When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Extended Family

August 31, 2010 · 33 comments

When you’re seven and your Dad dies you will stop seeing his family so much because it hurts your mom to be around them.

You start to feel like an outsider in a room filled with his siblings whose memories of your Dad exceed your own. You will feel jealous of your cousin who so easily curls into your aunts laps on Christmas.

Some days you feel grateful for the memories of him they share with you. They laugh at his funny pranks, shake their heads at his relentless teasing, and reminisce of a life long missed with him. Each memory, a treasure.

On other days their memories will irritate you because it will remind you of how little you actually knew him.

You will convince yourself that it doesn’t matter that you do not have as many memories…because he was your Dad…and as hard as they love him and as many memories as they have, that special relationship is safe just for you.

You will remember the laughing sparkle in his blue eyes when he would squeeze that soft spot above your knee. Tell you you’re boy crazy. You will feel happy again with your own memories.

You will have a special place in your heart for your Grandma and Grandpa who always seem to make you feel like the most special girl in the whole entire world. They will look at you like you are an angel, because they see pieces of their boy inside you.

Your Grandpa will hug you close, take a good look at how you’ve grown. You will see a familiar sparkle in his blue eyes when he squeezes the soft spot above your knee. Tell you you’re boy crazy.

When you’re seven and your Dad dies you will stop seeing his family so much because it hurts your Mom to be around them.

And you understand.

When You're Seven And Your Dad Dies

Mama Kat Loves You When You Love Her


Federal Farmer August 31, 2010 at 7:14 am

That was powerful. I have a hard time describing my feelings about your writing because your words touched me so. I lost my father when I was seven, and for years I have struggled to adequately describe my anguish for the past eighteen years… and yet here in just a few paragraphs, you nailed it.

I’m sorry if my comments seem strange, but I really appreciated that post… I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog, thanks.

Hamlet's Mistress August 31, 2010 at 7:48 am

Holy tears streaming down my cheeks. I know this is how my aunt and mom feel. Their dad died when my mom was 14 and my aunt was 9.


Cceem February 27, 2014 at 9:49 am

You have to be a special kind of psoren to be able to run a daycare. To have to take care of others peoples children, dealing with different psorenalities and different parents day in and out. Not just anyone can do what you do and I think you will be right at home with your career choice.

Theresa August 31, 2010 at 8:16 am


Jennifer August 31, 2010 at 8:22 am

It works that way when you’re 32 too. I hardly ever see my Dad’s family anymore (mostly because they’re kind of crazy, but that isn’t the point). When I do I’m almost starving for stories, memories of him that they have so that I can share in them, but at the same time I’m jealous that they have this special thing with him and why can’t I have more. This pain never, ever goes away.

No Excuses August 31, 2010 at 8:53 am

My mom died when I was 31. An in-law told me that it was to painful to see me, because she was very close to my mom. I had just become a mom for the first time, and had so much to ask, so much so share.

This is a great post, even though somewhat painful. You are not alone.


Michelle @ Mommy Loves Stilettos August 31, 2010 at 9:23 am

Tears, that’s all I’ve got.
I don’t even have the words to describe how powerful this post is.


Scargosun August 31, 2010 at 9:29 am

It is so odd that you wrote this today. This weekend we went to see my Dad’s side of the family for my uncle’s 70th birthday. w had not seen them in 7 year although we only live about an hour away. It is still really, really hard to talk to my uncle because he and my Dad look so much alike…and he is still alive. I was glad to see my family but it still squeezes my heart.

Sunday August 31, 2010 at 9:43 am

This was hauntingly beautiful Kat.
I cannot imagine how a child wraps the death of a parent around their head and their heart. How they understand and process it.
My mom died suddenly when I was 28 and it has forever changed who I am as a daughter and as a mother.

Prayers for you Kat. I know your Dad would be proud.

Megan August 31, 2010 at 9:48 am

So eloquently spoken. I can’t even imagine. I’m so sorry you didn’t get to have your dad around longer. (((HUGS)))

Margaret @ Single and Sane August 31, 2010 at 10:10 am

Two students at the school where I work lost their dad suddenly to a heart attack yesterday. This post reminded me of what they’re facing today, and tomorrow, and all the days after that. Thanks for sharing your own heartache so poignantly.


Kristen August 31, 2010 at 10:23 am

This really touched me. Beautifully written.

