When You Are Not Allowed To Say Goodbye To A Parent


 parent goodbye


Yesterday was a week since my birth father passed away. It has been a difficult journey for me that past 31 years since he made that decision (see the full story)  to not be a part of my life. I was just a kid when my parents divorced.  When he re-married my life changed forever as his new wife gave him an ultimatum to chose his past or present and guess what I was the past. I am sure you can figure out what he chose.


So I heard through the grapevine that he had heart issues a few weeks ago and as his health declined I was hoping he would change his mind and that we could move on. That he would be a father and maybe get some answers as to why he allowed his wife to control him. I tried to reach out to him again as I have done all these years, but he did not return my message which did not surprise me – he did not even acknowledge my phone call.  As his health got worse I was on a mission to go visit him in the hospital I was immediately stopped by my step mother and her daughter with threats that I better now show up or they would have me kicked out. Then he was moved to hospice. How could I not go visit him, he was dying. I did not want any trouble, I just simply wanted to say goodbye but I was not allowed to do so. One would ask –  his wife who is a mother to 2 girls (from a previous marriage to my father and then her and my father had a son together) how could a mother deny a child away from their parent?


My Dad In His Younger Days

My Dad In His Younger Days – photo’s from his on-line obituary page 

Last Tuesday my father passed away. I have never felt the emotions I have felt before. I was full or sorrow, anger and numb. I did not get to say good bye, I did not get answers why did he abandon me, I did not get to hug him and tell him that I forgave him and that I loved him. This woman robbed me of a relationship with my father and now she robbed me of a good bye.  How could he pass away and not reconcile? If he knew his health was declining why did he not stand up to her and insist on seeing me?


I had received a phone call from a member of the family who told me they read his obituary on-line and it listed my stepmothers children and the son they had together but never did she note my name. I was insulted! After all I am his 1st child, blood child mind you. This added fuel to my fire. The funeral home had a section where you could leave comments and I thought it was my time to find my voice – to say good bye (even though I knew he could not hear me).


So I said:


You forgot to add his BLOOD, his only daughter — Nicole (with my maiden name and married name noted)  to this obituary. Sorry Dad I did not get to say goodbye, to tell you that I forgive you, that I love you, tell you about your 5 beautiful grandchildren and about the missing years that were taken away from our relationship. It was not my choice. I wish things could have been differently.


The following morning I noticed that my comment had been removed, I knew it had something to do with my stepmother. More fuel added to my fire. A few minutes later her daughter called my home threatening me, calling me every name in the book and yelling the whole time.  I wish I hung up on her I really do. I wish I did not listened to her vulgar and hatefulness. She said things like I was not his daughter – she had his love and memories with him and I did not. I was a piece of ….. and so was my mom. She did not even know my mom, I told her that my mom would never behave like  hers has. I reminded her that she did not know me and that my father cutting out of his life was her mother’s doing. She told me that they blocked me from adding any other messages to his obituary page and what I said was not acceptable and everyone who saw it thinks I am a piece of …. She had a long list of names she called me and then proceeded to threaten me if I showed up at the funeral the next day she would have me kicked out.  He would have not wanted me there. Was that true, I know he hurt me all these years but would he really not want me there? I had thought about going yes I know I would have had to deal with all the nastiness but I was only going to say good bye and then leave. I did not hang up the phone fast enough and by the grace of God I did not retaliate and stoop to her level. When I hung up I started thinking about the years of pain and how he made no attempts at the very end so apparently that is what he wanted. I mean there had to be moments when his wife was not around many months ago when he found out about his heart condition right, why wouldn’t he make an attempt? Was it because he did not have a backbone and did not want to create problems with his wife? Or was it because he did not love me?

dad 1 a

My Dad In His Later Days – photo’s from his on-line obituary page


So my father passed away a week ago yesterday, I think to myself wow my father is dead and I did not get to say good bye. Did I do the right thing? I really do not know what to I feel. I was done trying to fight a battle over the many years. Now that he is gone and part of me is relieved that that part of my life is done, that chapter is closed. I certainly wish I had many answers to my questions. I feel  like I am all cried out and I am hoping time heals all wounds. I think the thought that it is final is what hurts the most.


So I write this on here for closure and because my stepmother or stepsister cannot remove this. It is so sad how vile people can be. Thankfully God gives me peace about this daily. I know he cannot read this now but good bye dad. Even though I did not live in your heart you will always live in mine.


