When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Metamorphosis

blue skies

When you are seven and your Dad dies all of your classmates and future classmates will need to know what happened in order to feel adequately sorry for you. They will need to be saddened by your loss. It is the small price they will pay for your suffering.

You will be sure to impress upon them how close you were with your Dad so that they understand just how devastating your losing him really was. You will tell your friends you were “Daddy’s Little Girl” and they will know how special he was to you. And how special you were to him.

You will know this is a lie.

There is no such thing as a Daddy’s Little Girl in your family. There are too many kids and he tickled you all equally. But you miss your Dad and if you want to say you were his princess than you can and nobody will know because he’s gone and can’t tell them otherwise.

When you’re seven and your Dad dies you will one day be a fourth grader.

Your teacher will ask your class to choose encyclopedias and to pick two topics from your encyclopedias to present a report on. You will choose encyclopedias starting with the letters B and C and you will decide to teach the class about butterflies and Cancer. Two topics you feel most confident in presenting.

You will cover the process of metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly only after you show the class photos of your Dad post brain surgery. As the photos pass through each of your friends fingers they will ask about the stitches across his head and you will tell them that’s exactly where the doctors opened your Dad up in order to remove the cancer in his brain.

Though they never did get it all.

Did they know that Cancer could kill people?

Well they do now.

And just like the butterfly, your Dad too, was given wings.

A different kind.


When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: The Funeral
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Extended Family
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Second Grade
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: The Manger


  1. says

    I cannot imagine losing my parent that early. I am 40+ and losing both my parents in a 4 year span at my age has ripped my heart out. This was so beautiful Mama. I tell you what I love most. The fact that often we simply see you as typically the ‘funny’ blogger. Putting a humorous spin on this thing called motherhood. Then the moments like this come through, and we are captivated by the rawness and openness of the words. You remind us that everyone has had trials and tests in life. But that the choice is ours in how we work through them and live on.

  2. says

    How amazing that, in fourth grade, you understood it was important to put the ‘C’ first, followed by the ‘B’. I think that it’s interesting that butterfly starts with BUT. Because cancer is not the end of your father’s story. And it’s certainly not the end of yours. Thanking God for you today, Mama Kat.

  3. says

    Oh my. When I saw the title of this post I had to read because it is ever-present in my mind that my kids might lose their dad. My son is currently 6 (I also have a daughter who is 11 1/2). I guess no matter what, it will effect them.

  4. says

    Oh, Kat. I don’t even know what to say, except, I am sorry, and I can imagine your pain. I can imagine being that young and having to go through something that hard. Now, as a mom to a two young children, I can imagine their pain if this were to happen to them. Huge hugs to you. And thank you for sharing your words, and this beautiful post. xo

  5. says

    And then there’s your metamorphosis – as you had to go on with life without him. You and your siblings got their own wings, too – as you all learned how to navigate life without your dad.

  6. says

    My kids are being hit head on at the moment with two different family members who are very close to death. My poor kids have had to face death too many times in their young lives.

    HUGS thank you so much for sharing this part of your life!!!!

  7. says

    Know matter what age you are…it just sucks to lose a parent!! My mom died 5 years ago. It still stings. I can’t imagine how hard it has been for you to grow up without your dad and having to process the cancer piece at such a young age. My heart aches with you…praying for you.

  8. says

    That was beautifully written and a definite tear-jerker. I am sorry you had to go through such a grown-up, life changing ordeal at such a young age.

  9. says

    I think it is interesting that at seven you knew a better way to grieve than I did at 30. Because when you’re 30 and your dad dies you hide the pain and lock it away and never, ever share it. Your way was so much more healthy.