My beloved Dad on my wedding day

I Love You, Dad. A Tribute to My Father.

My Dad passed away this week. Even though I knew it was looming, I didn’t know it would come so soon. I was hoping I’d have more time to get acquainted with the idea of death and what it means for those of us left behind.

Now I am beginning to understand just how naive my existence was before I was forced to confront death’s discourteous blow.

While I hope you never have to experience such a life-altering loss, the truth is, we all will. Death is a part of life. And once it strikes someone you so dearly love, your existence will never be the same.

I know the pain of losing my Dad will perhaps never leave me. I imagine it will ease with time as I process and get through it, but I don’t suspect I will get over it. How can I? How can you get over a person who has been there since before you were even aware of yourself?

His life, his influence, his energy is inextricably linked to mine and I now take comfort in that. I take comfort in knowing that my Dad is no longer in pain. That suffering is no longer something he has to endure. My Dad, Vincent, will forever be in my heart until the day it stops beating. And I am grateful that I am becoming a more fully realized human being, a more caring,  compassionate, and empathetic person because of my Dad. Still, I would forfeit any wisdom for the sake of having him back.

♥   ♥   ♥

What is the measure of a man? Is it the amount of money he has? The possessions he owns and the power he holds? Is it the professional success he’s achieved over the years?

I don’t believe it is any of these things. The true measure of a man is how much love he gives; how selflessly he shares whatever he can to help others; how consistently he lifts up those around him with a kind word, a funny joke, a compliment, a humble ear or the very shoes off his feet.

By this measure, my Dad was immeasurable.

I lost my Dad. But only in body, not in spirit. This is by far the most painful and heart-ripping and life-altering experience I’ve endured.

But I do my best to remain grateful and comforted knowing how much my beloved Dad positively affected the lives of others.

He was the most sincerely altruistic person I have ever known with no attachment to material things — he would literally give you the clothes he was wearing. All you had to do was mention you liked something and he would immediately insist on giving it to you. This became abundantly clear when, one day at the hospital, soon before my Dad passed away, I was talking to his brother Danny who was wearing my Dad’s tennis shoes. Why was he wearing my Dad’s sneakers? Because my Dad had given them to him when Danny had mentioned that he liked them.

How many times did I have to tell my Dad, ‘No, I don’t need anything, Dad, I’m good. Keep it for yourself.’

My Dad loved to dance and loved to make people laugh. All he ever wanted to do was make other people feel comfortable and make sure they were not feeling left out. I know it’s because he knew what it was like to feel left out. He grew up poor and had to borrow clothes from the school’s lost and found. He was teased. And as he got older, he always rooted for the underdog, because he knew what it felt like to be that person.

My dad just turned 61 on Valentine’s Day. And it is so apropos that he was born on that day because he was the embodiment of love. A heart of gold is what every family member and friend has said about my Dad. And it’s incredible to see just how boundless his reach has been.

My Dad left an impact on every person he met, even strangers (who didn’t stay strangers very long because he was just so damn friendly). The love my Dad spread on this Earth continues to grow and will live on, and that is the ultimate measure of any human being.

I love you, Dad. Now and forevermore.

Has your dad passed away? How have you been dealing with it? Do you have anything you’d like to share that could help others?

FEBRUARY 2020 UPDATE: I recently wrote a post about how I’m feeling two years after my Dad passed away.

Here’s a collection of some poems that might help you with grieving and loss

There are 49 comments for this article
  1. Erica Trisha at 3:30 pm

    Your tribute was very touching and comforting.
    I lost my dad April 6 2024, and just like you, we knew it was coming because he had a terminal illness, but we didn’t know it was so soon. I am full of regrets, the Dr advised us to go abroad for better treatment, but we changed hospitals instead to get second opinions, his brother advised him against getting certain treatments too. A week before he passed on, he called us together at the hospital and told us he had one week left, we didn’t listen to him because we had faith that God was going to perform a miracle. He died exactly on that one week. I’m so devasted, because he was the only one that understands me. I have a husband that has no empathy, for him live goes on.

  2. Toni at 9:11 am

    I have just lost my father on March 5th 2024, I have lost lots of family to be in my 30’s. This one really knocked me down this blog is helpful thank you so much.

    • Mar Yvette at 7:37 pm

      Hi Daniel,
      I am so very sorry for your loss. I know it’s impossible to process right now but I hope you have friends and family you can lean on. I’m grateful that this tribute brought just a tiny bit of comfort to you. All my best.

      • Crystal at 6:40 am

        I came across your story online. I lost my daddy behind the glass room of covid unable to touch or comfort him and only being allowed to see him once thru the glass . I will call him (Daddy til the day I die.) If they would of just let me touch him to be the comfort of strength he needed i felt if tho i could of healed him. But they were cruel there is details I will not say on here. Thomas Eugene Church from Augusta kansas is his name . And as you described your father mine was so much the same.. I ONLY MISS HIM WHEN IM BREATHING !!…..
        Daddy’s Lil girl
        Crystal church

    • Maame Asantewaa Linda at 12:35 am

      Hi, I am Maame Asantewaa… I lost my dad on 18th September and he’s funeral is 25th November… Your tribute is really great and I will always remember him.

