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I’m not sure how to start this post. I’m not even sure I should even be writing it. For those that don’t know, my Dad died Saturday morning. I’ve been struggling with my feelings since hearing news of his illness last week.

Thursday night I went to see him. He was bed ridden and barely able to communicate. However he knew I was there and seemed comforted by my presence. I was able to care for him and help my step mother through that last day.

I’ve been having a whole host of feelings but guilt and regret have been dominating my thoughts. I really withdrew from my Dad these last few years. I didn’t hate him or have much anger towards him. It was much more indifference then anything else.

Our relationship really started deteriorating as I got older and had a child of my own. I really understood less and less the decisions he made as a parent himself. How did he leave us? How did he think that was acceptable? He was never down in the parental trenches with mom raising us and there was more then one occasion I felt like a bother to him. Not to mention the whole weight/body image thing. I just didn’t understand him and I still don’t.

But when I walked into his room Thursday night every bit of misunderstanding, indifference, and alienation flew completely out the window. I saw my Dad and he needed me. That was it. I spent the next 24 hours by his side. Talking with him. Remembering with him. Even laughing when my mom (she’s a nurse) came to help bath and shave him. He had some moments of lucidness and during that time we all had a laugh at the strange awkwardness that was ex-wife, new wife, and estranged daughter caring for him. If you knew our family history you’d be laughing too.

I’m so thankful for those last hours but I can’t help but feel guilt for the last 4 years I avoided him. And, in all honesty, that’s what I did. I just didn’t go out of the way. I couldn’t hide my feelings and when he was around I really shut down emotionally. It was hard for me but now it all seems so ridiculous. I mean, he was my Dad and now he’s gone.

I’m sure my feelings are part of the normal grieving process. I had a nice long conversation with the husband last night. We laughed. We cried, well, I cried. Not to mention all the kind words from all of you. I couldn’t believe the support on facebook and twitter. I read them all and one comment really stuck with me…

Roni, I’m so sorry. I lost my mom two years ago and I’m here to tell you that your dad is NOT GONE… your relationship with him will continue, in a different but fulfilling way. I wish you comfort in your grieving as you mourn the loss of his physical presence.

I think Mary Anne is right. My relationship with my Father has changed. I’m just sorry it took death for it to happen. I really am.

Me and Dad - 1980?

Me and Dad at my wedding 2001

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  • Kimberly

    I had some of the same experiences with my own dad. But I was the only person there, awake and holding his hand when he passed and I will never forget it. It doesn’t really matter what issues you had, being there is just so important. In time the memory of the differences and any residual guilt will fade and you will be comforted that in those last hours you were there for him.

  • Courtney

    I am truly sorry for your loss. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • patty

    I’m so sorry for your loss… Please do not feel bad about your relationship – you were there for him in the end and he knew that you forgave him for the past.. we’re all human – we all makes mistakes – he knew you loved him as you know he loved you. you were so wonderful to be there for him in his final moments.. for that you need to pat yourself on the back and know that you stepped up to the plate in his final moments. you can go on not with regret but knowing that he is at peace and i hope you are too. xoxox Patty

  • Kath

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss Roni. ((Hugs from NC))

  • Lucrecia

    We lost my mother-in-law earlier this year. Its been such a hard experience, but its also been a growing experience. We cherish the little moments more, don’t sweat the small stuff.

    I’m sorry for your loss!

  • MstoMrs

    Roni –

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. I’m a new reader but have read the last few days so my heart goes out to you and your family during this tough time.

  • Michelle


    First of all thank you for sharing your thoughts will the world. I know that you’re going to touch so many lives with your honesty, tact, and willingness to open yourself up. Remember to be gentle with yourself, forgive yourself, and embrace whatever you learn/take from this.

    May you find peace. ~M

  • shandy (aka @webgals)

    I am so sorry for your loss. I think it is so brave of you to blog about this. I can’t imagine what this is like for you. I don’t think I’d be able to do that. And yet I thank you for doing so. Throughout this blog you’ve proven to be such a brave, articulate woman.

    Clearly you have a great support system…and that is something to be proud of and thankful for. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

  • Heather

    I am so sorry for the grief you’re feeling right now. I will be thinking of you in these next days and weeks.

  • Mara @ What’s for Dinner?

    My thoughts are with you, and I’m so sorry… your family and friends will be your strength.

  • Kylee

    I am so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you got to spend his last days with him. I am praying for you and your family as you go through this. May the good memories comfort you.

  • Cynthia (it all changes)

    Roni I am so sorry to hear about your loss. But please don’t beat yourself up about the choices you made to help yourself. I will be praying for you as you move through this grief.

  • Debi

    Roni – I wish I was able to wite as elequently as your other responders, but I don’t have the smarts to do that. I can say from my heart that I was not close to my Dad for various reasons, but I think I understand how you feel. He was your Dad. The only Dad you ever knew. No matter what kind of Dad he was, he was the Dad that brought you into this world and you will always have a special connection with him. I’m sure he loved you very much, but he just didn’t know how to express it. It just wasn’t the type of love you expected or needed from a Dad. You have two wonderful men in your life now — your husband and your son. Draw strength from them. My prayers are with you.

