secure, I wish I could feel you one more time. To the guy that was supposed to guide me through the detrimental road of heartbreak, friendship loss, and failures I wish I could hear your voice one more time. To the man that can never be replaced in the arms of another, I wish I could see you one more time. To the man that was supposed to challenge every guy I date, to the man that I crave every single day and know that you are no longer around to fulfill my hunger, there is no replacing you and that's what hurts.
You want it to make sense, you lose your sense, and repeat. And in this article, that's exactly what I break down!
Here I present to you the challenges of growing up without a father at a young age aka a daughter's grief aka the most rocky and enlightening experience of my life:
1. As You Get Older, It Gets Worse
The "time heals all wounds" phrase does not apply in this situation. Losing my father at a young age protected me from more pain but I still felt an immense amount of it. The more time passes by the harder it is to grasp that I am a girl without a father.
2. You Have Little To No Memories
Since I have a few memories of my father, I cling onto the memories my aunts, uncles, and grandparents tell me. Although their memories soothe my soul in a way, it's still not enough sometimes. I want my own memories, and a whole bunch of them.
3. You Always Feel Empty
You lost one of the most important figures in your life, of course you're going to feel lost, confused, and unfulfilled. I didn't realize how empty I felt due to my father's death because I spent so much time avoiding it.
4. You Avoid Acknowledging His Death In Any Way Possible
Talking about my father always brought up a death like feeling. I dreaded the "So what happened to your father?" question. I hated how people assumed I even had one alive. But at some point in my life I had to face the fact that he was gone forever.
5. You Didn't Get To Experience The Father And Daughter Bond
I didn't get the "stay away from men like this" talks with my father. I didn't get to experience any laughs or hard times with him. I didn't get to experience him challenging the guys I dated, or him attending my graduations, birthday parties, and dance recitals.
My great grandmother told me that when I was born my father looked at me like I was the only thing in this world, I didn't get to see what that looked and felt like.
6. You May Feel Uncomfortable Around Men
I received love mostly from women in my life like my mother, aunts, and grandmothers. It was so weird experiencing affection from a man because I wasn't used to it. A father is a girl's first love and when you lose a father figure too early, you have a hard time reading, acknowledging, and understanding men.
7. How Would My Life Be If He Was Here?
I spend so much time thinking about what my father and I would've been. Would we get along? Would I be a dad's girl? What would be his reaction to all the crazy stuff that goes on in my life? Would I be any different than what I am now?
8. You Learned What Death Was At A Young Age
My father's death was the first death that taught me what death actually meant. I remember how confused I was at his funeral because I seen everybody crying but I thought he was asleep. As time went on I realized that he was really gone.
Knowing what death is at such a young age is very traumatizing. Anytime you experience any harsh realities as a child, a little bit of your childhood is taken away.
9. You Are Connected To Him Spiritually
Although my dad is not here physically I feel him all the time. I feel his protection, guidance, and love flow through me daily.
To all the daughters who have lost their fathers at a young age, I feel you, I see you, and I honor you. It's not an easy battle. In fact I don't think it is a battle you'll ever win. What helped my grief was going to see my father at the cemetery for the first time after 13 years of his death. It was something about facing his death that brought me closer to clarity. Father's Day will always be a battle, his birthday will always be another deadly reminder of his passing, and the anniversary of his death still tops it all off, but I learned to use those days to get closer to him spiritually, and connect more with his side of the family, instead of focusing too much on us being a part physically.
What are some of the challenges you have faced from losing a parent?