The after-effects of losing a parent.

How does death change your perspective?

Death has irrevocably changed me and I will never be the same again.

Having lost my Dad – my hero – has now meant my journey through life has a tear through it.

I am now the before and after of myself.

Before – when I had my Dad around.

Before – when we’d Facetime every single day and cheekily gang up on Mom – who doesn’t understand the nuances of subtle sarcasm and dry English humour.

Before, when anything that caught my attention, made me laugh or was something I was questioning; my automatic response was to hit “Dad” on my phone contacts and talk to him; sometimes just for a moment “Haha – you dickhead!” Dad would laugh and hang up, leaving me smiling and shaking my head in amusement…or sometimes for hours when the Philosopher in me met with the Philosopher in Dad and together we’d “unpack” ideas and come up with plans, share stories and debate morals and values.

Before…when I could hear Dad singing along to his favourite songs on the radio in his deep, gruff voice.

And after.

After being tossed and turned in the 80-foot wave that suddenly appeared and changed the landscape of everything I thought I knew into one of swirling sand, rough seas and struggling for breath I wasn’t even sure I wanted to take.

After…when I hated the sun for daring to rise when only hours before, my Dad had been torn from life. I couldn’t believe people still went to work that day. I was so angry and dismayed that bins got collected, cafes opened, people strolled in parks or swam in beaches. People everywhere going about their days – unaware that the entire world was…without.

How could this be? Didn’t they know? Wasn’t the world told? My Dad just died!!! How was everything ok???

After...when I’d ring Dad anyway…crying from the depths of my soul at his familiar voicemail greeting “Hello…this is Gerry Daniels from Scarborough painting. I’m not available just now, but if you would please leave your name and number, I shall endeavour to return your call…*shuffling noises* um…how do I turn this thing off?”


After…when I’d look with a broken heart at all the photos I have of my Dad, and rifle gently through the letters he’s written me over the years; crying because his dear face and scraggly handwriting are so familiar and yet, I’ll never see Dad’s face again in my lifetime. I’ll never get another silly card in the post from him again. I wish I’d kept more of them, I really do.

After…when certain smells…these unsuspecting wafts of scents belonging to faded memories would hit my brain like hammers, sending me spiraling into a dark abyss of pain that felt like my bones were being twisted. Paint tins, Old spice,worn leather seats, Guinness, meat pies, sun cream…all of these were innocent at one time, but now, all had sharp edges… punching painful holes between my ribs and my heart.

There is only before and after now.

Nothing else.

Oh Shoot. It’s taken me this long to realise I haven’t answered the “prompt” yet.

How has losing my Dad changed my perspective?

It’s split me into the girl before…and the emptier version after.

That’s the effect losing a parent has had on me.

32 responses to “The after-effects of losing a parent.”

  1. I wish I had a recording of my dads voice or a video but there was no technology then available or it was so expensive. What you described resonates so much with me. I would be listening to the recording non stop though and I just can’t imagine….. it’s also painful the familiar voice there but not the person you can hold on to. Heartbreaking 💔

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so sorry that you don’t have a recording of your Dad. It is painful to hear my Dad’s voice…but there is also a strange joy about being able to, even with tears running down my face. I so wish I could give that experience to you, Shanti. I’m so sorry you lost your Dad, too. It is an unbearable pain, truly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re one of the few people who understand the true depth of the pain mixed with joy of having the privilege of having such an amazing dad

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I honestly wish you didn’t understand and that your Dad was alive and well…but I’m so thankful that you understand me. I’m not alone in my grief and I so appreciate that about you xx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes I so get that and wish you had your dad with you too 💙

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It is sad that you don’t have the videos of your Dad voice. Try to be closer with your Dad close friends. That will compensate you to some extent. Wish you a happy and safe life

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you so much for your comforting words 🙏🏽

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Janet. This is so, so sad, heartbreaking 💔, actually. I’m so very sorry you lost your dad, with whom you clearly had a wonderful relationship. It’s beautiful, in a way, that you have your dad’s voice on a recording, however painful it must be to listen to. I lost my dad eleven years ago, but we weren’t close, and I didn’t feel the pain of his loss as you did with your dad. I can identify with you saying how wrong it seemed that people were just going about their business only hours after you’d lost your dear dad (and after I lost my Mum). I remember that feeling, too. I felt like my world had stopped dead in its tracks, so why was the rest of the world rushing about, not caring about my (and your) loss?

    I do wish I had a recording of my Mum’s voice, though. It wasn’t something I thought of until after it was too late. I can identify with your ‘before dad’ and ‘after dad’. I feel the same about my Mum. I have some handwritten recipes and a few notes on scraps of paper, which I shall keep forever, but I’d love to hear her voice again.

    Thinking of you, dear friend, as you live with your loss. Your dad sounds like he was a lovely man. Much love to you Xx 💜💛💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello darling Ellie, thank you so much for leaving such a beautiful, caring message on my blog. I love hearing from you, you’re such a blessing.

      I’m so sorry for your loss, I can feel in your words how much you love your Mom and how important she is in your life. I’m so sorry you don’t have a voice recording of her and I’m glad you have handwritten recipes and a few notes from your Mom. When we lose a parent, anything from them suddenly is more precious than gold.

      I’m sending you warm Aussie hugs and will be thinking of you as I go about my day today, Ellie. I’m going to be praying for comfort over your heart and for happiness and success in everything you do xx

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a beautiful and heart-wrenching account of the impact that losing a loved one can have on one’s life. Your words paint a vivid picture of the pain, anger, and emptiness that come with the loss of a parent. It’s clear that your Dad was a major source of love and support in your life, and the memories you shared with him will stay with you forever. The way you describe the feelings that certain smells bring up is particularly powerful, and it shows the depth of your grief. I want you to know that your pain is valid and that you’re not alone in feeling this way. The love you shared with your dad will always be with you, and while the world may never be the same again, you will find a way to heal and move forward in your own way and in your own time. Sending love and strength to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a thoughtful response. My Dad means the world to me and grieving his loss is a constant surprise. I just didn’t know it would hurt this much or this long.