  • Hil

    I am so sorry for your loss, Roni. I relate to your feelings of guilt, but sometimes taking space from family is really the healthiest and wisest choice. The pain that you are feeling now does not change the wisdom of your previous decisions. I pray that you will find solace during this time.

  • She-Fit

    Roni, I”m so sorry to hear about your day. I will be praying for you as you go through this grieving process. You had to do what you needed to do in life. Hang in there! I hope you find peace during this time.

  • Maria

    You are in my thoughts Roni!

  • Katherine

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your dad. I’m glad you were able to be there with him during his final days. Hopefully it will help bring you peace to know that you comforted him and were able to share that time together. Also, thank you for sharing this with your readers. I’m finding myself going down the same path of indifference and avoidance with my father, and reading about your experience and hindsight makes me want to try to patch things up while I still can.

  • Amy

    Roni, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I am thinking about you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Josie

    oh Roni i can relate to you so well with this post, this is hard for me to discuss but reading your post gave me overwhelming erge to reach out to you. My father died on August 13th 2003. I was 17 years old and had a very rocky relationship with my dad. While I was growing up he was in and out (literally, he would leave for 2 weeks or longer at a time and would have no way of reaching out to him or had no idea where he was) My father dealt with alcohol and drug issues, I can’t say he was pysically abusive but the mental toll it put on me was overwhelming.

    I grew to almost hate my dad, I was young. i thought he was stupid and just could not understand how you could do this to your family. My mom (who is my heart and I could not thank her more for everything she has done) always stood by his side and when he finally came home she would act like nothing happened, she would “clean” him up and care for him like a child. This sickened me and made me grow stronger. I came to the point where I would just ignore he was even there, I can remember times when he would actually be home when i got home from school and I would just say Hi and go to my room (little did I know at the time but he would actually stay up late wondering why I wanted nothing to do with him-still he just didn’t get it)

    The last time my dad left he never came back. I was 2 weeks from leaving for college and I was on such a high from knowing I was getting away from it all and starting a life, MY life. We got the call he overdosed. He managed to crush me back down. I was so angry, at him, at myself. I battled with the guilt of never having a relationship I should have, I battled the fact that I couldn’t make him stop.

    In the end, I decided to go away to college and start the life I had planned for myself. I talk to my dad everyday, I feel we have the relationship we never got to have in this life. I have dreams about him and I know he’s there. It’s hard to explain but after he died I remember breaking down and literally screaming everything I always wanted to say to him. I’m now 23 and I have the most wonderful husband (who i met in college!!) and a beautiful little girl who will be 3 next week. She has such an amazing realtionship with my husband, I cry sometimes knowing that I chose such a wonderful man who values every second of her life and tries to never miss a moment of it. I know everything happens for a reason and I know my dad is proud. I’m sorry this is so long i just had to share my story. I wish you nothing but the best during this time and it will get easier with time!


  • Fab Kate

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Tarin

    He looks a little like Brad Pitt, doesn’t he?

    I am sorry for your loss.

    I cannot join the chorus of celebrating who he was, though. I appreciate that you learned something and even grew in that hospital room with him and his wives, but my overwhelming desire is to tell you not second guess your feelings while you were having them. I wasn’t ok to desert you. It wasn’t. He’s lucky that, in the end, you gave him something he never gave you…care, comfort, understanding. Your mom raised a very good person. Here’s to you and to her. May he rest in peace.

  • Michelle

    Thinking of you Roni.

  • Steph


    I’m so sorry. I wish I could say something else, but nothing else seems right. So instead, I’ll send my thoughts and some hugs your way.

    Take care.


  • Priyanka


    I am so sorry about all of this. I think nothing I say will make any difference, but you were with him when it mattered the most to him.You were there to take care of him and nurse him and see him in the end.My grandpa passed away when I was little and I loved him just like my Dad. When he passed away one day, I was told he is in the hospital and will be back soon, but he did not.

    But he is with me and I really feel it.

    So all I’ll say is just be the best parent to Ryan (which you already are) and he will smile up there feeling proud of his daughter.

    Take care,


  • Que Sarah

    Thinking loving thoughts sending comforting vibes your way. Thank you for sharing your story, you have no idea how much this hits home. Even in the midst of mourning you reach out help others. Bless you.

  • Krista S.

    You are so loved by all of us, Roni. Thank you for sharing this painful time with your readers and allowing us to be there for you as you have been there for us.

  • Jeanine

    Dear Roni,
    I am so glad you went to be with your dad before he died. I’m sure you will never regret that decision. It sounds like you had a time of healing. I’m sorry for your loss. I am praying that God will give you strength and comfort in the coming days.

