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Ways People Love Us


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Dear friends,

and oh what wonderful friends you are. I feel that you all, besides my journal, my spiritual teachers, and the trees, are the only ones that know my heart of hearts these days. You I share my sadness with, that no one else hears or sees these days.

Lately I have felt such intense longing for meaning. This has been a reoccuring longing that I have noted repeats itself in my journal. I have been thinking about this longing, and what it means, and what am I looking for?

I am looking for things that satisfy me and give me happiness. I am looking for discussion, of matters both shallow and fun, and depthful and serious. I am looking for things that make me think and feel intensely. I am looking for love, and to feel special to people. My father encompassed all of these, and ever since his loss I have noticed how much the others around me fall short. I know I should be grateful for a stable life, supportive friends and family, but...they express their love differently than he did. This is something I am sortof mulling over and thinking over (and being miserable over) tonight.

I think I am looking for the same affection that I had with my father. Not that same relationship, of father and daughter; that cannot and I don't think ever will be replicated by anyone. But I really feel that my father loved with all of his heart. Or at least, he did me. He gave me all of his love. He was the sort of person who wore his feelings on his sleeve. He would say his thoughts and not hold it back. This got him in trouble sometimes, but he was innocent and childlike in that way. And, like a child, that quality of innocence was endearing and made him even more loveable.

When I graduated, I was relieved. I thought I would be returning to an affectionate environment with family and friends. And well, they are, but it isn't the same. I wanted affectionate exchanges; I haven't really had many. My mother and stepfather have their routine, they follow it, and not a lot of deep feelings get expressed. My friends are busy with school and work. I know they can't help it, and they would talk if they could, or thought to, or knew I needed it, but meanwhile, I feel so lonely. I want it to be obvious that I am loved. I want to feel special and light and encouraged and peaceful, like I did with my dad. Lately, nothing satisfies me. Nothing.

I just want people to smile and laugh and hug me, and to show me how they love me. I know it is fruitless to wish that everyone could be like my dad, but can't people just be a little more vocal and feeling? Why is the world of today so calm, so composed, and afraid of showing their feelings? I really, really wish people would ACT more loving; I know their love for me is there, but their way of showing it, well, they don't show it. Or it's just routine and I don't get much feeling from them.

I feel just so miserable, missing the deep, touching, and obvious way of expressing love that my dad had around me. I don't even mean specific words or anything when I say 'ways'; I guess I mean, a certain feeling I got, just, I dunno, when you know that you're totally and absolutely loved. It feels so good and safe and on top of the world! He made it so obvious that he loved me, and he was not afraid to show it. I feel it helped me so much in life. Without him, I feel lonely, small, and unloved. Seriously. I almost feel like no one loves me. I know it's not true, but it hurts that no one can even show that they do. Even the daily "Love you"s with family feel hollow.

I want to open this up to discussion so it won't be just counsel...although advice I would love...and, if you want to, sharing of ways that your loved ones (or you!) show/ed love.

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I can understand what you are saying. I have come across the need, the longing for meaning. It is true that the love being shown by our fathers will not be replicated, it is unique. But we also know we are capable of expressing love in different ways. I think we were designed to express our feelings, and there are many ways of doing so.

For me, I am grateful for what I have received from God, from my family, my friends. The love is expressed differently, but it is still love. I am grateful to God for the opportunities and experiences I have lived, good and bad because they have made me who I am, and I guess on the bad, I have become a wiser person , and will continue to learn. From my family, they have shown me their love in simple things, which I love. Dad, one time got me earrings for my birthday, it meant so much to me because at the time I was away from home and that was his way of saying I am thinking about you. , the part I loved the most was how he took the time to look around for something for me, more than the material stuff. He would take a cup of coffee to my bed right when I woke up, I don't know it was the little things I loved so much, and still love. Despite my Dad being gone from this material world, telling you these things brings a smile and joy to me. My Dad is somewhere else, where I cant see him just yet, but I know his love is with me always.

