Slice of Life Story Challenge- When I Last Saw My Father

A slow day allowed to view the movie, ‘When Did You Last See Your Father?” a film based on Blake Morrison’s novel about the relationship he shared with his father, I was struck by the all too common relationship issues we share with our parents. I found raw emotion bubbling just below the surface. I felt the rawness of realization in the memories that surfaced. I began to think more intently about my own father and how I saw him. I thought too about the unsaid things that continue to linger with me.

In those final days of his life, I sat with him, and we danced around the words that refused to be uttered by either of us. Our true thoughts remained trapped inside our sad hearts. We spoke of trivial matters only. – the weather, the cricket, and the hospital food. Banter at best.  The only time we got close to the truth was when he asked me if I had found all the envelopes that he had left at his house. Envelopes, that contained instructions for his funeral.

 My father was so totally organised. His instructions were ordered and clear. His preparation, immaculate. It was too close for me. I quickly re-assured him that I knew where to find them and searched my mind for another subject. Why would I want this to take up our time together?

 I drove home that afternoon not realizing that my chance had gone. I knew that the end of his life was near but it still came as a shock when a phone call from the hospital early the next morning informed me that he had died during the night. The day stretched in front of me, my thoughts consumed with the knowledge of having not told him that I loved him deeply once more before he died.
My earliest photo with my Dad. It's a shame I'm wearing a dress...


  1. I guess we 'dance around the words' because to say them aloud means we are giving up hope and clinging to hope is important too.Putting your emotions into text makes them real andmopens the floodgates - not sure I am ready to express that raw emotion just yet.

  2. Such a heart felt topic then "My earliest photo with my Dad. It's a shame I'm wearing a dress" I went from one emotion of sadness then laughter.

  3. Your writing certainly speaks to me. You capture your emotions with a realness and authenticity. Sometimes we worry about the words we did not say, but some words may not need said.

    Today my family will travel to say goodbye to an uncle. Hospice is taking care of him, as his cancer has advanced to the point of kidney failure. Your post reminds me of why we are going--to say what we need to say. Many, many thanks for your honesty and openness, today especially.

  4. I too went from sadness to laughter, what an emotionally raw post. So honest and genuine, I could feel your sense of regret yet the necessary hesitation you had prior to your car ride home. He knows.

  5. Sometimes I think there are more words I wish I'd said, but then I wonder if it's just because we want more time. I spent days during Christmas time with my mother & then had to leave to return to work, knowing I wouldn't see her again. You've brought up that time for me again, bittersweet. Glad I could have the time, but never enough. I'm sorry you felt regrets, but being with him expressed the feelings too. Thank you Alan.

  6. I had chills reading. What an emotional piece. I'm sure there are things you wish you would have said, but how wonderful for you to spend the time with him. Thank you for sharing!

  7. It is just too hard to say that last good-bye. How beautiful that he was taking care of you by making sure you knew where the envelope was. I suppose in his way, that was an " I love you, son.". Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt piece.

  8. So captures the way I feel with some family relationships ..."we danced around words that refused to be uttered..." Very touching and raw piece...thanks!

  9. "We danced around words..." how often do we do that with those closest to us. I flet your emotions in this piece. It reminded me of my father's death in 2004. It stays with you. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Much was said in what wasn't said. You've got me thinking about my dad. He died three years ago, and sometimes I still call my mom's house when I know she isn't home to hear Dad's voice on the answering machine. Much wasn't said in the end for us either, but love fills a room in its wordlessness. Thanks for sharing and triggering my memories. I will have to write a Dad slice, soon.

  11. First thank you for sharing something so heartfelt. Humans are such complicated beings. We are the only creatures that have words for love, yet so often we cannot say them to the people we most love. You have expressed what so many of us have felt and been unable to articulate.


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