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My biological father died

 
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My bio father died two days ago.  I guess I'm still trying to process it.  The relationship was odd.  We were very, very close when I was young.  I idolized my father.  When I was a very young teen, my parents divorced.  They were young, early 30's, and my father kind of disappeared from our lives. He would be scheduled to pick us up and he just wouldn't show up, wouldn't call, or he would call in the morning and say he was on his way and never show up.  My mom eventually remarried and my step father has always been a real father, always there for us, always dependable, worked very, very hard to support all of us.  He is a really great example of a man.  Anyway, years later my bio father tried to come back into our lives.  I met with him a couple times but by then, I didn't really need him in my life.  I had a family, a real dad, and my life had moved on.  He made a few half-hearted attempts after that but he didn't try too hard and I didn't try at all.  Fast forward until a couple days ago when I got the call he had died.  I'm not sure how I feel.  I'm sadder than I would have expected, but more I think because I know how great our relationship should have been.  I'm the spitting image of my father.  It used to shock people how much we looked alike, and as I said, we were incredibly close when I was young.  I think I'm just feeling sad and nostalgic about it all.  I'm feeling kind of guilty as well, because in spite of the fact that he didn't try hard to see my brothers and I, he tried.  I'm feeling a little mixed up about all of this.  I'm surprised, because I guess I always thought I would just feel nothing.  
 
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Hugs and my condolences, Trace. It makes sense why that would lead to confusing feels, given the relationship you describe. I'm sorry he wasn't there for you the way you deserved and so glad you got a real dad later in life. That's so important. Mourning how great the relationship should have been makes sense and could be a lot to process.

You mention that you were very close and idolized him when you were little. I wonder if something like picturing yourself at that age and talking with that younger version of yourself might help in moving through the feels? Perhaps there are some things child Trace needs to feel comforted and closure? It sounds like your conscious adult self was somewhat at peace with the situation, but perhaps that inner child is where the sadness comes from? Just an idea to try out if it fits for you. I have had to do a lot of work listening to and soothing my inner child to heal the damage done by my biological father. I've found reparenting that part of me really helpful and beneficial, since sometimes it helps me access feelings, thoughts and needs I wasn't fully aware of. Hope you're able to feel through all the feels, confusing though they may be. Just remember, they don't have to make sense, all you have to do is let them be and move through.
 
Trace Oswald
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Heather Sharpe wrote:Hugs and my condolences, Trace. It makes sense why that would lead to confusing feels, given the relationship you describe. I'm sorry he wasn't there for you the way you deserved and so glad you got a real dad later in life. That's so important. Mourning how great the relationship should have been makes sense and could be a lot to process.

You mention that you were very close and idolized him when you were little. I wonder if something like picturing yourself at that age and talking with that younger version of yourself might help in moving through the feels? Perhaps there are some things child Trace needs to feel comforted and closure? It sounds like your conscious adult self was somewhat at peace with the situation, but perhaps that inner child is where the sadness comes from? Just an idea to try out if it fits for you. I have had to do a lot of work listening to and soothing my inner child to heal the damage done by my biological father. I've found reparenting that part of me really helpful and beneficial, since sometimes it helps me access feelings, thoughts and needs I wasn't fully aware of. Hope you're able to feel through all the feels, confusing though they may be. Just remember, they don't have to make sense, all you have to do is let them be and move through.



Thank you for giving me something to think about.  I appreciate your post, truly.
 
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Trace Oswald wrote:Thank you for giving me something to think about.  I appreciate your post, truly.


Of course. Hope it helps. I really admire and appreciate you for sharing about what you're going through and having the strength and wisdom to seek support. I think most people consider moving through feelings (especially about hard things) to be so mundane, that they don't think it matters or that it's "work", even though it's hugely important and hard work. That or they just avoid the uncomfortable feelings. Either way, I think talking about things like this can help everyone in their journey to be more in touch with their inner world. And to be more compassionate to themselves and others. It certainly takes away the charge from the feelings and makes them more manageable.
 
