My Dad passed away a little over a year ago after a 13-year battle with cancer. Everyone in my family mourns him, but I never grieved and all I feel is relief. It doesn’t hurt me the way it does my siblings…it really doesn’t hurt me at all.
I’ve never been that close to my Dad and even though everyone said he loved me dearly it rarely ever showed once I passed a certain age. All I remember after about age 7 is trying to avoid him as much as possible (he tried to throw me out of the house at 7 while my mother just stood there and watched). After that, the same type of interactions were common between us. He would throw a knife at me, shove me into counters, completely lose his temper over something as simple as asking to stay after at school. But this only happened to me. He doted on the younger three.
Everyone expects me to be upset and sad and cry. But I can’t. Everyone keeps saying what a good guy he was and how they “know how much I must miss him.” But I don’t! And it makes me angry to hear everyone say that. All I feel is relief that he is gone. It sounds awful and I feel like I’m a bad daughter and older sister for thinking that. I’ve not told anyone in my family this. Is this a normal response to the death of a parent? And to feel guilt that I am not sad at all about his death? (From Guam)My Dad Died, But All I Feel Is Relief
My Dad Died, But All I Feel Is Relief
This is very normal when your father throws a knife at you, shoves you into counters, and rages at you for no reason. A parent that tries to throw a 7-year-old out of their house isn’t someone that has done a good job being a parent with his daughter. Feeling relieved when he passed makes sense. How could you miss someone that has mistreated you so badly?
Others in your family don’t know — so it is hard for them to grasp the lack of feeling. Perhaps when you are ready you may explain what is going on with a trusted sibling. This should help them understand your reactions