My Father Died: When A Widow Loses A Parent

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My father died over the winter. He had a very short bout with pancreatic cancer and then passed away.

Losing a parent is heartbreaking. I have gone through millions of moments with my dad in my mind since then, both good and bad. 

The Best Times With My Dad

I remember him taking me into the ocean as a little girl and eating knishes with him at the snack bar of our beach club on Long Island. 

I remember all the times he made me laugh. He could be very funny. 

I remember being his partner on his boat. We both loved being on the ocean. He even taught me how to fish. 

I remember the two of us going down a very crazy waterslide on a trip to Florida when my mom and sister chickened out. We were the brave ones!

I remember him dancing and being so happy at my Sweet 16, and again at my wedding.

I remember what a wonderful grandpa he was. He adored all four of his grandchildren and was able to make them each feel special in different ways.

I remember when, after my husband died, he worried about me and my girls and did what he could to keep us safe.

My Father Died And He Wasn’t Perfect, As No One Is

Sometimes we look back at people we lost and see them through rose-colored glasses. My husband wasn’t perfect, my dad wasn’t perfect, and I am not perfect.

My teenage years were very rough on my relationship with my father. We did NOT see eye-to-eye. This was something we were both able to laugh at later in life.

I’d say white, and he would say black. I don’t think he understood how important my social life was to me. I was often found in my yellow and orange bedroom with the door closed and the phone attached to my ear. He did not appreciate that and just didn’t understand my teenage mind.

I didn’t get why he was always yelling at me. In my eyes, I was doing nothing wrong. But I think in his, I was pulling away from him, but he just didn’t know how to express that.

We had our issues but he was always there when I needed him. As I got older, our relationship greatly improved.

Loss Of A Parent After The Loss Of A Spouse

My father died when he was 79. That’s not old. I wish he lived another 20 years. We should all live well into our 90s, but life doesn’t work that way. 

I would love to have more time with him. It would be great to see him dance at my daughters’ weddings, just like he did at mine.

It’s the circle of life. Your parents are supposed to die before you do. Unfortunately, sometimes the circle gets a crack. My circle had a big one.

My husband died at 48. He wasn’t able to see his daughters grow up, he couldn’t dance at their bat mitzvahs, and won’t at their weddings. My girls cannot have so many of the father-daughter moments that I had. I can’t be an empty-nester with him and we cannot move on to the next stage of life and retirement together. 

To me, that is a tragedy.

The loss of my dad is very sad because I miss him, as does the rest of my family. But I like to look at it from another perspective as well. I am happy for him that he lived such a full life. He and my mom were able to retire, travel, and relax together. We even all went on a few amazing family trips. He saw his grandchildren grow up. He had lazy days alone on the boat. I love that he lived for all of that. 

I only hope now that he and my husband are somewhere smoking a joint together, which they often did when they were both still with us. Ssh don’t tell anyone.


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