When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Second Grade

July 27, 2010 · 70 comments

When you’re seven and your dad dies it changes you.

You will become severely disappointed in life.

You will be washed over with fresh disappointment everyday when the thought of seeing your Dad after school comes before the reminder that he is dead.

It takes years before you are able to reconcile with the fact that he’s gone for good…but you never stop daydreaming about seeing him again…or what it would be like had he never left.

You will be forced to re-evaluate your faith. You will question God and his intentions long before many of your friends.

You will wish you were dead because you will know being dead will put you together again.

You will ask your teacher to make him a saint and pray for him.

You will want to remind everyone of the loss in your life. Everyone should know your Dad is dead. Everyone should know you suffer more than they do.

When your seven year old classmates refuse to let you play with them on the playground, you will look to the sky and sigh an exasperated sigh.

When your seven year old classmates call you a baby and ask you if you’re looking to the sky to keep the tears from falling down your face you will look at them and yell, “NO! I’M ASKING MY DAD FOR HELP AND TO FORGIVE YOU FOR BEING SO MEAN!!”

And they will ask you to play with them again.



And when you sit down for journal writing your teacher will ask the class to write a story about Spring, your classmates will think about flowers and bunnies, but you will think about death.

creative writing4

Mama Kat Loves You When You Love Her


seriouslyahomemaker July 27, 2010 at 9:37 pm


I was “all ova” your blog today and noticed a lot of pics of just your mom and your siblings. No daddy. Wondered where he was… This is pretty heavy.

And touching. Thanks for sharing it, Mama.


ps. i just vlogged “playtime” with my kids for your WW. that was fun!

KiKi July 27, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Oh my gosh. That is so breathtakingly sad and beautiful. I’m so completely touched that I don’t know what to say. Yet I had to say something….WOW!

Erin July 27, 2010 at 10:05 pm

I know this feeling all to well, except I was 10, and trust me, it doesn’t change with age!

I still do all of those things and my father’s been gone for 27 years!

Leslie July 27, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Very touching. My dad died almost 4 years ago, and though I was 37 at the time and not 7, this resonated with me…thank you for sharing your story.

Jack July 27, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Sorry for your loss. From time to time my kids have had nightmares about me dying. I always do my best to reassure them, but sometimes I feel guilty that I can’t promise that I will be there forever.

Heather@Welch Happenings July 28, 2010 at 12:20 am

This is soo sad. I am sorry for your loss. Children always suffer when a parent is lost, no matter what the age.

trash July 28, 2010 at 1:19 am

Man, you worked the whole thing much better than I ever did. I just used to crack one liners during the ‘Our Father’ about having two fathers in heaven.

Chelsey July 28, 2010 at 1:54 am

I’m so sorry. Your journal writing is so sweet and heartfelt…

Angie@Dear Sydney July 28, 2010 at 2:02 am

You have no idea how much this moved me this morning. I wasn’t seven and I truly can’t imagine what it’s like at that age. I was twenty when I lost my Dad and even though I’m now thirty-three some days are just a meltdown of missing my Dad.

My daughter was born seven months ago and I started dealing with a whole new set of emotions – it’s not fair for her to not have her Papaw. I wish so much that she could know him.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Los July 28, 2010 at 2:53 am

That is a tough time to lose a parent – actually, it’s never easy, but at age 7, that shakes you down to your foundation.

jules July 28, 2010 at 3:28 am

And your teacher’s heart will break for you daily.

Stephanie July 28, 2010 at 4:55 am

I was thirteen, so it’s been 21 years (and 6 days), and in those 21 years I’ve never been able to put my emotions into such appropriate words. You have a gift.

Most days I don’t think about my dad, but he does pop in there occasionally. For the first five years I thought about him every day. EVERY day. It’s just so hard as a kid.

Here’s something funny: The first time I had sex (of course, I wasn’t married and I was a teen) I was certain he could see me from heaven and I was in HUGE trouble. Kinda ruined the moment. lol.

Embejo July 28, 2010 at 5:11 am

Thanks for having the courage to share. My mum died when I was 5. I still think about her every single day, and miss her terribly at times.

Jennifer July 28, 2010 at 5:13 am

I just…. I…. I don’t even have the words. I’m sorry for your pain.

Jen July 28, 2010 at 5:40 am

I am having a bad day, really mission Loretta (mil) today. So I can relate because these feelings are so fresh for me. Right now, I just want to know will the pain ever lessen?

Thanks for writing this, its nice to know that my feelings are understood.

Lindsay @ Just My Blog July 28, 2010 at 6:13 am

Oh Mama Kat….I’m so sorry for your pain and loss. I hope the day gets better.