  1. Hi there, visiting from an Alexa thread on Facebook. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through right now. I do believe however, that deep down you’ll know if you’ve made the right decision (always follow your intuition). And as for your father, he has already forgiven you…if you do regret your decision then you need to work on that and know that he already has 😉

    • Lisa, thank you but he has nothing to forgive me for. It was his decision and I tried from a child to an adult to talk to him but it was I always have to ask my wife was the response I got.

  2. Nicole, a few things come to mind for me when reading your post. First, I’m adopted so I understand from the perspective on not knowing birth parents or being in their life. I met my mother but don’t have a relationship with her and I’m pretty sure when she dies I won’t know till after the fact. I’ll be in your shoes at that point and I don’t know how I’ll feel either. Second, my daughter didn’t know her birth father. Similar story to yours. He dropped dead and she had never met him. She had all those mixed emotions as well. She spent some time in therapy to sort it all out and it helped her tremendously. I think the best part of your story is you’ve already forgiven him and that is the gift you gave to yourself. Maybe someday you can forgive his wife and family for the hateful things they said to you when you were just trying to grieve for the man you never knew, but was your father. Blessings to you.

    • Thank you Maureen, Honestly I forgive my father and stepmother and her children. It is by the grace of God though. It just does not make the pain any less though. Thank you for your kind words.

  3. Oh my goodness, I do not know what to say – it is just so very sad. **hugs** you are an amazing person for having forgiven, just sad he obviously never got the chance to know you.

  4. I read your other article regarding this, and I have to say that this has been one of the toughest rows to hoe I’ve ever heard. You were denied everything from a life with your father to a death with him. And for what? Some petty (and most likely insecurity based reasons). You are a better person than I. I consider myself to be a laid back person, but I’d be slamming that woman across every social media channel known to man. She hurt a child in one of the worst ways possible. I’m glad you got at least some sort of closure. =(

  5. So sorry for your loss and the ugliness that came into your life. As long as you can make peace with things, do. Getting mixed up in ugly family drama is never good.

  6. I cannot believe how absolutely terrible some people can be – thinking of you during this hard time.

  7. Hi Nicole, I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through. We all need closure and I am very sorry that you were not allowed to say good bye to your Father. I hope that you are able to find peace. ((hugs))

  8. I’m so sorry 🙁 This hurts my heart 🙁 I really believe that you did everything you could – please do not think you were not good enough. I hope you are able to find peace and closure in this!

  9. I’m sorry for all you’ve been through. I hope you do eventually find peace, but I’m not too sure how you would. Sounds like you did all you could.

    Again, sorry.

  10. Wow, I don’t know what to say, except that time does heal all wounds and that you are the one that has to make peace with this entire situation. I think it’s time for some closure to all your suffering.

  11. I’m sorry for what you are gong through. I pray that you’ll find peace and closure.

  12. I don’t know what to say except that I am so, so sorry for you. Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. I don’t understand how your stepmother and her daughter could be so terribly cruel. You were only a child and to be that horrible to a child and then to a woman they do not even know since they didn’t see you grow up is incomprehensible to me. I am very sorry for your loss, both during your father’s life and now that he is gone. I hope you’ll be able to move on from here and heal. My thoughts are with you.

  13. Sending you hugs of condolences. I am sorry for your loss and what you have experienced. Hopefully true closure will come of it

  14. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. Hopefully one day you’ll meet again.

  15. I have never understood how so many men can do that. A mother rarely ever does that but many men do and it’s heart-breaking. First sending hugs, prayers, and healing light energy your way, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my Dad when I was very young and my parents were separated also at the time of his passing. Don’t block your Karma with anger at how your stepmother has behaved. Just allow your Dad to be an angel on your shoulder. {{{HUGS}}}

  16. I am so sorry for the cattiness of “family”. I have dealt with similar and it is really a difficult situation. I am glad you have this outlet.

  17. I am so sorry you had to go through this for most of your life. I don’t understand how anyone could be so hateful, especially to a child. You are a big person for offering up your forgiveness. I hope you are able to find peace now because you totally deserve it.

  18. I can’t even imagine how hard this must be for you. You deserve some closure and respect. Sending love and strength.

  19. I am so sorry for what you have gone through. It’s hard enough to lose a parent, much less be unable to say goodbye. I’m sure that the mixed emotions and confusion you are going through right now are only adding to your grief. You are in my thoughts.

  20. I’m in a few tears reading this I was not alloud to go to my brothers funeral he passed away when he was six I was in the middle of immigration status changes at the time. I was born in raised in Toronto Ontario Canada and now I live in Michigan. My heart goes out to you.

  21. So sorry for your loss. I can’t not even imagine what you are going through with emotions and how to handle this. I can not imagine how a mother could make a father make this decision. I hope you find peace.

