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I have learned so far…


It happened unexpectedly. Standing in a room with people who I recognize as relatives, but have on occasion felt no connection to, I’m forced to relive the moments I have worked very hard to forget. I no longer have the luxury to compartmentalize and must now come face to face with the father that I decided to erase all emotional connection to, is now dying.

When you realize that the big things, the really big things turn out to be far less valuable than the hurt that you treasure as a result of them. Redemption is earned and not given, moreover you can only earn it from yourself. I have spent so many years training myself to keep up a façade of stone and impenetrability. Life has taught me, what I once mistook for strength was really cowardice and immaturity. At best, I can hope for healing, and at worst more hard truths.

Where it started

I woke up one weekend not long ago, to what promised to be a day like any other. I received several messages from family, to let me know that our father’s condition was deteriorating. I am aware that the last 6 years have only been available to him, through the use of various palliative treatments. Our relationship for the past 20 years has been more or less non-existent. The story is the same for my elder siblings, as I am the youngest of four.

As a note to parents of children separated by large age gaps, be mindful. Help your younger children maintain those relationships. Growing up as an only child and knowing you have brothers and sisters is a bit lonelier than being an only child in the more traditional sense.  Stories of fractured families are not new, but this one is mine. I’ve not lived long enough to share a life story, what I have is more a lesson. The sheer weight of carrying the hurt of broken relationships is smothering. All at once I realized that I did actually care, in a far larger capacity than I ever anticipated.

None of this can bear fixing. I cannot recapture the years that have hastened away without my permission, nor the hard feelings that I have treasured as a means of preserving my ability to soothe my ego with righteous indignation. The divide that continues to exist between myself and the rest of my “primary familial unit” continues, with some exception, but continues nonetheless. I blame no one and everyone, while in the end I know owning the isolation I have created is a must. Removing the boundaries, I have laced with electric toxicity is left to me.


I mourn the impending loss with a consternation I have never felt before. At the same time, I feel guilty for allowing myself to feel the sadness that only my older siblings can own. I tell myself that I will be sad on their behalf, but in truth I regret a fully realized relationship that will never be.

I speak to him in my way hoping that after the transition my messages will be waiting for him. I want you to know what you meant and what you missed. A part of me loves you like the little boy who always wanted what the other little boys had. I missed you then and I miss you now. I will give the love I wanted from you to my children. I know they will thank you. I will never tell them what you weren’t, but show them what you could have been.

I love you anyway. I can’t cry anymore. I will always remember what you did share with me and thank you for the strength I gained through struggle.


  1. Nash,
    This reads similar to a line from my very own script. Be thankful for the opportunity to acknowledge and atone while the sun is shining. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to care for and share with my father during his final hours. Though a stroke halted his ability to speak, we both felt an immense amount of joy, familiarity and most of all – Love.
    I realized early that guilt and grief residing in the same space would be catastrophic. I knew that one was the inevitable – the other I could control.
    Whatever is crooked – can be made straight. Do the work, for your own sake and for that of your children.
    I commend you. I support you. I stand in prayer with you.

  2. I am sorry to know this difficulty that you have had experienced for a losing a father. It hurts indeed but you have no other choice than to accept the painful reality. This is the same feeling I have experienced when I lost my dear father too.

  3. I feel you bro. When I lost my Granpa which has been very close to me and consider him as a father and it’s really hard to accept. The pain is very deep. But in life we really need to move forward. Eventually I find the way to accept. Time is a good friend.

  4. When my mom died everything was forgiven and forgotten, and what was left was the realization that I love her. We might have lost someone we come to know we treasure far too late, but the positive by-product of all of these sad times and turmoiled emotions is life-good, calm, and full of realizations. And from here on, we move forward equipped with life lessons.

  5. I could not even imagine the pain a remorse that you went through. I already feel like I lost my father because he chooses to treat me poorly. When he does pass, I’m sure I will have a post pretty close to this. You’re amazing and brave for letting the world in to your soul to talk about this. Thank you for sharing it!

    1. I really thank you for understanding. I think we may have some things in common. It’s nice to know you experience is shared. 🙂

  6. I think the lost of a loved one is really hard and we all go through it differently. I understand how hard it must have been for you and you’re really brave for letting the world in

  7. That’s wasn’t a nice thing to share. Not to mention you made some pretty generalized assumptions. Maybe you are haunted, however, I am not.

  8. I lost my father at an early age and I know the feeling of losing someone. It’s hard to leave on hate and indifference with family. It’s like losing a part of who you are.

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