LindsayDianne July 28, 2010 at 6:26 am

Thanks for sharing that. The last time I saw my father, I was 7. He didn’t pass away, though just chose to leave.
I can relate to the perspective shift.

Kirsten July 28, 2010 at 6:27 am

My dad died when I was eight. I get it. I used to come home from school every day and think maybe he will be there, maybe it was all a joke and he’s just been on a vacation.

My daughters are about to turn eight and sometimes it hits me. I can’t imagine then going through that right now.


Kini July 28, 2010 at 6:29 am

Wow! That brought out some serious tears from me. It was very touching and I know you’ve been taking it day-by-day (since your were 7). You keep it strong and when you’re weak, it’s okay. You’re human with a heart…


Alma July 28, 2010 at 6:35 am

My Daddy died when I was six.

I buy blue carnations when I want to remember him. When I was little, I used to be so afraid of thunder and lightning. So, I told myself it was just Daddy bowling with God. Now, I love the rain and rejoice in hailstorms.

He steals my keys sometimes and hides them in my microwave. He promised to never leave me, and because he’s my Daddy, he never did. I’m reminded whenever I get in trouble for some joke that sounds mean-spirited.

I’m my Daddy’s daughter. I will be till the day I die. And that means he’s never gone.

Dana July 28, 2010 at 6:44 am

It really doesn’t change with age….

Jen Ochej July 28, 2010 at 6:48 am

Wow. The experience is pretty universal, huh? I was almost 12. It’s been 11 years, 5 days. I guess in some ways it gets easier with time.

Still miss my dad.

Lori July 28, 2010 at 6:59 am

I was 6 when mine died, so I totally relate to this post. The circumstances around my dad’s death were pretty tragic. I wrote a blog post about it and felt a huge sense of relief afterwards. It was a kind of therapy I really needed….to write about it, to have people read it and to get my feelings out there. We never get over it. We just deal with it differently as we get older.

Julie @ Practically Spent July 28, 2010 at 7:13 am

Awww. Such heartache for such a young child. Although I lost my dad as an adult, I still relate to some of the points you made. He was seriously sick my entire life, and that alone made me feel removed from my peers in some ways. I know your experience is one that remains with you forever.

Lindy Leigh July 28, 2010 at 7:17 am

That’s very hard…my daughter (33) lost her dad when she was 8, but we were divorced by then…we’re both grateful for my husband who raised her like his own but she had a hard time back then too, and still does once in a while.

Sara July 28, 2010 at 7:21 am

Found you on “Just a homemaker” and was very moved by your honest expression of a very traumatic experience. Thank you so much! Today is a new day, and there are 2 young girls I know who have lost parents and need a little extra love… I can give. Thank you for a “re-focus”! xo

BelovedAimee July 28, 2010 at 7:21 am

I can’t imagine growing up without a parent…. I was 30 when my mom died and I still need my mommy every day, so I get it. a little.

Cheryl July 28, 2010 at 7:21 am

Bless you for composing this post. My man (our 8-year-old twins’ daddy) is amidst a Stage 3c cancer battle royale after a recurrence last November. Now, two surgeries, endless scans, a round of high dose radiation, and on deck for next week a promising clinical trial at NIH—he is cancer-free. (and how we hope and pray that is for the long run!) But those nagging anxieties of how will my kids deal (how will I deal…) Heaven forbid things turn…

You’re a remarkable, remarkable woman. I wish you peace, and thank you for composing this.

Aimee July 28, 2010 at 7:35 am

Wow. This is so heartfelt and touching. Very beautifully written. I can’t even come close to imaging what it is like losing my father at that young of an age. Moments and stories like this make me really think abot life and realize that I really do take things for granted…. Thank you for sharing something so personal and touching with us.

Bree July 28, 2010 at 7:37 am

When I was 5 my dad died. Just young enough for me to not have enough memories but old enough to remember him being sick. Some days there is nothing more than I want to do then to sit down and have a conversation with him.

Angelia Sims July 28, 2010 at 9:25 am

So sad. It really changes a little person. People say they won’t remember, or they don’t know what is going on. But they do. They really do.

I can’t imagine what you went through.

Kisha Floren July 28, 2010 at 10:10 am

I cannot begin to imagine what it feels like, especially at the age of seven, to feel a loss like that.

I hope that writing about it and soaking up all the love and care from your bloggy friends helps to take the edge off, even if just a little bit.

Hugs to you, my friend. I know he is looking down upon you and is so proud.

Julie July 28, 2010 at 10:42 am

My heart breaks for you at age 7… and for you today. I can’t even imagine a loss like that. I fear that day in my own adult life already.