  • Arlene

    I understand completely. When my dad died in 2003 (before I lost weight on Atkins), it wasn’t until after I got the news that he was gone that I realized I’d never forgiven him for changing. He had a car accident and was in a coma for six weeks (or six months … my brother and I were too young to remember the time frame, and now there’s no one to ask, because my mom’s gone, too) when I was in fourth grade. When he woke up, he spent a long time (two months, I think) in rehab … but he was never the same — short-term memory loss, etc.

    And it took his death for me to realize that I never forgave him for coming home a different person. He wasn’t my dad anymore (well, technically he was, but he wasn’t at the same time). My brother, who was only 3 when dad had his accident, never really knew the dad I knew, so his relationship with Dad was much better … not that mine was awful or anything, but I just kind of ignored him.

  • Ellen

    Oh, Roni ~ I’m sending love love love love your way…I can’t even imagine what you are going through, though once again you have managed to articulate your feelings in such a meaningful way! (((HUGS)))

  • Lara (Thinspired)

    Roni, I did not know of your dad’s passing until I read this post. I have had a rocky relationship with my father for my entire life, and I can only imagine the crazy range of emtions you must be feeling. My best, best wishes are with you right now. Hugs.

  • crazylady

    Roni, so sorry for your loss. Big hugs from me to you. It will be crappy for a quite a while I’m sure but you will come through this and be stronger for it.

  • Debbra


    May you find comfort in the knowledge that you were there with your Dad in his last hours. Our relationships with family are not always what you would want them to be. So sorry for your loss.

  • Sue Schoch

    Roni –
    Sending you prayers and hugs at this time of loss.
    Take comfort in knowing you were there for your dad when he needed you the most. He found peace in knowing you were at his side now you also need to find peace in realizing you were able to come forward and be in his corner. No matter what happened in the past, he will always be your Dad. Cherish the last moments and don’t beat yourself up with would have .. could have .. should have.. Because Roni, you did. You gave him peace and closure.

  • MizFit

    sending you prayers.

  • Mandi

    so sorry for your loss, Roni. Prayers to you and your family.

  • Berni

    Much love to you and your family Roni. Berni xx

  • Diane, Fit to the Finish

    I have similiar relationships in my life, and I often wonder how I will feel when the most awful thing happens. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

    I wanted to offer my sympathy to you and your family.

  • Astrid

    I am very sorry for your loss. You were brave to be there for him during his last days – it takes courage, compassion and empathy and you have all of that. He knew that you were there for him when it mattered most and that’s all that counts.

  • Ericka

    Im thinking of you Roni.My prayers are with you.

  • Jesscia

    My deepest condolences to you and your family.Whether or not it helps (or if someone else beat me to it) be thankful that you were there, despite your differences. I know it stinks that it came down to this situation, but at least you did it. I know too many people who don’t even take that step and are beating themselves up in the long run. I think Sue ( Schloch) pretty much already said what I’m trying to. I wish I could find the poem that was read at my friend’s funeral. It basically stated” Do not weep, for I have merely slipped into the next room.” ” Talk about me in the easy, familiar way we always have…”

  • McLauren84

    I remember my mother going through a similar time in the days before my grandfather died. They, too, had a rocky relationship, and ever since his death she remembers him with nothing but love. Regardless of what happened in the past, you were able to spend a day of healing and love with your father, a day you will never forget. I believe we should always do our best to let love conquer all, and I think that’s what you do. That takes a lot of courage and strength. While I’m so sorry for your loss, I want to congratulate you on what you gained–a wonderful memory of your father that can never be taken away. What a gift.

  • Diana

    A lot of us have those feelings towards our fathers or others in our lives. It’s sad.
    You were there when he needed you. Take comfort (as much as you can in a time like this) that you had that chance to mend.

  • http://blogtolose Michelle

    Roni, I am sorry for your loss. I, too, have lost my father, with whom I had a rocky relationship with. It is difficult to wade through all of the feelings of guilt and grief. Just remember that relationships, weather family or friends, require a committment from BOTH sides. If you had distance in the relationship, remember it wasn’t just you, he had a responsibility also and he didn’t follow through either. Take solace in the time you had with him.

  • Christine

    Hi Roni,

    My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    My parents divorced when I was 3, and my dad moved away from us. I saw or talked to him maybe 2 or 3 times a year, and it was always my mom or my stepmom who initiated the contact. When we would see each other, it was more of a “buddy” relationship, not one with deep intimacy, like you would expect from a father/daughter relationship. I also avoided seeing him when he eventually had more kids, and it was just too painful to see him being a dad to them. I have a wonderful stepfather and he took great care of me, but I have always had a wall between us–maybe a secret hope my dad would come back someday? I have a major abandonment complex, but luckily I married a man who tells me however often I need him too, that he will never leave me. I am pregnant with a little boy, and now my feelings have turned to anger because I can’t possible understand how my dad could leave his child, regardless of what went on between he and my mom. Your pst is making me think that maybe I should resolve some of these feelings before he is gone.

