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Dad’s dying

Man with no name
Community Member

I’ve just found out my dad only has a couple of weeks to live. We’ve only spoke a couple of times in the last 20 years. He was an alcoholic, I got sick and tired of making all of the effort so I just stopped calling him. He never called me.

now the time comes and I’ve thought about this many times over the years, what would I do when he gets sick/dies?

I don’t know. Do I visit him? Do I go to the funeral? Do I just continue on like the last 20 years and not do anything?

5 Replies 5

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi there

Im sorry to read this. It must be confusing and difficult right now. I wonder if there’s anything you feel like you need or want to say to him? I guess there’s an opportunity for closure of some kind. How do you think it would feel to make the effort again?

Kind thoughts to you, Katy

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi man with no name

I’m really sorry to hear about your father’s terminal illness. I can certainly understand your mixed emotions and angst about what to do next. I really feel for you.

Your father was far from perfect, like all of us, and he hurt you. I’m so sorry for that. My father was also an alcoholic so I understand some of your pain.

I guess the thing to remember is that once your dad’s gone, that’s it. I know you know that rationally, but it’s possible that only when you experience the finality of his death will you truly understand it. It’s a powerful punch in the gut, estranged or not (I have now lost all my parents).

Right now you have a window of opportunity. There may be something you need to know. Something you need to say. Something you need to give.

If you feel the pull, it’s okay to go to him now. If it doesn’t feel right, that’s okay too. Listen to your heart because the answer is there.

I’d like to share a story …

My step-father was estranged from his daughter for about 15 years. He was terminal in hospital but fighting to stay. His daughter arrived and they shared some precious time. He left later that night. He didn’t give up, he was released.

I am eternally grateful to her and remain in awe of her courage. I don’t know if she came for him or herself but it really doesn’t matter—they both needed the reconnection. He needed it to go, she needed it to carry on.

I have no idea how a visit would turn out for you and your dad but it could help you both to heal your wounded hearts.

Kind thoughts to you

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Man with no name,

I had been estranged from my family for many years. My father would not phone me, or anything, but when I contacted him, then his response was too hurtful to ever try again.

When I heard from my sis that he was dying, I could not bring myself to go to him, whether or not he would have recognised me or not. So, what I o regret is that my sis was his carer for several years, & I could not help. It was hard for her, with his personality, & behaviour.

When he died I felt nothing. Not much now, but that we never had the relationship that would have been good for both of us. None of us kids had that. I feel my sis is a much better person than I am for caring for him like she did while raising a son as well.

I like what Summer Rose has written, & would suggest you read through it carefully. When they are gone, we don't get a re-do.

Summer Rose's post would have been very useful to me 15 years ago. I am living with my decision, but still wonder, what if.

I wish you all the best.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Man with no name,

Im so sorry to hear of your Dad.

Im really sorry you didn’t have a lot of contact with him, I understand he was an alcoholic and you felt like you made all the effort.

Maybe you could try to forgive yourself and your Dad for the past and make the decision to see him before he passes.

He may just be happy to see you before the time comes…. Maybe there is unanswered questions you both may have that may not get another chance to be said?


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Man with no name, I respect what those above me have said and honour their thoughts responsibly if however, you have tried to make all the effort to contact him with no response and have only talked twice in the last 20 years, then his desire was only to be an alcoholic and had no respect for what you have done in the past, then a decision to go would be to support those who were going if that's how you feel.

If you do go, then remember that the eulogies said at the funeral you may or may not like what's being said and need to take this into account, but you are justified on what decision you make.

Best wishes.