  3. Christopher C. at 10:11 pm

    This hits home. My dad passed away May 4th this year, he was in his 60s, and his name was also Vincent. I’m processing it all and the toughest realization is not having him for the birthdays and the holidays.

  4. Michelle Cash at 4:03 pm

    Hi there. This article hits so close to home for me. I lost my dad a week ago today and we just said goodbye to him yesterday. The pain and heartbreak is unimaginable. He and I were so close and the bond between him and my 10 yr old daughter was the same. I’m saddened, yet mad. He is a Vietnam Veteran who not only suffered from what he witnessed being there for a year, but the long term affects that ultimately took him from us. Agent Orange, the silent killer.
    Thank you for sharing your story, along with your grief and I am sorry for your loss as well.

  5. Mike S. at 6:25 am

    Wow what a powerful post followed by powerful comments. Some of you lost your dad so early in life. On the contrary, my father lived to be 85 and next month he will have been gone for 10 years. I’ve come to terms with his passing but I still think about him and miss him. My mom has since died as well. As a sidenote I would say to anybody reading this that even if there is a will, once your last parent passes, never agree if your sibling suggests that you all handle probate on your own. You all both each need to get an attorney to handle probate for you.

    A good way to pay tribute to a lost parent is to write a memorial about them on the website

    Here is mine for my dad, and the link to my mom’s is at the bottom of his:

  6. Faith Balogun at 2:53 am

    Hi, I lost my Dad last week Jan 6th, 2021, it’s been hard but I Know God is in control.
    The community, church and people also miss him, most times they pass the front of our house hoping he would be sitting in the veranda, his deep voice still lingers in my heart.
    I miss u Dad

    • Margaret D'Cruz at 9:04 pm

      Am truly sorry for your loss Faith. My siblings and I lost our dad on 17th January, 2020. It’s exactly a year now but it still feels like yesterday. We miss him to bits and I understand what you are going through. Anything at all you know I am there. Take care and God bless


    • Jay at 6:10 am

      I lost my dad,a man who mean the world to me on 8th September 2021..All my life,I never knew the pain of losing someone so close ,maybe bcos I never lost anyone so close to my heart.I felt the world should just come to an end,I am still trying so hard to move on with life but it seems so difficult & impossible for me ..This man was everything to me..The bond was so real.I never thought he would ever leave me ,I never knew it will be this soon either.All I know is that heaven gained yet another angel
      Rest on Dad …I love you till I breath my last

  7. GABRIELLA MADU at 5:29 am

    Hi, My name is Gabriella.
    I lost my Dad on 19th October 2020. He was aged 63.
    I am heartbroken and in pieces.
    Reading your tribute helped me find the strength to write my own tribute to my Dad.

    • Mar Yvette at 9:44 pm

      Hi Edith,
      I am so very sorry that you lost your Dad. I know it is the worst feeling in the world. It feels so painful right now, but you will get through this. It doesn’t mean you won’t always miss him (you will), but you will grow and it won’t always feel so overwhelming. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sure your dad was so special and he’ll always be with you in your mind and heart. You can help keep his spirit alive by talking about him and sharing your memories. Sending you lots of love and comfort. xo -m

  8. Godrich at 10:50 am

    My dad died on the 29th of July 2020 with no sickness just nothing on a Monday morning after he finished washing he just went to urinate in the toilet that morning before we knew he fell down in the toilet when he realized he fell down we quickly rushed him to the hospital and he was on Oxygen he was recurring but yet didn’t wake before on Wednesday morning to cut the story short he died

    • Christiana Imoh at 1:17 am

      I lost my Dad on my birthday 31’st July so so sad, I love you daddy but God love’s you more. Sleep on Daddy till we meet to part no more

    • Emmanuel Sheglar at 12:44 pm

      I lost my dad to a ghastly motor accident on 22/02/21. That’s the saddest day of my life. May your gentle soul Rest In Peace Dad. I will forever miss him.

    • Adejoke at 10:45 am

      I lost my dad June 26th, 2021. It was so so painful, I cried my eyes out, I even broke down with malaria. I never knew the pains of losing loved ones until I lost my dad. He was my best friend, my gist partner & my confidant.
      Am still trying to get use to the fact that he is no more with us. My dad, my first love. I love you very much. Continue to rest in peace.

