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Dad died suddenly 'alcoholism - only child


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Hi all. I'm new to this site, looking for some support. I'm an only child of a divorced couple who were both such awesome parents. When I was 15, my mom moved out and it was just me and my dad for the next 5 years.

My dad, Ron, was a people person- he was hilarious, sensitive, level headed, open hearted, goofy, hard working and had a huge soft spot for me- his only daughter.

My mother had always told me she left my father because she needed to stop drinking and althought they remained on good terms, my father was devastated. My dad drank a lot of beer, never hard liquor. I only have a few memories of my mom being drunk when I was younger- she just now celebrated eleven years sober which is awesome. At the time, me and my dad just thought it was her "mid life crisis", it was always me and him vs her.

As I grew my dads house kinda turned into a party house, big, semi secluded, my dad was cool with me smoking cigs weed and having parties, but I never let them get outta control.

Soon, he was partying with us, tending to our drunk/hi munchies and making us all food having a blast. Those were really the best years of my life.

When I was about 19, I stopped going to college and attended cosmetology school in the city. Living in NJ, my dad would take me to the train in the morning and lick me up at night.

At about that time he lost his job. He drank more. He smoked more cigs, he encouraged me to drink and smoke with him. Soon he wasn't able to wake up and take me to the train he'd be so hung over. Or I'd get home at night and no one would be there, so I'd walk half a mile to the bar and he's be there usually in the middle of a story with a crowd around him making people laugh. I couldn't hate him.

I told my mom and approached my fathers sister about my concerns for my dad. My mom would never speak badly about him and just tried to be the stable parent- plus I wouldn't want to bad mouth him too much to her either. My aunt though, showed no concern and said he was just going through a hard time and I needed to let him do his thing.

A month later I found our house was being foreclosed.

I had to move out.

I had just been hired by one of the best salons in NYC.

I got a place and moved out all on my minimum wage pay.

My dad ended up living in filth.

In someone's basement on a pull out couch next to a boiler room. I stayed there on Christmas.

He was drinking and smoking so much.

after my best friend passed away of a heroin overdose/suicide, we all went to a bar in my hometown where I ran into my father at 11 am after the funeral.

His health deteriorated and he was a shell of a man. I was horrified and kept my distance- the man I loved so much had become so frail and anxious- literally shaking.

Two years later my aunt who had dismissed my concerns is now asking me to lie to my father to stage an intervention literally on my birthday. This plan was never acted on, but I was horrified at her request and coldness.

Regardless, my dad got well and quit drinking and got an amazing job where he was making 100,000 a year. He got promoted. Then while I was at work, I had 6 missed phone calls from my aunt j. I called her back no answer. No answer. No answer. I called my cousin- she hadn't heard from my aunt- so it wasn't my gramma- I knew in my gut then. I knew.

She called me back finally- and said "your father had an accident today. This morning. It was fatal" those words. I collapsed. My friend came and got my from work.

It was night. How had he been dead all day? But he just got better? He's been better. Like a year sober. A while anyway.

My friends have supported me and my boyfriends tried but he's at the end with my depression. It's now June and I feel worse than ever. I've lost so much weight. Being a stylist I front all day like I'm happy when I'm dying on the inside. Plus my boss just found out his mother has terminal cancer and the other co workers mother died two years ago. I feel like people always tell me I'm so strong. But I feel it catching up. I'm scared. I want to die. I don't know what to do. I go to a psychiatrist. I don't understand why I'm so not myself anymore. Will I ever be happy again?

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I am so very sorry about the loss of your father. You will be happy again in time, but it may take a while. Along with going to a psychiatrist, have you considered group therapy or self help groups to deal with your grief and emotions? Normally, funeral homes have grief groups that are available to the public. You may want to look into something like that. We know that talking is the best way to heal, so talking in a group may be just the thing for you.


