Our parents shape our thoughts, our values and the trajectory of our lives. Therefore, it is not surprising that the loss of any family member, let alone a parental figure is devastating. Your whole world shifts and suddenly you are forced to navigate this world without guidance. Yet, the pain of losing an estranged father is like a barbed arrow. What ensues is unresolved pain, anger and confusion.
When I was 19, my father disappeared out of my life as a result of an affair. I’d see him here or there at family functions once or twice a year. I tried to reach out to him, but he never responded so I was left feeling dejected and unwanted. When I was 26, my father died because his brain tumor spread throughout his vital organs. I tried desperately to properly mourn the death of my father.