Diane August 31, 2010 at 10:50 am

My boys were 4 years old and 5 months old when we lost their dad so this post touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing it.

trash August 31, 2010 at 11:17 am

When you’re seven and your dad dies it is hard if you live on the other side of the world from his family and only have the memories of your older siblings to share. I’m just saying is all.

MommyLisa August 31, 2010 at 11:31 am


Jennifer August 31, 2010 at 11:47 am

It works the same way when you are 15 and your parents go through a nasty divorce. I didn’t get to see my dad OR his side of the family much (granted, at least my dad is still living, so not the same kind of pain you experienced). I did have the same feeling on holidays.. like an outsider when all my cousins came together comfortably including my now step-siblings and I, the one with the blood relation, felt like the intruder.

Cheryl @ Mommypants August 31, 2010 at 12:18 pm

This was beautiful and sad and I’m glad you shared it. My son is almost seven and I can’t imagine him losing his dad. How can you ever explain that to a child? It’s devastating enough as an adult.

Jenni August 31, 2010 at 12:31 pm

WOW! Such a powerful post! The writing and emotions are so strong and beautiful.

Angel August 31, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I read this earlier and couldn’t find the words to express how this touched me. My dad passed when I was 35 but I am still learning things even now. Like my great grandad was married 3 times and had 8 kids. We never knew. I never knew my dad had an older sister that died from croup, until he died.. things I needed to know ..

helen August 31, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Such a beautiful post, it made me cry. I lost my Dad in April, and I swear sometimes I miss him so much it hurts to breathe. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to go through all that as a child. Thank you for this.

Kathy August 31, 2010 at 3:16 pm

The healing is an ongoing process, isn’t it? Blessings to you and your family -

abbie August 31, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Just lost an aunt so this really hit home. Watching her two daughters go through the loss has been so hard on the whole extended family. I have never thought about what might happen to our relationship with them and truly hope this doesn’t happen, but from what you have written I can now understand if it does.
Thanks for the amazing insight and powerful words.

Sara @ Tedious Life August 31, 2010 at 5:33 pm

How sad and tragic, I don’t know what that pain must feel like.

The little boy, about 7, who lives near me recently lost his dad. I wonder how much that pain will shape his life.

This was a very powerful post.

Nicole August 31, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Thank you for sharing…..this pulls at my heart. You are a remarkable woman. Your Dad would be very proud of the person you are today. Especially your sense of humor from what I can tell. If he was a prankster-type…then you are your father’s daughter because of your innate ability to make even perfect strangers laugh out loud . :-) We parents give the best parts of ourselves to our kids….that’s why they’re so fabulous. I <3 Mama Kat!

Candice @ Fashionably Organized August 31, 2010 at 5:51 pm

That was beautiful and heart wrenching. I fear every day the feeling you were exposed to at such a young age. I fear the day I’m faced w/my parents mortality. I cannot imagine facing it when you were 7. I had a friend in Junior high and high school who’s dad died when she was in 5th grade. I saw how that forever changed her and can never forget how much she missed him. You are an amazing writer.

debi9kids August 31, 2010 at 5:58 pm

OMGOSH. With everything going on with me right now, I probably shouldnt have read this, but I saw the title on my FB home and had too.

Tears streaming….
I can’t imagine the heartbreak of losing a parent so young.

Beautiful post Kat.

Cari S. August 31, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Beautiful and heart wrenching ….(((hugs)))

kisatrtle August 31, 2010 at 6:26 pm

i feel like giving you a hug

Amy August 31, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Beautiful and well written. I could feel your pain through your writing.

I have lost both my parents in the last 6 six years. It isn’t easy at any age, but I feel for the little girl in you. My kids are just 7 and I won’t even try to imagine.

BIG hug!

Emmy August 31, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Truly beautiful and powerful

Mama10 September 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Thank you for the words.

Tracy P. September 3, 2010 at 8:11 pm

My nephews were teenagers when their dad (my sister’s husband) died. I know so much of this is true for them. Thankfully they still seek out his side of the family, but my sister just wants to spend all the holidays with us. It’s been hard. But it’s part of their story. I wonder, Mama Kat. If you thought through all the things that happened because your dad died when you were seven, and how your life would have been different…would you change the course of your life history to bring him back?

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