The other Father’s Day

The other side of Father’s Day


Father’s Day — and Mother’s Day five weeks ago — to all the parents out there whose sons and daughters are dead, dead from drug overdoses, suicides, killed in car crashes, killed in wars, murdered by madmen, dead from diseases that robbed them of the rest of their lives — to these parents, Father’s and Mother’s Day are a grotesque travesty. You try not to be bitter, you say you envy the parents who still have their children, you can even say you’re jealous and that’s okay but the bottom line is you’re bitter as hell, not at them, good luck to their good fortune, bitter at God if there even is a God but he’s as good a scapegoat as any to lash out at. What else can you do? Blame the drug companies for making the drugs that your son or your daughter overdosed on, blame the gun manufacturers for making the weapon that your son or your daughter blew their brains out with, blame the automobile manufacturer for making the car that your child died in? None of that makes sense, so you lash out at God, even if you don’t believe in God you believe in him long enough on these special days to curse him for taking your child. Take us for Christsake, We’ve lived most of our lives but my son and my daughter were just starting out in life. Why the hell would you snuff out their young lives? A Christian friend of mine will tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. “God doesn’t go around killing people, y’know,” she once said to me. But then, religious people say there’s a reason for everything. Bullshit. There’s no good reason why four or five teenagers die in a car crash on their way to a graduation party; nothing good comes from a parent losing three or four of their babies in a house fire; no good comes from a father burying a son who took enough barbiturates to kill himself three times over; there’s no good reason why a beautiful young daughter hangs herself in a moment of profound loneliness. It all comes down to the same thing — an unbearable burden of grief and sorrow and many times guilt that fathers and mothers carry to their graves, their own deaths being the only respite from the hell of burying their children.

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4 thoughts on “The other side of Father’s Day

  1. Yes indeed. Still, in the unrelenting sorrow of such loss, I hope beyond hope that one day in some unknown way this imbalance of fate will be (as Paul Newman said of his own son’s drug death) ‘resolved in death.’

  2. Yes, I still feel that way. My oldest son died from drugs in 2012 leaving behind a daughter and a son, and a grieving father. My wifes only son died in 2008 from a car crash, so we grieve together, and alone. You never get over it, and anyone that hasn’t lost a child should never say, they understand. They don’t. Pretty strong post mich, but well said.