An Open Letter To All Those Who’ve Lost Their Fathers Recently

Written by Niharika Nayak

Dear bereaved ones who’ve lost their dads,

I just wanted to let you know that while I can never understand your pain, I know what it feels like to lose a father figure. Your father was probably one of the most important people in your life, and now that he is gone, you feel a sense of emptiness and like you’re all alone. Well, I’m here to tell you that you aren’t. Many of us out there have lost our fathers during this pandemic, and it feels like the world is crashing down around us.

You go outside and see people celebrating Father’s Day with their loved ones and think, “What did I do wrong to lose my dad?”. But that’s the thing; it isn’t your fault at all. Life is unexpected, and anything can happen at any moment. I may not understand what you’re going through, but I do know that you’ve done nothing wrong and that luck just dealt you an unfortunate hand. I know that you feel the pain, especially when you pass by happy families, and wish that you could have that time back with your own. It’s okay to feel bad. It’s okay to take your time to mourn and grieve.

An Open Letter To All Those Who've Lost Their Fathers Recently

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Father’s Day can be especially dreadful for you if you’ve lost your father. You are probably bombarded with imagery and advertisements of happy families and dads out there. Your friends are probably telling you their grand plans about how they’re going to spend Father’s Day with their dad after a long time. If you’ve lost your dad during the recent pandemic, I understand that the topic might still be very sensitive for you. You might still be grieving the loss of your dad, and seeing your friends spend time with theirs probably makes you remember the times you spent with your own dad. No matter how painful this feels, please hold onto that feeling and try to focus on all the good times. Try to focus on how happy you made your dad when you came home with that sports trophy. Or when you stood up to that bully and defended that friend of yours back in high school.

I was hoping you could try and remember all the good times that you shared with your father and feel grateful that although his time on this planet was short, you helped him lead a happy and fulfilling life. After all, in the end, you were your father’s pride and joy, and when he came home, he was probably the most excited to see and spend time with you. I know that no matter how many kind words you hear from others, you may still feel that sense of your life being incomplete. Well, I’m sorry to say this, but that feeling will not go away for some time. It’s never easy to move on from the death of a parent, and no matter what anybody says, you’ll still feel like a piece of you is missing.

An Open Letter To All Those Who've Lost Their Fathers Recently

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I know that people will come up to you and say, “Time heals all”. You may feel like their words aren’t doing you much good, but that’s only because they aren’t in your shoes. Even if they too lost their fathers, they don’t know the dynamic that you shared with yours. But I also want you to remember that these comments come from a good place. People may not understand exactly what you are going through, but I know that they will try their best to make you feel better and tell you that everything will be okay.

I know that you had grand plans for your parents’ future. You probably wanted to take your dad out to see the Grand Canyon, or maybe you and your dad wanted to participate in daddy-child contests. Now that he’s gone, you probably feel like all these plans are no longer going to come to fruition. You probably feel like now that he’s gone, you have nobody to go to for advice and guidance during rough times.

It might be difficult for you to admit, but I know that you want to learn how to deal with this loss better. I know that you’ve considered speaking to a therapist about what you’re going through, and I’m here to tell you that this is totally normal and fine. Don’t doubt yourself. During times of loss, a therapist can really help you cope and come to terms with what you’re going through. If you feel like your mind is scrambled like a ball of yarn, a therapist can slowly help you unfurl it. There are also many support groups online, which are filled with many others like you who are also going through similar emotions and dealing with the loss of their parents. I know that it will take you some time to feel comfortable opening up to others, but joining and reading some of the messages and experiences of people in these groups might actually help you feel better.

Sincerely,

A Well-Wisher Who Has Dealt With Loss Herself

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Niharika has a passion for all things art, music and travel. During her spare time she likes experimenting in the kitchen, painting pop culture icons and chasing after random street cats. Her dream is to one day own an amusement park so she can ride roller coasters for free.
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