Crystal July 28, 2010 at 11:03 am

Wow, you are such an amazing writer!!! I had no idea you lost your dad, and at such a young age. WOW! So sorry to hear about this, but thought this was absolutely beautiful!!!

Allison @ Alli 'n Son July 28, 2010 at 11:06 am

Oh, your post just broke my heart. With such simple, beautiful words, you described so well what it is like to grow up without a parent. I can’t image.

Cheryl @ Mommypants July 28, 2010 at 11:14 am

That is so achingly sad. I’m sad for both you as a child and for you now. Thank you for sharing!

Noexcuses July 28, 2010 at 11:38 am

Thank you for sharing such a personal and poignant post. I am so sorry that you had to experience this as a child. I think we, as adults, have a better grasp on this life thing, although it still hurts to lose someone we love so much. I pray that you fondly remember the love and affection you had with him.

Dawn (Bee and Rose) July 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Thank you for sharing this post. My daughter is 7 and most likely will deal with the passing of her dad in the next few months due to his multiple terminal illnesses.

I worry about them (my children) moving on after this happens…I know it will be a long difficult journey. I pray to God daily to help me help them on that journey.

Thank you for your honesty…thank you for sharing this…

Susan @ Sassafrassery July 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I am new to Mama’s Losin’ It and this blew me away. Completely. Blew. Me. Away.

Thank you for sharing it.

Lesley @ I Never Said... July 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Reading the journal excerpt was astounding – such depth and emotion. These emotions speak to so many kids/teens/adults. Thanks for sharing.

Kirsten July 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Wow! What an insightful and touching piece of writing. Your comment about a teacher asking the kids to write a story about Spring is so true. We (I’m a teacher) forget when we give mundane writing topics to young children that they sometimes have so much more going on in their lives than the topic you want them to address. Sometimes it’s not until you’ve collected their journals and really read the thoughts they spilled onto paper, that you realize the entire story. I always try to keep this in mind when asking the kids to write. Did you cry as you wrote this or after you finished it and were proofing it? Does it get easier? What you wrote about is one of my deepest fears. Guess you just have to keep on keeping on right?

Heather Kemper July 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I’m awed… this post was heartfelt and breathtaking… thank you for sharing such emotions…

Tooje July 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I came by to say hello and that I think it’s neat you actually reply to people’s comments on the SITS roll call. And then your post took me back to 3rd grade where a friend of mine, a boy now man I still keep in touch with, lost his mother. It was breathtakingly sad and painful to watch as a peer of his. I remember some thought it strange, how he acted afterward, but I just felt sadness for him. We weren’t really friends at that point, but I wanted to be his friend. I wanted to take him home with me to play. To be happy. But at that age, I had no idea how to reach out to another child and make them feel better.

I hope you had people who reached out to you at such a young age. It’s truly amazing what we can live through and hope that we’re able to take whatever repercussions exist from them and mold them into positives, even if they weren’t initially.

Happy Wednesday to you.

kisatrtle July 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm

I can feel you hurt and you aren’t seven anymore. (((hugs)))

That One Mom July 28, 2010 at 6:10 pm

One time my son was running ahead into a restaurant and a man said to him, “Wait for your mom and dad!” My stopped in his tracks and said to the man, “My dad is dead.” and kept walking. The man’s jaw dropped and I just smiled as I walked by. Shame on him for presuming….

lucy @ lucille in the sky July 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I believe you are incredibly courageous for revealing such raw emotion to the world. I am going to forward to my dear friend who’s dad died 10 years ago, when she was 14. She’s still working on letting go…it’s a long process. My father’s mother died when he was 7 and it will always be tough for him to talk about.

SaucyB July 28, 2010 at 6:57 pm

You are so lighthearted in your writing I never would have dreamed you experienced such tragedy at such a young age. I am so sorry for what you went through. I truly don’t know what to say.

jessica July 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm

This is so beautifully written. I have very fortunate to have my dad around and I do thank God all the time.

Alexandra July 28, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I’ll bet it was hard to stop writing that post… you could go on forever. You could write pages and pages and still not run out things to say about how it affects your life.

Incredible post.

I know we’ve spoken about his before, my father passed away when I was in the first grade…and the most vivid memory I have is of returning to the classroom after being out a week, and having all the kids stare and whisper.

I knew what they were talking about , and I wished the whispers were about another kid, but not me.

oery vegn wr

greedygrace July 28, 2010 at 8:44 pm


Even after all these years, it still hurts. I hope my babies never have to hurt that way.