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Just remember that you are allowed to feel however you feel about this.  Any response you feel is your natural human response and nothing to question or judge.  

I lost my birth father when I was very young and my second dad more than a decade ago. I was very close to both men (a long dreamed of first born child to the first and very compatible spirits with the second) Even to this day I will have moments that surprise me with how aware of their absence I am. For me grief mostly feels like a wistful longing for missed chances.
 
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Casie Becker wrote:JFor me grief mostly feels like a wistful longing for missed chances.



This really resonates.
 
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I'm sorry for your loss, Trace. As Casie said, when someone is finally gone the chance that things might get put right disappears. And even if you don't get along, it is still a parent; I forget who said it, parents are a wall between us and death, and when they go part of our defenses are gone. I lost a father I didn't get along with, and it still was devastating.
Take care of yourself, and I wish you healing.
 
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grief is complicated. my father-in-law, who my wife has been intentionally estranged from for years, passed this spring, and while she did enjoy some level of closure, it was rough for her too. for all that adult you is ready, or even eager, for that transition, on some level the little kid who used to idolize them is still there hurting. i don’t know that it’s ever easy.

i hope it passes gently for you, trace.
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss, Trace. You did well to talk about it rather than pretend you're not feeling. Feeling nothing in a situation like this? Unfortunately it's not going to happen, even if we think we've processed all our feelings and come to terms with what happened.

The death of a parent always brings up a mix of emotions. Grief for the loss of the relationship we had. Grief for the relationship we hoped for but didn't have. The misplaced guilt that kids always feel, blaming ourselves for what happened, that somehow it's our fault and if only we'd tried harder the relationship would have been fine. Anger that the parent failed to be what we needed them to be when we were a kid.

There's going to be the grief you maybe didn't let yourself feel or show at the time he first left, too. Early teens is a tough age for a dad you idolized to leave you. And there could be anger too, for all the times he didn't turn up when he said he would. Having a great stepdad is a huge blessing, but won't stop the grief and anger the boy you were felt and maybe bottled up over for the loss of the dad you had as a little kid and thought you could trust and rely on.

It helps not to judge our feelings at times like this, but let ourselves feel whatever it is we feel.  Give yourself grace and love.  
 
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Hi,  Thank you for sharing your feelings.  They are truly your feelings and thoughts. Many people will see your post and feel so unable to open up with you.
Remember the goods times we had? Remember the Picnics and movies and .....   Some are frightened of death, some get despondent, others see it as a time of comming together once more.  I thank you for reminding me that I'll see my mom with Jesus.  Only word of advice I give is to keep both hands on the wheel and see where you are driving.  Otherwise feel, live , and look around. There will be time in the future to evaluate and change things to what you like and don't.  I see myself becomming more like my dad, yet fight the things I hated in him. Theese and many more thoughts by all who read your post are brought into the light. After all, some ammount of time has passed and reflection will be brought up because of a person such as yourself. Others are with you, even if they can't express it.
 
Trace Oswald
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Thanks all of you for your kind words.  You all had a lot more insight into what is going on with me than I did.

I've been reflecting a lot on what all of you have said.  I'm thinking I need to get on my motorcycle for a few days and just go.  Riding by myself with no destination or expectations helps me figures things out sometimes.  It's a pleasant change to go and just see what happens, rather than having to plan things, get things done, finish work that I need to do, all the every day things.

I do appreciate very much all of you that took time to share your thoughts with me.  
 
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Awww, Trace. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Life really is very messy, but sometimes, I think death is messier - especially for those who have to keep living, afterward. I hope it all resolve as smoothly as possible for you, but please remember to keep taking good care of you, as you sort it all out. ~hugs~
 
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Hello....
My-condolences.jpg
[Thumbnail for My-condolences.jpg]
 
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