"My dad died and I didn't tell anyone. My mom and my siblings and a couple of my closest friends heard the news, but there was no funeral, no obituary, no throngs of people lining up to say goodbye."  Those are the words that poured from my heart nearly one year ago in an article titled, "My First Father's Day Without My "Father" 

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My birth father's body was found on May 8, 2020, just 15 days before what would have been his 63rd birthday. By his own choice, my siblings and I had no contact with our birth father for over thirty years. And while I likely never would have reconciled with my birth father, the fact that I woke one day and he was just...dead and no longer of this earth is still strange to me and the fact that he died so young, only 22 years older than me, has definitely messed with my head and reminded me of my own mortality.

While I was estranged from my birth father for virtually my entire life, I've found myself thinking of him a lot the last few weeks. He died on May 7, was found on May 8, and his birthday would have been May 23, which is my wedding anniversary (I had no idea the day we picked to get married was also my dad's birthday) and now we're just a few weeks from Father's Day.

I don't know if these mixed-up thoughts and feelings will hit me every year at this time, but they're here now and I can't really explain how I feel. I'm sad that a man lost his life and I'm sad that the man who helped give me life is gone, but at the same time there's also a hollowness that I feel so guilty for feeling if that even makes sense.

When my mind and heart are jumbled, I turn to music. Anyone who has pent-up feelings of sadness for their birth father not wanting them knows how twisted it sounds that we often turn to sappy songs about fathers who were the good guys, but listening to songs about what we didn't have helps release the bottled up sadness.

Think of it like the movies - a pint of ice cream, a bottle of wine, and a sappy love story are the movies of choice for people going through bad breakups. It's just that people don't really talk about how they do the same thing with music.

Whether you're grieving the loss of the father you had a close relationship with or the loss of a father you had (or still have) a non-existent relationship with, these country songs might help with some of the emotions you feel are trapped inside and need to be purged.

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