  9. Anthony Chuks at 2:11 pm

    I lost my dad on the 14/08/2020. It’s a difficult feelings to go through. Even now my heart is still heavy and troubled. My head cannot stop pushing tears and my eye often runs down with tears mostly in the night I can’t even sleep longer. I love my dad and loosing him to the cold arms of death is something that I cannot explain. My pains is that I loss my dad when am still financially impecunious and the man didn’t even enjoy me as a son because, I’ve promised to carter for him in old age but he was sick there was no money to take adequate medical care of him. Oh! Dad may your gentle soul rest in peace and may your spirit forgive my inabilities to fulfill my responsibilities towards you. RIP papa.

  10. FESTUS MWILA at 11:13 am

    Mar Yvette you are a blessing.

    May the Lord continue using you to bring hope to the hopeless. Some moments are heart breaking. I experience the same loss 27 years ago and I know how it feels. My experience was different because I was an adult, a father of one at that time. What pained me most was how some people who hated Dad rejoiced at his death despite him being a good man who helped many.

  11. Beta Ekott at 11:50 pm

    I lost my father early January 2020 and till now I am don’t understand what happen wether is true or he travel that some day he will come back. So painful to wake up one morning and discovered that your love one is no more. I miss you dad continue to rest in peace. I love you

      • Vivien at 9:08 am

        Lost my dad 7th of March 2020. It’s not been easy. I find it hard to believe he’s no longer here with us. I keep hoping that one day he ‘ll return but that ain’t gonna happen. Keep Resting In Peace Dad. Gone but not forgotten

  12. Fred at 3:21 pm

    I just lost my father this year. I feel for many life will be forever different and god forbid you lose both parents and depending on your situation if your married with kids or all alone. I feel bad for kids who lost there parents at a young age. I just now discontinued the antidepressant I had started after losing my pops.

    • Mar Yvette at 11:37 pm

      Hi Fred,
      I am so sorry that you lost your father. I definitely feel that life is forever different after a parent dies. It’s different after anyone you love dies, but perhaps it’s especially difficult when it’s the person who was in your life before you even knew who you were. Grief is painful, but you get through it day by day. Sending you positive and comforting thoughts.

  13. Paramount at 1:05 pm


  14. Sheana Mykel Goff at 8:18 pm

    I don’t even know how I came across this blog, so odd, but wow! I’m so glad I did! What am amazing tribute and how beautifully and perfectly written!!! I was seriously just looking at dogs at different pounds because, Well….
    I just lost my Papa a few days ago. My Grandma is NOT ok (obviously) , and she has early stages of dementia and Alzheimers. She’s pretty lucid though. Anyway, your elegant words just hit the core of my soul. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! <3

    • Mar Yvette at 4:59 pm

      Hi Sheana,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment for me. How interesting that you were looking for pound dogs and came across my blog post! (I am a HUGE dog and animal lover and so I’m glad that somehow there’s a connection there.)

      I am so sorry you lost your Papa – it is incredibly painful to experience loss and it’s quite impossible to explain it to anyone who has not gone through it. It’s been over a year since I lost my Dad and I’m still unable to truly process what has happened. How is someone there all your life and then — poof! — gone??? (At least physically.)

      It’s an emotional, psychological, spiritual and soulful journey we’re on and I can only hope that my own experience can somehow bring some comfort or sense of “not alone-ness” for others like you. Thank you for reaching out.

      • Lesley Reid at 12:48 am

        I lost my dad 2 days ago, and I am now lost.the emptiness I have is huge, my dad was our everything, his sudden death has left me with such pain I cannot see it ever going away, anyone who speaks of my dad always says he is a true gentleman, he made such an impact on the lives of every single person lucky enough to have him cross their path.

        • Mar Yvette at 6:22 pm

          Hi Leslie, I am so sorry you lost your dad. It is one of the most horrible, life-altering, painful, confusing and indescribable experiences a person can have. It has been over a year since my own dad passed, and all I can say is that the pain is always there, but somehow it’s a bit more bearable as time goes on — although the tears do come, many times when you least expect them. It’s like a wound that heals, but the scar will always be there.

          I will remind you of what I remind myself every day: We are among the fortunate ones who had fathers we loved and who loved us. Not everybody has the blessing of a loving relationship with their parents or family, so let that bring some comfort to you. I also hope knowing how much he impacted the lives of others will bring you some peace in the midst of your pain.

    • Solution at 10:41 pm

      Nice tribute ,
      iv been trying to write a tribute for my late dad, but whenever I pick up a pen, I feel sad.
      I think this will help me

        • Dana at 7:17 am

          I lost my Dad on Sept 1, 2020. I’m completely devastated and heartbroken by this loss. I’m still trying to process everything that happened. He passed so quickly. Thanks for sharing your story and your experience, Mar. I see that I’m not alone in my thought process and my grief.

    • Rita at 1:47 am

      I lost my dad on the 29th of July just few days after my defense and as a graduate, the time his supposed to start enjoying the friut of his labor the cold hand of death took him, despite his good works his enemies didn’t let him stay, it was painful to lose a kindhearted and loving and caring man like him. I wish God can bring him back to life because we have much to discuss.

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