For the rest of my family, my mom always wants to make sure I am well in terms of health and giving recommendations on taking care of myself. I guess that is what moms do. Mom talks to me about things she has learned through life, gives me advice as Dad would do. I enjoy spending time with her, sharing a cup of coffee, eating breakfast together, talking about how the day went. At times I feel a bit scared when thinking of when she gets called home to God. But I guess it is life.

My brothers, I call them,keep in touch about how their lives are going, give them advice when they ask for something. I try to help them out whenever they need it, and by giving, expressing love I feel good. I guess the giving part is part of expressing love and feeling it at the same time.

My friends, I give advice when asked for it. The best way they have expressed their love for me is giving me the space I need, being understanding of my situation, my loss even though they dont understand my pain. But knowing they are there for me,is more than enough for me.

I truly believe we are designed to express love, to care for others, in different ways. There are many languages of love.

I currently live alone, and visit my family very often. In the short term I want to live with my family, to spend as much time as possible with them. Mom just needs to straighten some paperwork stuff from dad's passing and well the goal is for them to move with me or me move in with them. One or the other.

Despite coming to an empty home, I don't feel alone. I look back and look at my life and blessings and know I have never been alone. God has been by my side, my family one way or another has been with me. There are times where I get sad, and miss my family terribly, but in that same way I express my love for them in every way possible.

For Dad, even though he is not with me physically, his love is with me in my heart, and from wherever he is, he watches over us.

I know it is hard to keep on going, to find meaning when our world has been shattered by loss of a loved one. But I also think, somehow we gather the strength to keep on going. We definitely change, and we want to make sure we find ways to focus those changes in a positive way. Will there be times when we are sad, depressed and lonely? Of course, but we know we can keep going, and in time we find that meaning.

Each one of us was given a gift, that gift makes part of us, how we relate to others, our personality, etc. We need to make sure we use what is given to us in a positive way.

I am also grateful I found this site, because in the middle of my loss, my grief, I see I am not alone, and I am understood, and well, I realize i have been given this to know that we human beings are also connected in grief. It is not something to be joyous about but rather to know that we are not alone. We are understood and despite our loss we need to keep on going, if not for us then for those that departed, our fathers, our mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, etc.

That's my 2 cents.


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Dear Chai, I know exactly what you are talking about !! I believe that is why I'm still having such a hard time ( 6 months after losing my Dad) It's just that no one Loved and supported me like my Dad, and the thought of never having that kind of Love again is heart breaking !! I'm sorry there's not a lot of depth or dialogue to what I write, I just wanted you to know I can relate ! Chai, when did you lose your Dad ? I haven't been on this site for so long that I forgot some things. Well, Love and Peace to you ! Jodi :)

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Chai, Daughter2010 & Jodi,

I also echo all of what you have said. I just feel I don't know how to live without my Dad's love, like you said Chai, it wasn't just words, for me it was just simply his presence,knowing he was simply here was enough to feel the comfort, feel the security. No matter what ever happened in life, he was there to share my happiness, pain, sorry, worry etc and he never ever failed to cheer me up, stop the worry and so on. Knowing that is gone from this life just breaks me a little bit more everyday.

I cling so much to my Mom's love now and although I know it's not the same as Dad's, I know how unconditional it is, but I am scared that it's all that is left now.

I know other family members and friends love me, but nothing compares and as much as I do appreciate their love and support it's just not good enough, yet I know nothing ever can be or will be good enough, no matter what anyones says or does, it's my Dad's love is all I long and ache for, it's his words of support, encouragement that I need and long for so much.

I can never give enough thanks for each and every one of you here,

(((((HUGS))))) & Love to you all,


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You guys echo my thoughts so well.

I want to find that security again. I have no idea how. I don't know what expressions could make me feel better.

I'm so lost. I am actively trying to feel better, though, but every time I grasp at something, nothing holds. I hate this feeling. Is it just me? Is it them? I have no idea.

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  • 2 months later...

Dear friends,

Apologies for my very late reply. At the time of this email, I was thinking about my mother and her very stoic, different way of showing her love - really, of expressing herself. She likes to get me things, which is very nice, but it's not the same as a few words, or a loving smile, or praise, from my dad. And it just doesn't match his way of serenity, and the way I felt on top of the world and so so so loved when he was around.