  4. Your words are a poignant and powerful testimony to the immense impact that death can have on our lives. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things to experience, and it’s clear that your Dad was a source of love, laughter, and comfort for you. Your reflection on the before and after of your life is heart-wrenching and relatable to so many who have experienced similar loss. Your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your story is truly touching, and I hope it brings you some comfort and solace knowing that others can relate and support you through this difficult time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for leaving so much love and kindness in your thoughful, caring response. Do you write a personal blog, too? I’ll check your blog page out and try to leave some love and support for you in return xx


      1. Thank you for your kind words! Yes, I do write about Islamic topics on my blog. I am happy to hear that you are interested in checking it out and leaving some love and support. Your encouragement means a lot to me, and I appreciate your kind gesture. Thank you for spreading positivity and kindness in our community.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello there dear. What a really nice story and tribute to all the sights, smells, and feelings that you and your dad shared. Those are the special and unavoidable items that will always be there to remind you of him. Out of no where, a smell or sound pops up and no matter what you are doing your current thoughts are immediately replaced with memories of days gone by that seem as real now as they did when they happened. I am so happy that you have these memories and are able to hold onto them. Thank you for sharing them here as each of us that also has memories of loved ones that have gone are also reminded of our own and transported back in time. My dad was gone in 2008 and I have moments when I am taken back to a moment in time as if it just happened. I hope yours never fade and in the years and decades ahead you are able to feel the same. It is interesting, the feelings that one has when a loved one has passed and the realization that even though yours did, the world did not stop. You are not alone. Thank you again for the very personal and raw story that you have shared. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful Tommy, thank you for reading and for always leaving so much kindness. Your words are like a big hug and I love hugs, so thank you! I’m so sorry you’ve lost your Dad, too. I find it so painful to suddenly be reminded of my Dad in a song, in the afternoon breeze (we call it “the Fremantle Doctor” and I’ve still not figured out why yet), in the smell of a paint tin, when someone walks by wearing ‘old spice’ because Dad loved their brand of soap so much. Thank you for reminding me that I’m so blessed to have had such a good Dad and hold such happy memories. I read somewhere recently that grief is all the love left over that you wanted to give the person who’s passed away. It floors me daily how profoundly painful it is to have this ‘left over love’ that I thought I’d have at least 20 more years to give Dad. You are not alone either and if you ever want to talk about your Dad, Tommy – I would love to hear all about him. I’ve got you, mate.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Same to you, it is good to have support and I appreciate yours. Hugs.


  6. Salm

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Imperfectperfect Avatar

    Every single regret is my after-effect. I wasn’t close to my Dad and we didn’t speak a whole lot as I aged and he aged as well. I lost my dad almost three years ago and I live in constant regret of what if I just did this – what if – I know he’s in heaven and I’ll see him again – but it stinks to live here and know I could have done much different.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry it took me so long to respond to you!!! I can relate to your feelings of guilt and your questions of “what if?” I think they form a large part of what grief is and it’s a painful experience…the “I wish I’d done/said this” 😞 sending you lots of love ❤️


  8. Experiencing death at a young age changed the way I view the rest of my life. Each day truly is a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry you’ve been through that, Andrei. May I ask more about it or is it too painful to speak about? Yes, you’re right…every day really IS a blessing xx


  9. Parents are like a shade tree in life, when this tree does not remain in life, there remains a scorching afternoon from all sides.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can so relate to that, hamadalikhan. Losing my Dad felt like my soul was scorched. Thank you so much for reading and commenting ❤️


      1. Don’t be sad, our parents are with us even after they leave this world, just feel them in you and around you. They are never happy to see us sad so don’t be sad pray for them

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Profoundly painful, yes. Thank you for reading and commenting, it means a lot xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Mom was my biggest fan/collaborator when I lost her at 32…took 8 long years to move past that loss.

    I am grateful for memories, photos, short films of mine she starred in. When I married at 43 I had contemplated being married on what was her birthday but chose the week after, because after thinking hard on it. I didn’t want my anniversary to dredge up unnecessary emotions.

    I did miss her dearly to not have her see me wed.

    Dad on the other hand was a thorn in my side for decades. It wasn’t until my therapist suggested i tear down the steel walls i put up for him. The last 6 months before my Dad got sick and died, were joyful.

    When he died I was 48. It was the lifting of a heavy burden, although as stated we were on good terms before he passed, decades of bad terms doesn’t bring about the same kind of years long grief.
    I miss him, but I miss Mom more.

    His death bummed me out because he didn’t live to see me turn 50. But his parting words were to walk with my head held high and know that he found great happiness in seeing the great happiness in me from my marriage.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Matt…I’m so sorry you lost both your parents. It’s understandable that the loss of your Mom would be much harder on you since you were both so close 😞 I’m so sorry she wasn’t there in person at your wedding, I can’t begin to imagine how painful that must have been. There are no words, sometimes.

      I’m so touched you were able to connect with your Dad before he passed away. That was a huge leap of faith – and probably a big risk with your heart – to allow your Dad to come closer to you. It brought tears to my eyes because time with Dad’s is so precious 💖 I’m so glad you were able to have quality time with your Dad. I really think upon reading your responses that your Memoir would be amazing to read. I’ll wait patiently for it to come out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well the domain on this blog is set to expire in May reverting back to, my paid premium account is set to expire in December if I stick around in 2024, perhaps my arts blog will morp into my memoir.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: