I Feel Like I Could Have Done More Than I Did Back Then…

Hi Advice Column,

I am a “young” man, almost 30 years old. I lost my father when I was 15 in 2008 – he unfortunately drank a lot for as long as I can remember, and he ended up getting “cirrhosis” because of all the beers. Even though my father drank, we had a very close relationship and we had a great time together. He was in no way like many other parents who drink, violent, not at all. Unfortunately, even nearly 14 years after his death, I still have the sad feeling that I could have made a greater effort to help him than I did back then.



Thank you for your post. I’m sorry to hear that you lost your father when you were so young. You write that you still have the feeling that you could have made a greater effort to help your father, and as I understand, it is a feeling you still suffer from today. If it is any help, it is a feeling I can recognize. I lost my husband, who died due to alcohol-related diseases. Unfortunately, there have been many emotional entanglements in my family related to my husband’s relationship with alcohol. Several people thought that I could have done more or something different, and then the problem would be solved. It can be difficult to work through grief when such accusations arise. It can be both the emotional entanglements that come from others and from oneself. I have two children who have suffered in their own ways. They have felt inadequate and guilty. We have a connection in those feelings, and at the same time, we have also felt alone. I don’t know if you can relate to what I am writing, but I hope you know that you are not alone with these difficult feelings.

I think it might be good to talk to some people who have a deeper understanding of the mechanisms at play and that arise in the wake of your experiences with your father.

I hope you can use my response. You are very welcome to write to us again.

Best regards from one of the volunteers

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