FEATURE ARTICLE

Standing at the peak of a 14,000 foot peak, Colorado, Chicago Basin
Standing at the peak of a 14,000 foot peak, Colorado, Chicago Basin

Did Your Father Die When You Were Just A Kid?
 
Frosty Wooldridge 
Date: 01-29-2023
Subject: Books

This request offers you an opportunity to express yourself concerning your father's death when you were a young man or young lady. Or share this request with someone you know who experienced this event.

If you lost your father to an early death when you were between the ages of 8 and 18, you and I possess much in common. Or you may have lost him through divorce or he abandoned your family.   My 46-year-old father died instantly of a heart attack when I was 17.  His death changed my life and my brothers' and my sister's, radically, from happy kids, kids who played sports with their dad, kids who loved their dad, kids who enjoyed the love of their dad—to instantly "no dad" ever again in our lives. I remember that day when my father's best friend came up to me in the parking lot to tell me the news. He leaned into the car window, "Frosty I don't know how to tell you this, but your father died while umpiring the Albany High School game today."

From that point on, our lives changed from normal to not normal.  From happy to vacant. From our dad being proud of us when we hit a homer or scored a basket to no dad to be proud of us anymore. No more movies and popcorn with dad. Life and circumstances ripped our father out of our lives. It changed the way we thought, acted and lived our lives. It changed my sister's life dramatically from a happy girl to withdrawn, overweight from eating food for comfort and socially out of sorts. One of my brothers became angry at everything and lost his sense of balance in the world.

Over the years, I have wished I could talk to my dad as a man, bicycle with him one day for a chat or sit by a campfire. Always something in the back of my mind. Millions of other men and women have lost their fathers, too, at a young age. They may feel the same way. Each of us who lost a father shares a heartbreaking fate that only we can feel and only we can share.

You're invited to write an essay of 1,000, or 2,000, or 3,000, or 5,000 words describing your feelings, your pains, your triumphs or your sadness of losing your dad between the ages of 8 and 18.  That's when the most impact hit you because you were close to him and he was around the house and your connection was deepest and most profound. Write about the moment when you learned of his death. Write about your shock.  Write about how you felt and what it meant to you then, and what it means to you today.  Write about how it has affected you over the years. Write about your feelings. Write about how you coped.  Write about how you didn't or haven't coped. Write about how you reacted to drugs, depression, booze, aberrant behavior, etc. Write about what it did to your life path. Write whether you liked him or not.  Got along with him or not.  Write his good and bad points. How did it affect you spiritually and how did it affect your concept of God? Fairness?   

After you've written your story, take some time out to write a letter to your dad.  Thank him or question him or share your feelings of anger with him if you have any.  Then, write a letter back to you from him, as if he were alive.  You'll find it VERY therapeutic.  You'll probably cry along with a few other emotions. But after this entire exercise, you'll find that you've gotten a lot of feelings out on the table…and you will release them. If you want,  I will send you my letter to my father and his letter back to me.  It's very cathartic.  Don't worry about spelling or grammar. I will edit your essay to perfection.

I am writing this book by weaving your story along with other men and women, and connecting the dots. We intertwine our lives with the death of our fathers. We share a common bond of pain, of anguish and loss of the most important man in our lives. Millions of men and women lost their fathers to an early death.  Your story will give them comfort, hope and ideas on how to deal with their pain.  Show how you healed, dealt with your pain or how you haven't.

Once it publishes, you will receive a copy of the book. You may leave your name out of it for your own privacy or I will only use your first name only or your full name if you like. You can write this essay to get every detail of your story. If you know of other men or women who would like to share their story, please forward this request to them.  They can be any age. I can email this request, too.

Thank you for making this book possible: When Your Father Died Too Soon—I Miss My Dad.

Life and light,

Frosty Wooldridge, Golden, CO, frostyw@juno.com