Losing a parent is one of the most difficult things in the world and people want to know how to deal with it. It’s strange that I have seen family and friends lose parents but haven’t heard much from them about what it’s been like.

When my grandparents died, I knew it was hard for my dad losing his father and my mom losing her mother.. But I never saw them cry or exhibit pain over their loss. I assumed that because they were elderly when they died, losing them was just a part of growing older and that people had it in them to deal with that.

I’m learning it’s not as easy as people make it seem to be. It doesn’t matter how old you or your parents are when they die, their passing is one of the most difficult things in the world to deal with. And it seems that it doesn’t matter what culture you come from, people tend to hold in their emotions while in front of others. People seem to think that they need to be strong for others. I know I’ve done this. I don’t want my own children to know I’m in pain over the loss of their grandfather. I don’t think they’ve seen me cry over his loss. If they are around and my father is brought up, I’ll put on a strong face, and even a smile, and talk about him lovingly. But then I may need to rush somewhere away from them to let go of the tears in private.

So does it get any easier almost a year? Not really. Not for me. I had a couple of good months where I felt the pain was easing. Most significantly, I stopped thinking of my father as often as  the dying man, feeling his last heartbeat and as the dead man lying on the hospital bed all covered in white. That phase was one of the most difficult. Perhaps one or two months after his death I started getting the more normal images of my father when I thought of him: my father walking into the house and talking my head of about just whatever, my father sitting in his favorite spot on the sofa watching TV, my father telling one of his rambling stories and laughing at his own jokes. Although the weeping hadn’t stopped, it became less frequent and less intense.

But it seems that I’m going through another phase of intensity again. Maybe as it is approaching one year since his passing.  It started a few weeks ago and it’s getting worse. Almost everything reminds me of my dad. I think a lot in my head and somehow most of my thought processes end up leading me to my father even when they start out having nothing to do with him at all. And the minute the thought of him comes into my head that’s it. It’s  particularly worse in the mornings while I’m driving to work. But it can happen almost anytime

The dreams have been intense as well. I dream about him a lot. In all the dreams I can remember, he’s at the funeral home. Sometimes he’s awake  and I feel relief that his death was just a big mix-up. It never really happened. Other times it’s as if he wants to tell me he’s all right. In the same dream but in another instance, my father was standing in our backyard with his arms open for me. He said that he is happy Jahan and Sahana will have a new baby, and he will always watch them play. He had a huge smile on his face. He was happy and he wanted me to know that. I just cant help but feel emotional knowing my dad will never meet this grandchild and come to the hospital and see me and his new grandbaby like he has. These thoughts just break me.

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It must be important for our subconscious mind to convince itself that our loved ones are in a better place. This must be part of the healing process. I wake up from these dreams missing my fa ther terribly but feeling happy for him. It does help to see him in my dreams.

I wish people shared more the things they go through when they experience happy and difficult times. So many things we go through are just a normal part of this journey and sharing those things and having people share them with you helps you along the way.

Losing my father when I was at the ripe age of 36 was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to deal with.  Being able to share has made it just a tiny bit easier. I hope someone out there finds solace in relating to my experiences.

  1. Well said Tash. It is touching to read what you wrote. I do believe that our dear parents that passed on, is in a better place. We miss them and they come in our dreams to let us know that they are ok.
    I have dreams of my parents frequently and I am always so happy to remember those dreams. I think their way of communicating with me.
    Prior to your Mom inviting me to the Gurudwara for the prayers in memory of your dad. I had a dream of your dad giving a feast in the Gurudwara. When I called your Mom to tell her what I dreamt she said that she had already arranged to do that. That was amazing. Your dad will always guide you even though he is not physically here.

  2. Nitasha very well written. It is very hard to forget your dad, he was so full of life. He was the envy of many people because he decided to live and enjoy life while everybody else was busy hoarding money. He had a good balance. We will miss him forever and keep him tucked in our hearts.

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