We will be here for you,


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Thanks a lot for reaching out. I appreciate it. I just got my own apartment this year as well as opened my own salon in soho so I feel like I've just been drowning myself in work and staying busy. I'm scared I've suppressed my feelings so much- people forget the hell I'm going through. But on the other hand I don't want to seem like a downer or like I'm milking it( it sounds so stupid when I say it out loud...), but I don't like having a negative effect on the people around me. I've been strong. But those closest to me- mainly my boyfriend and my mother are just over it. I Know I take it out on them as well as my partner and boss ... Just seems more upsetting. I've since quit smoking and rarely drink... I get too depressed... I tried looking up groups, but being a hairstylist I usually work from 10-9 or 10, so it's been so difficult. I feel so lost with no support

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Mkd, I am so sorry to hear about your father. Grief is not an easy road: I know as my mom passed away last October.


But I do want to begin by saying that you and your dad have much to be proud of. Your dad certainly picked himself up and turned himself around. That's not an easy feat. I imagine that the stress of it all may have done him in at the end. But you know--he tried: which is more than what so many others too. Brava to you too for plugging on: I'm sure your dad would be proud as both of you seem to share the same bold spirit!  At the end of the day, I think you can say that his life ended on a positive note. It is sad; why couldn't he live longer to enjoy it? But at least you know that he tried: and more importantly, you know that both of you shared a very loving father and daughter relationship.


Of course, the realization doesn't always take away the pain. I know this personally. I had mostly a great relationship with my mother; we did have our conflicts, but she was my mentor, best friend, and really, my only balm and comfort through the years. When I'm depressed, I try to tell myself that my mom and I had a very pleasant weekend the day before she succumbed to her fatal stroke that killed the following week; that our last words to each other were "I love you." I tell myself we were fortunate to have such a great relationship that so many mothers and daughters don't always share. Sometimes, I'll look fondly on all those days we enjoyed in NYC during my childhood and in recent years. And sometimes it pains me that we will never share them again--never try another restaurant in the Greenwich village area where I teach. Never window shop at Bergdorf's and Saks. Never hit the Met museum of Art. Never go to the Bronx Zoo or the Botanic Garden where I used to go w/ mom all the time when I was growing up.  But I am also glad that I got to experience so much with her.


I second Mod Konnie. I would also like to suggest the Good Samaritans: I actually got them while trying to find a grief hotline for folks wanting to discuss the death of a parent. I Unfortunately, there are no such hotlines--so I called a suicide hotline which turned out to be the GS. I told them I was not in danger of committing suicide; but that I wanted to talk to someone badly so we were on the phone for about 30 minutes. Afterwards, I felt as if an unbearable load had been lifted from me. That day was not the last of its sort; but knowing this option exists makes me feel easier; that there is someone I can reach out to--and not feel too embarrassed.


Not least, there is always this site if you prefer to write; I usually feel relief and comfort here--and have also met some really wonderful folks here too. I've discovered that it feels good not only to be comforted but to comfort others too. 

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Mdk152, I'm so sorry for your loss. You have everything to be proud of your dad. I know many alcoholics that died without having the will to stop till it's too late. Your dad was sober at one point. You described your dad's personality and he sounds like a dad I would've liked to have. I envy you. My dad died when I was a baby. 


You will be happy one day. I joined this site recently because I needed support. My mom recently passed on March 13. It's not easy at all. It's very helpful here. I have good days and bad days. You can write about your feelings, how your day went and just rant. Nobody will judge you here. We're here to listen to you and give you support.


Take care 


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Thank you all so much for reaching out. Retz- I'm familiar with AA and have been to meetings myself. I understand as much as possible but so much is left unanswered. Like, he knew he had co festive heart failure- why go u treated? May- I'm so sorry for your loss too my friend. Sudden deaths are traumatizing. I lost my best friend to suicide three years ago in March out of no where. I feel like since I've been going to a therapist and a psychiatrist I've felt better. I was never one for anti depressants, I felt like I should just tough it out and feel all the feelings and was scared of numbing myself, but I took my first dose of Viibryd today and it really makes a difference. I know it takes a while for the side effects to subside- like i pulled at work and feel very awake at 11:07... But I think it will help...

Although my dad was "broke" we've found that random large 4-5 figure deposits and withdrawals have been made from his account usually biannually- he was never on drugs besides weed, you couldn't spend that on women, and he wouldn't- so me and my mother assume gambling??? She would never speak badly about him although they divorced... It's just so hard when you find out this whole other side of someone you learned everything from.

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