  22. I’m sorry for your loss and experiences. But I think going through what you have gone through will make you a stronger better parent yourself!

  23. I cannot even imagine what you must be going through right now. They really don’t have a right to deny you in seeing your father one last time. It’s not like you were there to stir up something, just wanted closure. I’m sorry you didn’t get to say goodbye to your father & get the answers you wanted. I hope you are able to find peace now, you really do deserve it!

  24. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I am so sorry for you. This s such a heartbreaking story. You have definitely been the bigger person throughout this nightmare. I hope you will find the peace you so deserve.

  25. michele d says:

    Nicole, you really tried your best. I am sorry that things didn’t go as planned with your father but know that he will return to say his forgiveness. I really hope that things work out for you and your family.

  26. I do not even know what to say. So sorry you had to go through all this.

  27. So sorry for you loss. It is so frustrating that some people refuse to accept others into their lives. My oldest son has family like that.

  28. That is just so sad, I can’t even people can be that mean; it’s really not fair that you were never able to say goodbye. I an so sorry you have to go through this. 🙁

  29. I can’t even imagine not being able to say goodbye to my father, it would just be so sad and tough on me; I’m so sorry for you going through all these emotions right now.

  30. I can’t imagine what you are going through, although part of me can relate. I never knew my father because he committed suicide when I was very young and I ran away from home when I was 16, so I don’t have a relationship with either parent, so I can relate to your sense of feeling abandoned, because I ran away from feeling abandoned when I needed my mother the most. It hurts, I cried and cried wondering why my mother didn’t believe me and why she wasn’t there for me in those times. It turns out she is fighting her own demons she has to deal with on her own. Because I became a Christian when I left home after joining a church youth group, I learned how to forgive, and you are a remarkable lady to forgive your father for abandoning you and I am glad that you are able to turn another leave even though the years have been painful for you. Stay strong Nicole! 🙂

    • Thank you Heather, being a believer definitely helps. If I wasn’t I am sure I could not forgive him but it’s God’s grace that shows me how to forgive.

  31. I am so sorry for all you’ve had to go through in your life, and for what happened to you when your father passed away. How sad that his wife couldn’t find it in her heart to allow you the closure you needed. I’m so glad you have a peace about it that only God can give.

  32. It is certainly a sad case here. You always wanted a relationship with your father, and you were never able to get that. My dad after he left my mom, didn’t want too much to do with me either. On the rare occasions that we did go visit him, he talked to my older sister about drugs and which ones gave the better buzz. It was then that I really wanted nothing more to do with him. My husband, when we got married, thought it would be best that I develop a better relationship with my dad. That ended in a complete disaster over 20 years ago. To me, he died that 20 years ago, and my husband and children completely agree. I wish I had never let him back into my life at my husband’s urging, but my husband had such a great relationship with his father. He just could not fathom that there are bad fathers in the world. My grandfather was my father. May God have mercy on your bio dad’s soul.

  33. Rashell Abril says:

    Sending my hugs and condolences to you. I must be very hard to be in your situation now. I honestly don’t know what to say. You deserve some closure.

  34. Omg I’m honestly speechless and don’t know what to really say :-/ I’m so sorry for everything you have been threw :-/

  35. Rebecca Swenor says:

    I am sorry that you had to go through any of this hurt and rejection. It is quite sad that your so called woman and her daughter had all this control but karma comes back ten fold. My friend is going through the same thing with her birth father and her step mother. I tell her it is his loss and it was nothing at all she did because he made his choice. He is the one that will have regrets when he dies. I am so happy that you got to say your good bye and they could do nothing about it. They took it off the page and called you all them names because it just showed people who and what they really are indeed. I send prayer and hugs for your healing. Thanks for sharing and I will share your story with my friend so she knows she is not alone also. Thanks You.

  36. Cindy Merrill says:

    My story is not much different: My father left my Step mother when he found out she was cheating on him. He tried to divorce him, but the State of Maine wouldn’t let him (she was mentally ill). Less than 2 years later, my father was hit by a car one winter night while he was walking to the corner store. He went into a coma ,complications with his diabetes and never woke up- he died 10 days later. I went to the hospital- there in the waiting room was his cheating wife holding hands with her half brained BOYFRIEND.
    You guessed it- the creature my poor father was forced to stay married to brought her loony boyfriend with her to my Dad’s funeral, too. Karma caught up with her 7 years later; she was murdered, apparently by one of lunatic friends.

  37. Sorry about your loss, I do not know what its like to be in your shoes but you have done the right thing forgiving him as this is good for your heart and soul, the step family and even your half brother will realise this one day just you wait.

