I was 2 years old when my dad died. The only things I remember about him are other people's memories. Now I have more and more friends who have lost their dads. Everyone's experience is different, and it's not always easy to explain what it's like to live with that kind of loss. But it doesn't mean we don't want to talk about it.
  1. Don't tell me that my wedding will still be nice and that he'll be there in spirit.
  2. Don't say at least he lived a long life.
  3. Or that many people die young.
    Age doesn't matter.
  4. Don't tell me that he's in a better place.
  5. Or that it was his time to go.
  6. Never ask if I'm over it yet.
  7. Don't bring up the term "daddy issues" or ask if I've had healthy romantic relationships.
    Just because a woman lost her father doesn't mean she's broken.
  8. Don't tell me to cheer up, or that my father wouldn't want me to be sad.
  9. Eliminate the phrase "there is a reason for everything" from your vocabulary.
    This is neither charming nor whimsical when talking about death.
  10. Don't say at least he's not suffering anymore.
  11. Don't tell me it's not that bad because I was young when he died...
  12. ..Or imply that a cancer diagnosis makes death less shocking.
  13. Never tell me everybody's parents die sooner or later...
  14. ...Or remind me that at least I still have a mom, because some people don't even have that.
  15. HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN SAY INSTEAD: Tell me about your father. I don't know how you feel, but I am here to help in any way I can. My favorite memory of your father is...I wish I had the right words. Just know that I care.