    I’m blabbing… I’m sorry… just wanted you to know you are not alone.

  • Melissa

    Oh Roni, I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words … I do think it’s wonderful you were able to be there with him — however complicated your relationship was, you put aside all that to do what you needed to do, which was be there for him. That was very brave and I am sure it meant a ton to him.

    Thinking of you …

  • Amie

    I am sorry for your loss and how you are feeling. I have the EXACT same feelings about the loss of my Mom. It’s really hard sometimes. I notice that you were there at the end, and that probably meant a lot to your father. You will be in my thoughts.

  • Leslie

    I send my deepest condolences and thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings so honestly. It will take awhile, but time (and reflection, remembering, and forgiving (yourself and your dad) will gradually soften the pain and enable you to recall positive things and accept the harder ones that are unchangeable. The Serenity Prayer comes to mind:
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

  • Runeatrepeat

    Sorry for your loss. Hang in there…

  • lunzy a la lunzygras

    Roni- I am so sorry for your loss. I had no idea, only that you seemed busy. I think it’s great you wrote your post (how your brain works) and I’m glad you were able to be by his side. You were there, and you didn’t have to be. I’m sure it meant a great deal to him (and his wife) Big hugs to you! We’re all here for you if you need us ;)


  • Liz

    Roni, I’m sorry for your loss and hope during this time you remember to take care of yourself. As tough as losing a family member is, it is a reminder to enjoy the time we have with the people we love and to live in the moment for yourself and your family. As you can see with all the comments, you have a lot of support and if you ever need anything, remember you can reach out for help. When reading the comments, there are lots of different experiences and advice to draw on which has been helpful to me as I just lost a family member as well. Thanks for being brave enough to share your feeling with us and take good care of yourself!

  • Kimberly

    So truly sorry for your loss…

  • justrun

    I was so sorry to hear this, Roni. The way you seem to be handling it, even if it seems foreign, sounds very normal (for whatever normal is to YOU, no one else). We do what we can with what we have where we’re at right now, and I know you know how to stay true to that. There is something to be said for living your life on your terms, and I feel proud of you for that. My thoughts are with you. Hugs from Colorado.

  • Crystal


    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing with us. I know it is hard, but your words have made many of reconsider our relationships with our own families, so your thoughts and feelings were not wasted.


  • Cheri

    I’m very sorry to read of the loss of your father. You have a process to go through now and it will be tough to bring all of the emotion back, but you can do it — I really feel that forgiveness is for yourself, not necessarily the other person. My prayers and thoughts are with you.

  • Evilwoman

    Praying for you Roni, thank you for sharing your emotions and experiences with us. You’ve really made me reconsider my own distant relationship with my Dad.

  • Hope


    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Sheila

    Roni, Wow…very emotional! Thank you for sharing this with us. It is hard to be vulnerable, and emotional but I feel that doing so will help you through this time of loss in your life. Just know this: There are better days ahead! =)

  • Ashleigh

    Hey Roni,
    You’ve done an amazing job. Your mark on the world is positive and enlightening. The people whose lives you’ve touched are better for it. I’m a lurker, but I’ve been with you since beginning, and I offer my condolences for the loss of your father.

    I believe it’s especially difficult when you lose someone with whom your relationship has been tumultuous. Guilt is common and normal, but impermanent. Find comfort in the huge extended social network you’ve fostered and live each day with the same vigor you always do.

    Remember: “Forgiveness frees the forgiver.” – Lance Morrow

    Ashleigh (BabyCarrot)

  • Sally

    Im so sorry for your loss..

  • Natalie M.


    I’m truly sorry for your loss. The fact that you put your differences aside in his hour of need is extremely commendable. My dad and I have an extremely tumultuous relationship and as much as I try to make it better… it never really goes anywhere. My mother constantly tells me, “not to give up”. I’ll keep trying to make it better just because tomorrow isn’t promised for anyone.

    My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

  • Elaine

    My Dad is very, very sick. He likely won’t make it through 2010. I have had a relationship with him that was similar to yours….the body issues, the abandonment, the feeling like a bother. I’m in therapy for these issues as we speak, and I haven’t lived with my Dad for 7 years now.

    I sent him a birthday card a few weeks back that said “The older I get, the more I love you.” Strange, but true. I’m able to see his INCREDIBLE flaws more for what they are – human nature, gone wrong.

    You know what he said to me? “I hope you’re learning that I never wanted to screw up. I just didn’t know what to do.” DROP THE PHONE! I must have sat with my jaw open for 3 hours.

    Do I agree with 90% of his parenting decisions? Hell no. But I’ve learned that he became a Dad at 19 (I’m 23 and still don’t feel grown up enough), he fought depression his life and never had the access to therapy/medications that I do, and he himself was abused as a child.

    Life isn’t easy, Roni. We both know that. Just know that I’m thinking about you, all the way from OKC. You will get through this, just like I will when it’s my turn.

  • sabrina

    I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my father 5 years ago to cancer.

