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Only child and complicated relationship with late father


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My dad died two months ago. He had a heart attack and we thought he'd be fine. Then he had a mini-stroke and we thought he at least survived it and we'll find a way to rehabilitate him.
He then had a massive stroke that led to a coma, lasting 10 days and ending in death.

Growing up, I had a difficult relationship with him. He was strict and I was troubled. 
After I moved away from college I became a new person and so we started a new relationship.

We were actually always similar, so without the issues between us we were as close as possible.
I'd go as far as saying that in the last few years of his life, we were peas in a pod, understanding each other better than anyone else. It was the biggest, strongest love I had.

I'm not sure what hurts more - the fact that we spent years in conflict and at a distance, or the fact that we later grew so close - and then I just lost him.

I'm an only child and that makes me scared even more.

I feel like a protective layer around me has been torn apart. Like I lost an anchor and am just floating around aimlessly. The world now seems like an empty place and I'm cut off from all its roads.

I feel guilty, angry, embarassed, broken and torn apart in every possible way. 

I don't see how should I go on with life - nor why. He helped me so much with my mental health and now that he's gone, apparently it's gone as well.
As is my sense of purpose and belonging in this world.

He had more will to live and was a happier person than I ever was. It would only be fair if I died instead.
Just to note - I'm not suicidal, but I still think it would be fair if this happened to me rather than him.

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Dear Bubbles6,

My deepest sympathies and condolences. I am so sorry for your loss. Everything you have expressed is very normal and natural part of grief. Losing a parent levels all of us like thing can. We all feel like we've entered a black hole and nothing will be right again. Please know you are not alone and there are many people who can identify with what you are going through. When you feel like it or when you feel ready maybe consider talking to a grief counsellor or joining a support group through church or in the community.

 I also found these websites helpful in understanding my grief.

What's Your Grief

Grief in Common

Grief Healing Blog.

Sorry for your pain and sorrow. Please know we are with you.

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Hi Bubbles, 

I relate so much to what you are going through. I am an only child and grew up with a single mother. We had a very complicated relationship and didn't become close til I was 22. I lost her when I was 23 after I moved away for college. 

I came to this site seeking comfort and advice myself. It's been 17 months for me and the way I "act" and "present" myself has improved, but the emptiness and sadness is just as real as day one. 

I'm sorry I don't have more advice for you. All I can share is that it fucking sucks and isn't fair. But you are not the only one who feels this way. You are not the only one going through hardship. You're situation is unique, just as each individual on here, but you are not alone. Let yourself feel. Let yourself cry. Let yourself scream and feel sorry for yourself. Just make sure you get up every day, and do the things you need to do, and love the people you do have as deeply as you can. 

I don't know if it "gets better", but love your dad every day, because even though he isnt here on earth, the love is still there. 

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Dear Bubbles, 

My deepest sympathy for what has happened. It has just been 2 months so the wounds are still raw. I can understand as Im also an only child. My mum passed on right about a yr ago in the worst way possible and I feel ripped by guilt and blamed by relatives. My dad has dementia and Im trying to find ways to work and cope while looking after him and waiting for a home

It's difficult because your parents are your dearest and no one else shares your same experiences unlike those with siblings. We had all been teens and everyone's been through that rebellious phase and Im sure your dad understands because he would have been through it himself. Like you, Im very close to my mum, as a friend and soulmate because my mum is more highly educated than my dad so we talk about current affairs and things like that. I do buy back food and stuffs for my parents, although it was only in the last 5 yrs that I started having more financial capability to do so. And when my mum got diagnosed with lung cancer it was a  bad year for me, I changed through many jobs so I got her very worried. In the end we got tricked by the doctors and did the op and she ended up suffering. Im still sorting this out with the hospitals for negligence.

Coming back to your dad....... be glad that he came into your life and became your dad and imparted you lessons, experiences and things both tangible and intangible that you would otherwise have not experienced - like fatherly love and concern. My mum was also the emotional bond/pillar of the family while my dad worked. My parents were both responsible people and more happy or contented with life than I am. They always had to clean up the shiet after me (literally and figuratively).

Your dad would have wanted you to live on, and live your life to the fullest. Make him proud, for his blood runs in you. Do what you think he would have wanted you to do. You need to fight on and live well - you are his greatest project so be his greatest achievement. We are all fighting on. Until the day we breathe our last and meet them again.


Nothing is fair in life and certainly your dad would not have wanted you to take his place. He would be absolutely smashed if this happened. So you need to drop the thoughts and stay alive for him. I remember when I asked my mum if she forgave me. She nodded. Im sure your dad doesnt blame you for anything. He's still around you I believe, if you are ever in doubt just try talking to him like you did in the past.

It takes a long time to heal. Meanwhile, try to do things like sports, or participate in activities to help people or take up a hobby. Take care and do your best :)

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