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Shippy's avatar

What do you wish you could say now, to your deceased parent/s?

Asked by Shippy (9857 points ) June 19th, 2012

I know we all have regrets about what we could have said, or should have done, with our parents if they are deceased. I have so many, but that really is another topic.

My father was a born salesman, because wherever he went, he loved to tell a story. He had so many. One of his favorites was to claim he had missed a bullet in the then Rhodesian Army. However we at home knew that in fact he had fallen over drunk one night at the dinner table and banged his head on the table on his way down.
He had great presence, and could fill a room, he was tall and good looking and kind of knew what to say to people and when.

As a teen I saw him simply as a “bull shitter” someone who simply made up stories for attention. He also told everyone he was in the Para bats and the Navy. I often wondered how he could do both at once! This lead to great irritation in me, and we often argued about it.

As an adult I cared for him in his latter years. He was a handful, his story telling got worse, and instead of telling him with a huge sigh “To give it up” as I did when younger, I’d just simply ignore him.

A few years after his death, I found a file with plastic pages, and in it were his service records, to the Royal Navy and his time in Singapore as a Para bat. I sat and cried. I wish I could give him a call up there, and tell him how proud I am of him. Maybe only one or two stories were fake, but most it seems were true. Which things do you regret most, and wish you could say now to your late parents?

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20 Answers

Neizvestnaya's avatar

My biological father wasn’t allowed to meet me until I was in my teens so when we did meet, there was a lot of family background to cover as to the why-when and what all. He died about a decade later and I would have liked to tell him privately that I was never angry about not being able to grow up with him. I had thought of a bunch of ways to say it where it wouldn’t hurt his feelings but it didn’t seem possible.

lloydbird's avatar

I would ask them where they buried the cash.

Sunny2's avatar

I would apologize for not airing my complaints about their parenting skills earlier, when they could still argue back. I couldn’t express myself well enough to do it when I was a teenager and I really didn’t sort out what I was missing until I was a parent myself, but I regret not speaking up sooner. I could also have told them what they did that was good.

dabbler's avatar

Among the many things I wish I had a chance to say to each of them a lot of them boil down to “thanks!”.

minnie19's avatar

Is it strange that even though both my parents are alive, I am terribly afraid of them dying and almost everyday thinking about it?

zenvelo's avatar

I’d tell my dad I love him, and thank him for all he did for us.

When my dad was in his last days, my therapist asked if I had any “unfinished business”. Fortunately he and I had grown closer when I was in my forties, so we were at peace. But it also taught me to clean things up with people, we never know when it will be too late.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t think I told him I loved him the night he went to bed and died. He was a good man and a good parent.

Pandora's avatar

I wish I had the courage to tell him that I loved him one last time and that he was the best father any girl could wish for and that he didn’t have to hang on any longer. I would make sure to to continue living life to the fullest. Instead all I said was see you later.
I couldn’t bring myself to say anything on his last day because I wasn’t ready to let go.
I hates these questions. I don’t know why I always feel compelled to answer them. They only make me sad.

bewailknot's avatar

It wasn’t after he was gone and we went through some of his papers and writings that we realized we knew so little about Dad. He just didn’t talk about himself. If I had the chance I would ask him more questions so he would know I was interested.

Symbeline's avatar

While my dad might appreciate whatever mushy shit I may have to say to him that I regret not saying, it isn’t much because I never had any problems saying things to him…he’d probably appreciate it even more if I just said hi, and then we’d shoot the shit. Then I’d ask if he could lend me ten bucks. :D

lynfromnm's avatar

My mom died 10 years ago. Among the great things she did was teach my older sister, who was severely dyslexic, to read. Her passion for learning and literature transferred to all of her descendants. What I wish I could thank her for most, however, is her wisdom. I didn’t always appreciate it at the time, but if I had only understood years ago how to live her mantra I’d have wasted less time with BS. That mantra was “let people be who they are”.

creative1's avatar

I wish I got to know you as an adult, I would have loved to know the real person behind the dad. My mom and I got to become friends once I was grown and I wish I could have had that with my father. I also wish you got to meet all of your grandchildren, some of which so like you in so many ways.

I love you dad and I miss you in my life for these past 26 years!!!

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@minnie19 I know the feeling, especially since I live so far away from them. That fear has turned into a severe phobia!

ucme's avatar

Watch out, there’s a fucking bus!!!

harple's avatar

I’d tell my father that he was loved, that I really am his daughter, and that we would work out a way forward together, that a family break up isn’t actually the end of the world, and that I would like him to be there for the key moments of my life… and that I would like him to want to be there.

cazzie's avatar

MOM! You were soooo right. I should have NEVER gotten involved.

Harold's avatar

I would have loved a better relationship with my father, who, although he was a good man, I was never able to get close to- there always seemed to be a barrier. If he were still here, I would try harder to break through, but I’m still not sure how I would have done that.

I would tell my mother more how much I loved her-she’s been gone almost two years (although Alzheimers took her mind a lot earlier), and I miss her every day.

Kayak8's avatar

@Shippy You may really enjoy and find meaningful the movie Big Fish as it is about a son coming to terms with a larger than life father much as you describe.

Shippy's avatar

@Kayak8 thank you I will look into that

bewailknot's avatar

@Kayak8 That is a great movie. I always thought it deserved more attention.

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