What I Wish My Dad Knew

Vested Partners A Multi-Family Office Blog

Would he like me better if he knew me now?

My first experience with death was when my grandfather died in a car accident when I was 12.  Death was a shock.  It was raw.  My brain couldn’t compute how a person was alive one moment, and gone in the next. I actively mourned for a year.  I developed little rituals where I told myself when I completed the ritual, I would be released from my sadness.  Simple rituals like plucking petals from a flower.  The rituals didn’t work, but time did soothe the rawness of the grief.

My next experience with death came 7 years later, when I was in my second year of college.  This time death came slower, with a diagnosis of cancer for my father who had a glioblastoma.  Surgery and radiation were attempted, but there was no hope, and my father died that tragic, wasting death that cancer causes over about 6 months.

Sometimes I think of my grandfather and father, but especially my father, and wish they had lived to see what I have accomplished.  You see while my grandfather and I had a special relationship, one where he wasn’t shy to express his affection for me, my father and I lacked a bond.  I found him to be gruff and demanding.  He found me to be lacking in respect.  I did not think I missed a relationship with my dad. My life was otherwise full of loving connections with family members.

But as an adult, my mind sometimes wanders to him, and I wish he knew what I accomplished after he died. Because in adulthood, I believe I checked off most of the boxes he considered to be the symbols of success.  From education to career to family.  Dad would have admired all of those things. I feel an urge to get a message to him – look, Dad, I did good!

But still, I’m surprised it’s important to me.





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