  • Mary

    My sympathies for your loss. It’s never easy loosing a parent. My mom is gone 8 years and I think of her daily. You’re an amazing person for sharing your story.

  • Mendy

    You are so loved, just look at all those posts expressing deep care and concern for you. I’m sending big hugs your way. Your heart will heal with time. Lots of love!

  • Mary


    I offer my heartfelt sympathies for your loss. I also offer you my heartfelt appreciation for such a touching and honest posting. Your dad was very blessed to have you in his life and I’m glad that you were able to spend the last hours with him. I feel certain that your laughter and presence enabled him to enter the next world with love and peace.

    You are right to remember the good things. I think we all wish the same things for ourselves – that our families and loved ones will remember us for our gifts and not necessarily for our lapses.

    God Bless you and your family, Roni.

  • Jeri Lyn


    So sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I know it’s hard to come to grips with all the mixed emotions. My father died several years ago, basically from alcoholism. To this day I still feel guilty about being a little happy that he passed. I was happy because we both no longer had to struggle with his addiction. I hoped that maybe he was finally happy.

    Big Hug,
    Jeri Lyn

  • Rebecca @ Durch Dick und Duenn

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Fat Fitness Food

    Sorry for the pain you are feeling right now. I have been estranged from my father for ten years and I often think about how I will feel when he dies. Even though there are so many feelings I can tell that there will certainly be real pain there too.

    I’ll be thinking about you all the way over here in Ireland. Sending prayers across the atlantic.

  • LMG


    I have had a very similar experience this summer with my mom. But I chose not to see her. Very complicated, but I agonized about the decision every single day before she passed on. (And gained about 5 pounds.)

    I asked myself every day if i was making the right decision, and I always came up with “yes.” It was about self-preservation–and as selfish as that might sound to some people in this comment section, I am the one who is here after she is gone and I am the one I’ll have to live with my entire life.

    So maybe I’m feeling a bit defensive, but please don’t feel guilt for not seeing him the last few years. What’s done is done, and either way it would have meant pain for you and he. It’s a burden you’ll have to carry no matter what you chose, and you must forgive him and yourself.

    Note: the best definition of forgiveness I have seen is “living without resentment.” Not absolving him or you, just letting go of resentment. I’m still working on it.

    It WILL get better…

  • Pubsgal


    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I’m not sure what to say, other than we’re here and thinking of you and wishing you and your family peace and healing.


  • Marste

    Roni, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. You have my deepest condolences.

  • Hilary

    Life has so many shades of gray . . . more than the number of words that Eskimos have for snow.

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Roni. Your readers are all thinking about you.

  • shelley

    Roni, I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for writing this post – I have a distant relationship with my father for many of the same reasons that you had one with yours in recent years.

    One of the things I’ve drawn a line on is phone calls – the only real communication we have. He never calls me, & I refuse to be the one to call him (he’s the dad after all), & after reading your post, I think maybe I don’t need to draw that line at all. I don’t have to go to having practically no relationship over such a silly rule I’ve made for myself, when I can have some relationship & accept that I may only ever call him.

  • TB–Milwaukee

    Glad you had some closure…blessings and prayers sent your way.

  • Nathalie

    i’m truly sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  • Esther

    My condolences for your loss. My dad passed away when I was 22 and I’m still sorting things out – we had a complicated relationship too. The commenter Mary Jane you quoted is right… it’s like entering a new phase. Be kind to yourself & know we’re all imperfect. It’s too bad relationships with our parents aren’t always healthy, but the thing I cling to is that we don’t have to repeat the mistakes of the past with our own kids.

    All the best + lots of hugs,

  • Nancy

    Losing my dad was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. He died 18 years ago. I still think of him each day…..even though we had a love/hate relationship. I’m sorry you’re hurting, Roni!

  • Kris

    Roni, I’m sorry to hear about your fathers passing. Always remember he knows you loved him because you were there with him at the end…and thats all that matters! Thats all he cared about. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  • Rachel

    Roni…(((hugs)))…I’m so sorry for any pain you’re experiencing, but glad to hear that you’re with family, talking about it, thinking it through and not avoiding grieving.
    I lost my dad 2 years ago and have had a rough time with it…probably a lot of the pain I’ve gone through could’ve been avoided if I’d grieved properly and not just distracted myself with work and grad school.
    Someone I work with gave me the book “How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies” – I’ve just now started it, but I’ll let you know if it helps. So far it’s mostly discussed how important it is to go through a mourning process for any loss, even ones we usually celebrate like graduations (which are also the end of a phase in life) and births (which can be the end of independence or one lifestyle).

  • Heather

    Oh Roni, I’m so so sorry! I hope you feel some peace knowing that you were able to reconnect with your Dad when he needed you the most. It is very true that your relationship with your Dad is NOT over but yet will continue to grow & change as you honor his memory!

    My Mom passed just a few years ago & while I miss her with every ounce of my being, I know deep down that she’s right where I need her to be.