Michelle July 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I didn’t know your father passed away when you were so young. That is really hard. My uncle passed away last year and I am really close to my aunt. Their boys are 11 and 13 now and I wonder how it will shape the rest of their lives…

Mommy Drinks Because You Cry July 28, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Big hugs sister. Losing a parent at such a young age has such a profound impact on your entire life. The way you lead it, the way you raise your children, everything. I get it. I do. I lost my mom at 10. It was 20 years ago and the pain at times is soul crushing. It’s not something you ever get over or fully deal with…thankfully they have pills that help :)

Amy July 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm

This was so beautifully written.

thank you for always sharing you and your experiences.

alexis July 28, 2010 at 9:18 pm

beautiful. thank you for sharing.

Booyah's Momma July 28, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I’ve been avoiding this post in my Google reader, because I thought it might make me cry. I was right. I can’t imagine dealing with that as a young child. Thank you for posting this.

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom) July 29, 2010 at 1:21 am

Heartbreaking and beautifully written. I cannot imagine having that loss as a child. Thanks for sharing.

Shell July 29, 2010 at 5:22 am

My dad died a week before my 7th birthday. I totally get this. I became “this super serious overachieving kid who had to take care of my mom and baby brother” or else. I’m just now starting to get over it.

KLZ July 29, 2010 at 5:44 am

Heartbreaking but so insightful. Lovely.

angie July 29, 2010 at 6:42 am

When you write about your father it always touches me in a way that so many others can’t. It’s so real, and sad and I wish it didn’t happen to you or your family.

Just Add Walter July 29, 2010 at 7:19 am

I know exactly how that feels – I lost my father at the age of 5. It is something you never get over and carry with you EVERY day

subWOW July 29, 2010 at 7:27 am


Michelle July 29, 2010 at 11:14 am

Now I’ve got tears in my eyes… That was beautifully written. I’m blessed to still have my parents, and I love them both dearly.

My kids have experienced a tragic loss. Not their father, but their uncle – his brother. I know it has changed their lives, as it has everyone in our family. The hardest part of it all, was them seeing his death first hand. He was visiting us before going to Africa, and died of an overdose of prescription medication. He was nearly 23 and Iraqi war veteran. My daughters had only visited with him on one other occasion, and my son hadn’t seen him in many years (we lived in different states). Their visit was a good one – great even – and then ended in such a heart-wrenching, tragic way. I know that event was a defining moment for them, one that they will never forget. I just pray they can find something good in it, and carry that with them the rest of their lives instead of the tragedy.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Peace. ;)

Kasey@All Things Mamma July 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Great post. I lost my mom at age 23. I believe it defines me as well. I feel like I have to tell people when I meet them: “HI, I’m Kasey and my mom died.” It’s a hard, hard thing to lose a parent. I’m sorry you lost your’s.

Sherri July 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I am a new follower, and this was such a touching post. I work with elementary school kids who need “a little extra something” at school for half an hour a week, and some of them have lost a parent. I cannot even imagine how this feels, but I love how you write about it from the viewpoint of your seven year-old self.

CoffeeJitters (Judy Haley) July 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm


Janet July 30, 2010 at 8:34 am

Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I’m a new blogger/follower.
I began blogging when my dad got sick last year…the blog was for family and friends but I found such therapy through writing about my visits. He died this last Feb 9th (on my birthday!!!) with my mom and me and my siblings holding his hands, praying, talking, laughing and playing Frank Sinatra.
Someone told me that I will ALWAYS miss him until the day I DIE… because then, I believe, I will finally be in his arms again, but it still hurts!
Love to you…..

melissa July 31, 2010 at 4:31 am

oh. i’m so sorry. i can’t even imagine.
my friend just died the other day. she left behind a five year old.
that’s what made me the most sad. i lost my friend but i kept thinking about her son who lost his mommy.

Leigh Ann August 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I’m all teary-eyed. Your writing touched me. I have just now found your blog, this was the first post I read. I am so sorry that you have had to experience this great loss at such a young age. I have been blessed to have both my parents still with me but, my husband lost his father when he was seven years old, also. I know from his mom that he had a very difficult time accepting the loss. My husband told his teachers and friends that his dad was coming back to him. Thankfully, his mom got him some counselling and she thinks it helped him come to terms. But, even to this day, the loss of his father affects him and his interactions with our kids.

Thank you for sharing your story with us readers. I know it’s not easy to put something so deeply personal out there.

I look forward to becoming a “Follower”.

diane November 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Kat, I have to tell you… your ability to be so raw in your posts always inspires me. Regardless of the topic, it pushes me along to muster up enough courage to get a running start and then… I pause. The point being, thank you for sharing so much of yourself, so openly.

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