I went on a trip, a few, to escape...in fact, that is what I've been doing for nearly all of my summer of 2010. I am a little afraid of my future, and I'm trying to dive back into my writing, and it's going well, which makes me happy, because I love it, and my father encouraged me so much in my writing.

I am so happy to receive all of your replies. It helps me feel less lonely. We all were touched in such special ways by our loved ones, and there are no people who will be like them. But like some of you said, we do still have others who love us, and God, so really we are always loved, and these loves strengthen us.

But it is hard to not be weakened when we miss certain unique ways that our lost ones showed their love for us. Jodo, my father passed away...gosh, almost two years ago now. It's sortof horrifying to think that it's been 2 years. After he passed, I dove into school as something to keep me busy, but then my grades did dwindle a little, because I resented school...but now I'm done, and I feel sortof lost sometimes. I try to keep it within this year. 2011 doesn't exist as far as I am concerned. I am keeping it within the realm of here, now, trying to distract myself, occasionally writing in my grief journal, and happily acquiring more writings that my father and grandmother had (just recently, binders of my grandmother's stuff and my dad's old laptop).

What was it about my dad, I just don't even know how to express...he made me feel like I was the most important person on earth. Not that I felt arrogant, but just so special. And really, I think that because I was my father's only child, and he a man struggling to build his career dream, with no family around (until my grandma came to live with him, later)...he really did see me as his all and all, I think. I really was everything to him.

And other people, family and friends, their love is divided, so naturally they do not express their love of me like my dad did, because their love was less, and I simply am not to them as I was to my father. I was so special to him. I was his relief from his struggles in life, I think. He would pick me up from my mom's house, and we would go hiking. We would talk about our dreams, our troubles, everything. It was wonderful. And I think it was wonderful for him too, a relief and release, and he cherished it very much. Thinking of it like this, I feel I'm understanding more, why others cannot show their love for me the same ways my father did. They are divided, where he was not.

Thank you all so much for your replies.


take care,


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This is what hurts the most to me.My dad loved me so much,and never was scared to show it.He showered me with affection,attention and love.He made me feel special everyday of my life,and thr loss of his love leaves such an aching hole.No one could love me that way.No one does.It hurts.I find myself trying hard for approval and a show of affection,but no one fills the void,and I feel worse.I miss him so bad.I wonder if the pain will ever stop.

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hi Chai,

No need for every apologising, sometimes we write, sometimes we don't, sometimes we can't. But it is always good to hear from you.

Your beautiful words echo so much of what I feel. I too have a fear of the future. I am trying hard in work but it's been very tough. My Dad was always so proud of me and my job, over the last 2 years I finally had my dream role in my department and I worked so hard at it. Now things have changed, I no longer have that role mainly due to things changing in our department and certain aspects being out of control for management. Dealing with a career change right now is beyond difficult and not having my Dad around to keep encouraging me is difficult. Nobody else can supply that encouragement that I can truly believe in and take to heart.

Em's post is just so accurate, I love the way you describe it as divided love, they are the exact words. Of course we all still have people who love us, care for us and so on but we are missing the one person who simply loved us with all their heart, the one person who would do absolutely anything for us without hesitation. Lots of people, friends and family say those words, say they would do anything for us but it's not the real truth underneath it all, they will do as much as they can, as much as what can suit them and that gap is truly enourmous. It's that old saying of pure unconditional love I think, that no matter how much someone else loves us, there are most likely still some sort of strings attached to it, however thin, they do exist.

I know what you mean when you talk about being the most important person on earth to your Dad, I too am the same. I was his number 1 and he was mine. Of course I still have my Mom and I know I have that unconditional love from her but 50% of what I always knew as unconditional love is gone and cannot ever be replaced, and that's a dam big chunk.

