Family

Father’s Day With A Dad In Prison

June 15, 2019

Tomorrow, while scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, my feed will be inundated with beautiful tributes to incredible fathers. I mean, I’ll probably post my own tribute for my husband who is the best dad in the world to my children. But you won’t see me posting a Father’s Day tribute to my own dad.

If I did, it might go a little like this:

“Thank you for teaching me to ride a bike and drive stick. Thank you for walking me down the aisle. Thank you for breaking my heart so viciously and violently, so I know what heartbreak feels like. Thank you for teaching me not to trust anyone. Words can’t describe how much you’ve taught me over the years (I mean, if you give me enough time, I could definitely find the words and almost none of them would be nice). Happy Father’s Day!” *insert cute throwback pic*

I know so many other human beings will be scrolling through social media, seeing all the wonderful fathers out there, and will feel alone. Or maybe you’ll feel it as you walk past the card aisle at Target and see all the father’s day cards you won’t be buying. If that’s you, please know you’re not alone. Whether your dad has passed away, or he’s incarcerated, or you never had a relationship with him to begin with. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

And while I don’t feel alone, I don’t quite know which category I belong to. I feel as if I don’t deserve to grieve my relationship with my dad, since he’s not dead – just serving a 20 year sentence in prison. I feel like I should be grateful he’s alive out there somewhere, but deep down – the truth is, I wish he was dead. Because maybe then I could fully grieve him and deal with the pain he’s caused…

How is it possible to miss someone and wish they were dead at the same time? To love them and hate them equally?

Tomorrow, no matter how hard I try to feel otherwise, I will feel sad, hurt and heartbroken. The same way I feel anytime I think of him. Father’s Day just magnifies those emotions: It causes me to remember things I usually make a conscious effort to forget, it causes me to feel things I usually push deep down, it causes me to wonder things I usually don’t feel curious about.

But I won’t feel alone, because I’m not. My heart is with anyone in similar shoes. Tomorrow and every day.


My Dad Is In Prison For Sex Crimes (Podcast Episode)

5 Truths About Having An Incarcerated Parent

An Open Letter To Anyone With A Parent In Jail

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