    God bless!

  • Denise


    I’m so sorry for your loss! It is difficult when one loses a parent, especially when it is a parent you’ve been estranged from. I don’t have a very close relationship with my dad (for various reasons), but we have recently started trying to form some sort of relationship. Its are hard thing to do. I understand your feelings. Just know that over time, the hurt will become less. Hang in there.

  • Rebeca

    There are not a lot of words I can say… because I want to make everything better and erase your pain swiftly but it is impossible.

    Instead. I’ll just say that I’m praying for you. I hope that you will find peace and comfort.

  • sraikh

    HUGS Roni. I am sorry for your loss

  • Amanda

    Roni, I am so sorry about the loss of your dad. Later on down the road, you will be SO GLAD that you spent those last few days with him. My husband’s dad passed away back in January–DH had seen him at Christmas and was planning to see him the day after he died. We are so grateful that we did the holidays the way we did last year b/c we know that meant so much to him and my MIL. Cherish the memories you have of him and you are right…he is still there just in a different way. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

  • Allison

    Roni, I feel so sad for you right now. I have been estranged from my mom for 3 years now. Every now and then I feel the guilt and sadness that she isn’t in my life. But then again, I remember all the reasons why I’m estranged from her and I’m comforted that I have made the right decision. There were reasons you didn’t have him in your life before, so try not to beat yourself up too much ;). You are such a good person for being there in his last moments. Hang in there!! You are a wonderful, caring, positive, real person and I appreciate you very much!

  • hec684


    I have been reading your blog for some time now and I am always glad for your candidness. I read, not only for weight loss tips, but because I truly enjoy hearing the things you have to say. I am deeply saddened for you at this difficult time. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. “Let go and let God”

  • Agnes

    Roni, I read your post thing morning but was choked up with emotion and at work so I could not respond. I am so sorry for your loss. I have been reading your blog for several months now and it really keeps me going and helps me with my own weight loss battle. I hope that you find some little measure of comfort knowing that we’re all thinking of you and sending our thoughts and prayers to you at this time of loss. Stay strong Roni we’re all here with you.

  • Reese

    “I’m so thankful for those last hours but I can’t help but feel guilt for the last 4 years I avoided him. And, in all honesty, that’s what I did. I just didn’t go out of the way. I couldn’t hide my feelings and when he was around I really shut down emotionally. It was hard for me but now it all seems so ridiculous. I mean, he was my Dad and now he’s gone.”

    This says so much Roni..I believe you’ve learned (and perhaps taught many here as well) so much..these lessons often can only be clear to us when we have life changing experiences; although your Dad is not on Earth he left you with one wonderful gift and that is the gift of living differently in the future and realizing how precious each day is. Although life may not be perfect, its ours, its’ not a dress rehearsal..we must live it accordingly. Your son and husband as others will benefit from your wisdom and growth..With warmest thoughts and prayers. Reese fron Twitter :)

  • Michele Dochat

    Roni – I recently ran into someone who was my BEST FRIEND throughout my childhood, teens, and into my late 20′s.

    She once said to me if one of us had been a guy we would have married. It was said lightheartedly but felt deeply by both of us. Her father and my mother had at one time been engaged to marry but later split….she and I remained steadfast…and then in our late 20′s we fell apart…not gradually, but through a series of arguments involving her husband, and some money that was not repaid to me by him.

    I was broken hearted over the whole thing and it literally took years to put it behind me.

    About 2 months ago we ran into each other at Roots Farmer’s Market in Manheim PA. We looked at each other…I kept walking and then recognition set in and I slowed down and asked if she was going to say hello. What happened over the next several minutes can only be called life changing and miraculous.

    We hugged, we cried, her husband was there and WE hugged. It was a truly stupendous moment in my life. We are together again, no arguing, no worries about the past, but picking it back up like we are ten years old all over again and completely and totally nuts about each other.

    The last day you spent with your dad before he passed was that moment for the two of you. For my friend and I it erased all the hurt, all the guilt, all the bad feelings. Look at it that way for you, even though it was brief, it was real and important and has changed your life.

    We all love you in here Roni, and even though you’re going through this loss, I am very happy for you to have shared that time with him and been able to realize your love for him all over again.

  • Deborah

    Roni, This post touched me in such a special way. My dad died 18 years ago when I was 32 years old, and I had such a troubled relationship with him for years. I actually moved 3 states away trying to keep the stress and turmoil out of my life and my family life. He was alcoholic/manic depressive, and just couldn’t stay on his meds. I knew in my heart from so many things he did that he loved me but could never be a “normal dad”.. which is what I needed..
    When my brother called to tell me they had found him dead, so many emotions flooded over me.. And guilt was a big one.. I should of done more to help him, and our relationship. It has been alot of years now and I no longer feel guilt but always remember the few good times we had.. mostly when I was very young. I know he was a troubled person and there wasn’t anything more I could have done to make a difference than what I did for years. I finally had to realize my emotional health was my responsibility for my own children and husband.
    What I did take out of our relationship is a better understanding on how to relate to my own children.. whom are grown now and my best friends in the whole world.. I owe my dad that.. In his own way he taught me how not to be a parent.. which in turn taught me how to be the best parent..
    This too will pass Roni. You will heal and learn to remember the good parts of your life with your dad.
    Thinking of you Deborah

  • Anne Marie @ Her New Weigh


    I’m so sorry to hear about losing your dad. I also lost my dad recently (in February). To be honest, he was an alcoholic and my relationship with him was very strained. I, like you, would shut down when I would see him, and he knew that he was not on my favorite people list.