  38. I can’t pretend to know how you’re feeling. I had an amazing dad and when he passed I was right there holding his hand. As hard as that was, I had it. I can’t imagine how it must feel to have that moment stolen. To have such a huge chunk of your life a blank space. I want you to remember this – YOU did not create this. YOU did nothing wrong. YOU are in no way responsible to shoulder any guilt. This happened to you, as a child. It continued to adulthood. YOU had NO control. And, you have ever right to feel hurt, betrayed angry, sad… You can live knowing you made the effort. In the end, despite the crap situation and hand you were dealt, you still handled it with grace and dignity. Reaching out after a lifetime of hurt to make amends and offer forgiveness is YOUR legacy in this scenario. That is the person you want to show your children you are. The past, as they say can not be changed. The future is unwritten. Help your children to write a more peaceful and forgiving future.
    Grieve as you feel you should. You are allowed all that. Don’t let the past and his choices taint what lie you’ve carved out for yourself.

  39. What a touching story. I’m sorry for the pain you’ve gone through, but you’re clearly a stronger person because of it. Way to turn a tough situation into positivity.

  40. I am sorry that you are going through this. I have a similar story and I think I shared some of it on your original post. My father passed away in May 2014 and I am still struggling with it as I didn’t get to say goodbye or go to the funeral either. Not because of a sister but because of a cousin.

    Just remember, his wife, those kids – they are the one with the problem – not you. You also don’t know what sort of stories your father told his wife who then repeated it to the children. I’d like to think it was all the wife’s doing. That she felt threatened somehow by the fact your father had a life prior to her.

    It’s not our place to judge them. It would appear your life is better off without them.

  41. Good for you for finding your voice!! I think you handled it perfectly. And I’m sorry about the passing of your dad.

  42. sorry for your loss but so glad you can express your feelings freely on your blog.

  43. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have never met my bio dad. I’m 30 and I doubt I ever will. I hope you find peace.

  44. This brought so many tears to my eyes. Hoping you find and keep that peace and sending you lots of positive vibes. And thank you for sharing your story and I’m sure it has touched so many people!

  45. It is sad that he left this world without developing a relationship with you. Just know in your heart that you love and forgave him and you should be at peace with that. I can’t even imagine how hard this must be for you. Prayers for you

  46. I am so proud of you for being obviously the more level headed person in this whole matter. I just cannot believe that people are this awful to each other, what is our world coming to? I’m sure his new wife had a lot to do with his final decisions during the whole time they were together. Shame on her for metaling where she didn’t have the right to throw her two cents in at all! Maybe now that your Dad has passed to the other side he will become wiser on how God wants us to treat each other while we are here on earth together. I am truly sorry for your loss-

  47. I’m so sorry for your loss and all the pain you’ve gone through. And I’m sorry your father never understood what he lost.

  48. This is the one thing that I fear when it comes to the relationship with my birth farther. Thanks for sharing your story, I know this can be hard to expose.

  49. Lisa Rios says:

    I am sorry for your sad experience. Truly it is a heart breaking story. I really don’t know what to say. I will keep you in my prayers to make sure you get more inner peace & strength. God Bless.

  50. Our time is limited and it is so not worth it to spend what we do have worrying about others. I am sorry that you are dealing with this and that the experience was so negative from their end. At least you have said your piece and I hope that you move on from this experience. =[

  51. So sorry to hear about the passing of your father. So sad to read of your situation and prayers to you and your family.

  52. Wow..just wow.
    What a vile piece of work those ladies have turned out to be.
    As horrible as it was that you weren’t given the chance to say goodbye I hope that thru this post you got a sense of closure. What an amazing testimony it will be for your children to watch you step up out of that “crap” and raise them with respect, dignity and show them what true forgiveness is really all about. {{hugs}} my friend.

  53. I am so sorry that you had to deal with this heartbreak. I hope that you can come to accept that it was his bad choice weren’t about you, and come to peace with what happened. Losing a parent isn’t easy, and you are grieving for the relationship you never had with him.

  54. My heart and thoughts go out to you Nicole to be dealing with this situation. I can’t imagine what your going through now would I wish it upon anyone. Everybody deserves their chance to say goodbye. Know that your dad is hearing it now.

  55. Oh my I am speechless reading this. My thoughts are with you.

  56. As an adult child we love our parents despite some of the harsh, heartbreaking things they have done. My relationship with my Dad is strained to say the least. I haven’t spoken to him in over two years. It is sad, but emotionally safer that way for me. Just know you aren’t alone and that there is nothing his wife can do now to restrict your communication with him. It’s between him and you only now.

  57. This is sad I don’t know what I would do I would be so sad.

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