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How to Deal With the Death of an Estranged Father

Posted by in Society: Death  ~  June 15, 2012 04:43:39 PM

Living a life without your Father is a very challenging thing to do. There are a number of things that can happen to cause you to become estranged from your Father. Regardless of why it happened, it hurts. What is even worse is when your estranged Father passes away, and that estrangement has not been addressed. Here are some tips on how to overcome the death of a Father that was estranged:

1. The first thing to remember is that relationships are a two way street. You can not blame everything on your Father unless he was gone from your life as a child. This tip is for those that became estranged during the older years. If you and your Father had falling outs, then chances are you both are at least somewhat responsible. It helps sometimes to share in the blame after they are gone.

2. At some point, you have to let go of blame all together. The initial response is normal to be one of blame and anger. You wish that things had been different, and want to blame them or yourself for this not happening. The truth is, blame is not going to make the pain go away. Let the blame fall away and concentrate instead on being a better Parent yourself and not making the same mistakes.

3. Equally important to dealing with the death of estranged Fathers is forgiveness. You Father is gone and now you are left here with the burden of anger and hurt. The only way to release that anger and sadness is to forgive. Forgive your Father, and forgive yourself. You can not change it now, but you can change your future.

4. Visit the gravesite in your own mind. This is a wonderful way to talk things out, and to let them know how you feel. Take the time to do this often, and you will begin to feel closer to them even in death.

5. Get some professional counseling if you are having trouble doing any of the above. The professionals are there for a reason, and they can certainly help to move you forward and past this problem in your life. There are also a number of support groups that can help immensely as well.

6. Take the time to try to learn about what you missed in their life. Sometimes this is a healing process as well. You may find that they learned from their mistakes with you and did some pretty wonderful things.

7. Resist the urge to rehash old hurts. Though it is innately human to do so, going over and over old problems with one another is not going to solve anything. Let it go and try to instead focus on the future.

8. Try to remember the good things about your relationship with your Father if there was anything. Most kids have some good memories with even the worst of parents, and there is nothing wrong with using them to replace the bad ones.

Losing a Father under any circumstances is a tough thing, but losing them when estranged is especially tough. Do not feel as though you have to face this alone. Get some professional help if you need it, and lean on those people that you are close with. Time will heal many wounds, if you give it the chance.