    When he was put into the hospital, my mood changed. Even though he treated my mom terribly, he was still my dad, and I went to visit him even though I didn’t want to be there. In the end, I know that he appreciated it, and I don’t have any regrets because of it.

    I still don’t know why he did the things he did, said the things he said or any of that, but I do know that I will never make the decisions he did. If anything, he taught me how not to be a parent.

    I’m thinking of you during this time. If there’s anything I can do, please feel free to e-mail me.

  • Andrea @ Mommy

    Roni, I am so sorry for your loss.

    I lost my dad 4 years ago and it was and continues to be tough. I still have guilt over the day of his death. I guess we feel guilt and pain from the mourning. I’ll be thinking of you as you grieve. Time does help – it’s so cliche…but, it does help…

  • Amy C

    So, so, so sorry. You will never regret being by his side at the end. That’s all that matters. What came before that doesn’t matter, and was unavoidable. You could only do what you could handle at that time, and the space and distance you needed could be the very thing that made it possible for you to let it all go when you walked in the door and saw just your Dad, nothing else. We can’t regret the things we did in the past because that’s who we were then, and we couldn’t have chosen differently. I know you feel that the world is an emptier place without him now, and it is. But you are not alone. And the greatest thing is that he got to see you before he left this world.

  • Renée

    Hey, Roni, I’ve been pondering whether or not to comment this post. I also have had a strained relationship with my Dad and reading your story has really made me think about what I would do in your situation. I wanted to tell you that you shouldn’t feel guilty about cutting your Dad out of your life. (I know, easier said than done) The most important thing you can do is stay healthy for your family. That includes mental health as well as physical health. You were right to shield yourself and your family from the negative energy. That doesn’t mean that you didn’t care about him, just that you had to care about yourself more. Sending lots of love your way…

  • Andrea

    Hiya Roni… I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like it was really great that you got that last day with your Dad. I’m sure you are thankful of that time. I know I’ve spent way too much time being angry or akward with my parents and your blog today just makes me want to phone them up tonight. Thank you for that. I will keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Jeannie

    Roni, my heart goes out to you and your family during this sad time. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers. God Bless.

  • Zoey

    Hi Roni,

    I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you.

  • Jaye


    I am very sorry to hear about your Dad. I hope that you are about to work through your feelings. I am sorry, I really don’t know what to write…..but please know that I am thinking of you.

  • marta

    Roni, I’m sorry for your loss. I went through a similar situation with my dad. But I am thankful for that last conversation that we had. I got to say everything I needed, and I even forgave him that night, both in my heart and out loud. Then he died the next day of a sudden heart attack. I felt guilty at first for all the wasted years, but then I realized that I should just be thankful for what I did get.

    I hope you are doing well, and I’m thinking about you.

  • Sarah

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Roni. Don’t forget that your dad did teach you something: to be a better parent than he was. That’s quite a gift!

  • Shawnda

    I am sorry for your loss. I am sure your Dad knew you loved him. No parents are perfect, I am sure every poster here could write a horror list of things their parents did to them. Some not as bad, some probably a lot worse. The most important thing to remember is that your Dad was the best Dad that he know how to be for you. While not perfect, he’s still your Dad. It took me becoming a parent myself to realize this. But you just come to a point where you accept your Mom/Dad – or both, where they are at and enjoy that .

  • Dee

    I am sorry for your loss of your Dad and I’m glad you got to spend the last day with him no matter what happened in the past. You will always cherish that last day. I lost my Dad in 1992 (we had issues in the past but I had forgiven him years before he pased). Then 2 1/2 years later my Mom passed in 1995. My sisters and I felt like orphans and I was the oldest of the 3 of us girls and that was so hard in having lost them both in a short time. Your husband, Ryan and your family will help to ease the pain in losing your Dad and over time things will be better. {{{{hugs}}}}

  • Melissa

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Jennifer

    Thinking of you and your family during this time and keeping you in my prayers!