I miss our chats about the small silly things and also the bigger things in life. So often we would have our philisophical chats in the car, going to McDonalds when my Mom would be meeting her girlfriends for dinner. They were always some of the most special treasured times. In fact I remember times when instead of going and having the chat with him at home, I would ask him to go to McDs because the 2 became so synonymous with each other and no matter what he was doing, no matter what he was watching on tv (he was a big sports fan), he would always say yes. He would so often come to me on a friday or saturday night and simply smirk saying "would you", that was all he needed to say and we would laugh and off to McDonalds we would go and we could offload on each other. Now my Mom and I do it ourselves, not at the same time (it's like I can't stick to that routine anymore, it hurts too much) but there is so much silence as we sit in the car.

I adore my Mom to bits but some things I talk to her about,mostly work related I guess, she tries her best to understand but sometimes just doesn't get it fully. Of course she listens, and always asks about things but she knows she can't give me the response Dad would have and with everyone else I guess it's like they just don't care as much.

"they are divided, where he was not" .........thank you so much Chai, it puts words on something that has been hard to explain.

hugs and love to you as always


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  • 6 months later...

Dear all,

again my reply is so late. I have been out of the loop recently...I have been trying to figure out 2011 and my life, since I came back from scattering my dad's ashes in India in November...things are very confusing. I feel lost...and it's not that I want someone to tell me what to do, but I need major encouragement to feel good about myself, and as the theme of this thread seems to be...others just do not compare to the encouragement I'd get from my father. So...here I am again. I am so glad we can all share with each other and not feel as lonely, and feel that others do understand.

em and loulou - I am happy, and sad, to hear that you are also feeling that your dad were so wonderfully loving to you, and now that gnawing bite of having him gone...and no one else compares.

niamh - oh, I feel you. Your words about needing that encouragement that helped you take heart! That is exactly what I mean! I am sorry to hear about the job struggles. It is just s omuch harder with grief...I am jobless, and trying hard to get out of my nothing town to somewhere that nurtures me...but it is easier said than done. And if my dad were here, I think I'd be so much stronger.

=D I love your story about your dad and McDonald's. That is so sweet. Sometimes it's the little things that feel most important to our hearts...I think our mothers care about us very much, but their love is divided, too; perhaps they have other children, and work, and just...I don't know. Somehow these dads of ours were so dedicated to us! It is wonderful, really, when you think about it.

Continuing on this idea, that their love for us was not divided...it makes me realize that my remaining guilt, the reason it is there is not because I did anything wrong...it's because my dad loved me SO MUCH, that I feel I should have been as dedicated. But I wasn't, because I was divided! I am divided, just as my other, still-here loved ones are. School, work, friends, family...but all my dad had, was a career he was always working at (but that never got more than its foundation)...and me. Other than his work, he put all his love into me.

So of course...I can never repay him. And somehow, realizing this makes me feel better. It makes me feel like, okay, I can accept that I was not able to be there in some times I wish I were...but that's because, by circumstances, I was divided. As a young person, I do not think I can say it was even *possible* for me to choose to not be divided. Young people, with school and everything...we are at the start of our lives. We are forced to be divided. But parents, they are later in life - they have less to take care of, in some ways. Plus just...my dad...he was so loving. So loving, that anything remaining that I may feel guilty for, he would forgive me for it in a heartbeat. I know he would!

Also, realizing that I am a divided person, just like my still-here loved ones...it makes me able to put myself in their shoes a little bit and see. Also, it makes me want to be more loving and give my all in love for others, like my dad did.

hugs and love to you, too, niamh. =)

(((hugs))) to all,

take care,


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Hi Chai,

I've been doing the same, trying to figure out 2011 and my life. I still feel quite the failure because my dad has been gone a while now, and as I'm sure everyone here knows, people expect you to be better at this point.

Unfortunately, I'm not that strong. I wish I could be one of those people who flourish in grief, but newp - not happening! Here it is, 2011, and I feel utterly lost. I know what I SHOULD do, all those things that lead to success, but I can't shake the psychological part. Can't shake the sadness, the grief, the feeling that life is empty.

I've no doubt that despite the fact that your time was divided, as it had to have been (being young and on your way to great things), your love for your dad really wasn't. I, too, go through such guilt trips. Not sure if I can ever shake them, but it's a little comforting to know that my dad knew I loved him very much.


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