Some of us fatherless daughters mistakenly think that our dad's death won't hit us hard. Because he wasn't around much or at all, we're got off guard by our grief and confused by our intense emotional reaction. This was true when my father passed as I certainly didn't anticipate crying for weeks and then plunging into depression.
Yet, when we step back and look at the situation objectively, our sadness is quite understandable. We're mourning not only the death of our dad but the death of hope. For most of our lives, we longed for a loving father-daughter bond and now it's an impossibility. The finality of that is hard to accept and can cause us much sorrow.
With the passing of your dad, your feelings are raw and complicated. This is an excellent time to write in a journal about your thoughts and emotions. It's also a wonderful time to reach out to trusted friends for an open, honest, and vulnerable conversation about your father.
When I did that after my dad died, I was amazed how many women shared their troubled father-daughter relationships with me. For all those who claim to have been their “daddy's little princess,” there are many more with fathers who were physically or emotionally absent. Sharing our stories helps us understand that we're not alone.
As you journey through the grief process, be especially kind and patient with yourself. I wish you the best.