  • Marisa (Trim The Fat)

    So so sorry, Roni :(

  • Becky

    Roni- First off, I would like to say how deeply sorry I am for your loss. This shows the true power of blogging, in that I know you only from a few exchanged twitters and posts and you have not only helped with my own weight loss and love of running, you have now opened up so honestly about a subject I can truly relate to that it brings me to tears. I have been estranged from my father since I was 12, save for the occasional phone calls up until I was about 25. He has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from serving in Vietnam and is truly unable to be a father. Reading some of these recent posts about your father has reopened some old wounds and made me think again, what will I do when I get that call someday… be by his bedside, or let him go. I know so much of the things I struggle with can be blamed on the fact that I had an absentee father, but to recognize and overcome these things is the best way to move forward. I am glad you got a chance to say goodbye and to be there with him in the end. My thoughts are with you in this difficult time. Thanks for sharing.

  • Claudia Farmer

    I am so sorry for your loss. Forgiveness is a powerful healer.

  • BigTickles

    Roni I am so sorry for your loss. At least you got a chance to say goodbye. I will be keeping your and your family in my prayers. ((hugs))

  • Shane

    Hi Roni,

    I’ve never commented before, but I love your blog and I wanted to say I’m very sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.

    p.s. I never realized how much your son looks like you until I saw the childhood photo.

  • Sheila King

    I am praying for you and your family Roni. My dad was recently diagnosed with Bladder Cancer, and it is such a shock. I have some resentment that I thought I have let go of , at least until this came about. Actually, to be honest, it is my step dad, but he has been my Daddy since I was 2. My real father has really wanted nothing to do with me, probably because he realized a good man was caring for his little girl. I was only 1 with they divorced so we really hadn’t “bonded”. Anyway, just wanted you to know your in my thoughts, and thank you for sharing these REAL feelings!

  • Janice

    Roni, I am sorry for your loss. I do not know how much help I can be as my father is still alive and my parents have been married for over 40 years. However, when I was 25 I met the man of my dreams. He was 10 years older than me, divorced, with a 15 year old daughter. For the last 14 years, I have watch their relationship grow, struggle, stagger, fall over, and sometimes come completely undone.
    As the third party who tried to keep both of them level headed, I have seen them make mistakes and say things that should never be said. She struggled with an eating disorder, grew into a smart, intelligent woman only to have her life turned upside down with mental illness. My boyfriend has been the best father he could be. He has not always made the right decisions when she was young or even now that she is grown and he knows that. He has said and done things that he should not have. She has reacted appropriately and inappropriately at times. Right now, they are at a point where she gives one word answers and they barely speak.
    I know each day I watch my boyfriend and his daughter struggle, I know in the end, they still love each other and tomorrow may be better than today for them. That is all anyone can do.
    I don’t know if any of this helps you, but I know by watching their turmoil that each of them make the best choices they can at the time. Please do not feel guilt over the last few years with your father. You were making the best decisions you could for your life at that point in time. That is all anyone can do. And remember there are good things you learned from your father even though he may not have taught them the right way, like what not to say to a young woman struggling with her self esteem and how not being there for your child can effect their life. I will pray for you during your grief Roni. Janice

  • DaMora

    Sorry to hear about your loss. It’s a tough time, but the sun will shine again. When I’m having a hard time, whatever it is, I repeat this quote to myself “And this to will pass”. It will just give it time.

  • jodi

    i’m sorry to hear about your dad’s passing… you and your family are in my thoughts… (HUG)

  • Jackie

    You are both human. Forgive his mistakes and your own. Life is a journey, a constant lesson, never stop learning and always move on. Grieve, because you must. Wish things had been different, but know that they were beautiful in their own right just the way they were.

    My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. May you find peace.

  • Mary :: A Merry Life

    Oh Roni, I haven’t commented much because I haven’t known what to say. I have a very similar estranged relationship with my father, so I don’t even know how to encourage you. I’m glad you got those last hours with your father to be together as the weird little family. All of this has made me think a lot more about my own father and our relationship, and the guilt I feel now and will in the future. It’s a messy thing to think about. I hope you are doing well. I <3 u!

  • Michele

    Roni, I am so sorry for your loss. It must be comforting to have spent the last few huors with your Dad and to get a chance to say good bye. I’m not good at this stuff and I don’t really know what else to say except you are in my thoughts.

  • chris brown

    Thank you for being able to put your thoughts onto paper… or whatever this is. Your insights are so spot on. My prayers are with you. Thanks for being so real.

  • Julie

    So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you….

  • Steph.

    This was a beautifully written and so heartfelt and honest. Hugs your way and so sorry for your loss…

  • Kim

    So sorry to hear of your father’s passing. You and your family are in my thoughts. I wish you peace.

  • Angela (Oh She Glows)

    I’m a first time commenter, long time reader. I am so horribly sorry for your loss. The words you wrote were so beautiful and touched me in a very deep way. Mary Anne’s comment is very true. I’m sure your dad was struggling with many of the same regrets as you are. It goes to show that no one is perfect…not you, not your dad…no one. We do what we think is best at the time…but regardless of it all…nothing can take away the love of family and the love and memories that will carry on in your hearts.

  • Alison

    So sorry hon. Hang in there. I bet he was glad to have you there at the end.

  • Valerie

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss. (((HUGS))) to you!


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