In March I joined the club no one wants to be in. It’s the club for those who lost a parent. It’s for those with a loss that hits you in your bones, a profound sense of emptiness that only those who have experienced it can understand. You can’t be in it until you’re in it. No one requests membership in this club, but it’s one most of us inevitably join.

Yesterday I faced my first Fathers Day without my Dad and the club showed up. I was overwhelmed and genuinely touched by people who texted, called and brought flowers. I woke up to loving and supportive texts from club members, because they knew it would be a hard day. They knew how painful all the firsts are and how certain days reopen the wounds of grief. No phone calls, no breakfast together, so silly t-shirts that made him laugh. They knew those little moments are replaced by emptiness and a heavy heart.

Grief is complicated and messy and quite frankly… exhausting. It takes you to parts of yourself you didn’t even know existed. It shows up as beautiful but also as ugly. It reminds you that life is so precious and loving on those who we truly love is a gift. Grief and love go hand in hand.

The club gets it. IYKYK.

If you know, you know.

One girlfriend texted me: My friend, tomorrow is going to be a tough day, all firsts are! Just wanted to warn you. We love you!


During the day, some checked on me and I checked on others. That’s what you do as a club member. I think the club motto is simple but profound: We’ve got each other. Being around others who have navigated the death of a parent is vital—it’s like a shortcut. They can offer a sense of what you might feel and prepare you for the myriad of possible emotions.

They have walked the path before and they understand the ebb and flow of grief.

I’ve heard that one of the unspoken rules of the club is that once you’re a member, there’s an inherent responsibility to pay it forward. You look after one another. You reach out. You offer support and you let them know they aren’t alone in their hurt. You help each other lean in to all that is new. You show up.


I made it through yesterday, but not without tears. At one point, I sat in my closet and cried. More like wept. I miss my Dad deeply and I’m coming to grip with that fact that he is gone. Not just gone, but G.O.N.E.

I am starting to accept that I will miss him

forever, for the rest of my life, and that won’t change. I’ll get through it and I’ll probably get used to it, but I won’t ever get over it. A piece of my life’s jigsaw has been removed and, however much I rearrange the other pieces, it will never be the same.

But I’m also starting to accept that life moves forward and days like yesterday aren’t all bad. I was able to understand the mix of sorrow and joy that often goes hand in hand with losing loved ones. I did laugh. I did celebrate my husband, an incredible father to our lucky children. I did appreciate all the love that floated my way. I did talk to my dad, not on the phone or in person, but quietly inside my heart.

And for that, I thank the club. All day I was reminded of these important words: I see you. It’s hard. He’s still with you. And you’ve got this.




Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Thera-Mom

Subscribe to Thera-Mom blog!

* indicates required

As see on: The Doctors

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This