Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day Without a Father

 Me, Mom & Dad . 1962

It is Fathers Day, and all the posts I started to write about my (mostly) beloved, recently departed father have dissolved into dust, sputtered out, words tumbling over themselves into the void that used to be filled by a man: my father, the photographer Jim Steinhardt. I have yet no distance.  It's too soon, I'm too raw and the tasks of cleaning up his life are still upon me.  

I've spent days in the empty rooms he and my mother so recently occupied sorting though his many thousand photographs.  Lobbing thin notebooks full of his words, thoughts, wild ideas, and great plans into boxes, I am not able to throw them out, but completely unhinged by cracking them open, watching his familiar looping hand growing increasingly wobbly as time took its toll.

I need to pay tribute to him, to our loving, complex, father/daughter relationship, but can say no more today, a day spent with my husband and sons, the menfolk of my family now.

So, if you don't mind, I will point you back to some old words I've already written about him:

Here, the eulogy I delivered at his memorial service, three months ago.

And here, about his last clear days.

And here, a post written very close to the end, about letting him go.

I will always have a father, here with me in my heart.


  1. I'm so sorry. This day has to be so hard, especially with the wounds so new and so raw. My father died when I was seven, so I do understand how hard it is to not have a father on father's day. Big hugs and love to you.

  2. Very moving post. I lost my Mum in 2007 and I still hurt.

  3. I think you show great wisdom in allowing yourself the space to process. I can't imagine trying to live with such a raw grief, even if given the chance to prepare for the loss. I'm so so sorry.

  4. I appreciate this post, too, almost 10 years after my father's death. Only those who have lost a parent can understand. Barbara

  5. I think you are a strong wonderful daughter, mother, and woman. Your writing is beautiful, poetic and hopefully healing. Keep going with it!


I am so sorry to have to turn word verification back on, but the spam-bots have found me - yikes!