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Real Dad Dead - Am I meant to be Sad?

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Found out my read Dad died today, well he died in 09, i found out today. Its all a bit strange and Im not sure what i should feel.

Im early 50s. My real Dad buggered off before i was born, and we've had no contact at all since. All these years Ive strongly felt why should i ever reach out, he was the one that left etc. However I tentatively reached out to one of his/our relatives via FB about a year ago and heard nothing back.

I beat myself up for reaching out, why give him that satisfaction, etc. Then today one of those Find My Family websites has a free weekend offer, so I searched for him and found out he died back in 2009. And now Im sad. And then Im angry at myself for being sad. Is it even sad, i dunno what it is, regret? No i dont think its regret, or is it...

Anyone had something similar? What am i meant to feel?
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  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    Anyone had something similar? What am i meant to feel?
    Confused is probably a fairly normal reaction.
    There's a lot of 'what might have been' in our thoughts when we find a previously unknown parent (or grandparent, in my case). 

  • annabanana82
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    I imagine you may feel a loss of the relationship that never was and now never will be rather than grieving for the person. 

    I only recently realised that my Great Grandmother died in 96, as I'd never met her I always assumed she'd died before I was born. 
    Whilst I get the family reasons we never met, I did feel a little cheated especially as my grandparents on that side I never met but that was due to them passing away many years ago


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  • SamGFields
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    Confused.

    Yes, that's the tree i couldn't see for the forest. Confused i am.

  • SamGFields
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    Whilst I get the family reasons we never met, I did feel a little cheated



    Aye that comes into it, a lot. The things i was told about him, really bad things, but was that a disgruntled mother (She died when i was 15) or was it true. And now i'll never know. But if id wanted to know idve reached out long ago, and i didn't. so...

    Lesson is i think, or at least for me, i wish id remained ignorant. Leastways thats how i feel right now after 2 bottles of Aldi ale. :-)


  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    The things i was told about him, really bad things, but was that a disgruntled mother (She died when i was 15) or was it true. And now i'll never know.
    Not necessarily - I've found people who knew my grandfather and other members of his family so got to know something about that genetic line. 
    The one thing I really wanted to find was a photo but no luck with that so far.
    Give yourself time for things to work through - expect to flip back and forth between emotions until you find a settled point.
  • JReacher1
    JReacher1 Posts: 4,652 Forumite
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    He never tried to make contact with you when he was alive and never even had the decency to get someone to notify you when he died. Plus his family who you contacted last year didnt even bother to tell you he had died. 

    He doesn’t sound like anyone worthy of feeling sad about. You’re probably better off never knowing him. 
  • SamGFields
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    JReacher1 said:
    He never tried to make contact with you when he was alive and never even had the decency to get someone to notify you when he died. Plus his family who you contacted last year didnt even bother to tell you he had died. 

    He doesn’t sound like anyone worthy of feeling sad about. You’re probably better off never knowing him. 

    Aye, that's it. That's how ive always felt, so a wee blip now, thats normal,  i'm over that,  he's gone and its his lose.

    I think we'd get on if we ever met at some random bar :-) Thanks.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,198 Forumite
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    To be fair, your mix of emotions would not be unknown following the death of a parent with whom one has had a life-long relationship, so truly don't beat yourself up for feeling or not feeling anything. 

    I hope you can find people you can talk to, here or IRL, without needing to down too many bottles of ale or other intoxicating substances ... 
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  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,960 Forumite
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    Difficult. 

    As someone who really wished the man on my birth cert wasn't my father; I now know he was genetically. Despite that I "relate" to his wider family. 

    And on the other side, discovered that the grandfather who (vaguely) "died in WW2", lived another couple of decades. I feel for his children some of whom only have one memory of him, when he left the family. One of the consequences was also that they were largely cut off from his family.

    You never had "a dad" or at least this man as a "dad". It is normal to grieve what you didn't have when you discover that the option is no longer there. And its normal to be angry about lost chances even when you are grieving someone you knew and loved. 

    You'll have different feelings at different times; all of which will be valid. Maybe learn to listen to them to work out what they tell you about your unmet needs as a child, and maybe some will simply be how you feel today. Just be gentle with yourself.


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