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On His Deathbed, Dying Old Man Says ‘I Never Loved You’ to Son Who Came to See Him One Last Time

Laura Beatham
Feb 23, 2022
01:40 A.M.
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Several years ago, a man shared on Reddit that his father was on his deathbed and had asked him to visit. The son was apprehensive about seeing his father because they had a volatile relationship, but he later decided to visit.

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Under the name throwawaybadsonornah, a 31-year-old man asked users on Reddit a critical question: should he visit his father in the hospital as he was on his deathbed dying of cancer.

The Original Poster (OP) explained that he had no desire to visit his father because they had a terrible relationship, leaving him feeling unloved, uncared for, and unappreciated. 

He had to decide whether he would visit his dying father. | Source: Shutterstock

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OP had tried all he could to impress his father; he did his best at school, got a full scholarship to a prestigious university, was valedictorian of his year, and at 26, he started his own small business that did considerably well.

But despite his achievements, OP's father would belittle and yell at him for everything possible. OP felt useless, worthless, and a failure, which caused lingering issues into his adulthood. 

He wanted to hear "I'm proud of you" from his father, but he never heard it. To add fuel to the fire, his father doted on his mother and three sisters, making him resent them. He wondered why he dealt with cruelty while they got his father's smiles, laughter, and kindness. 

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OP's father never showed him any love growing up, but instead belittled him. | Source: Shutterstock

His terrible relationship with his father made OP not care about his father's worsening health condition. He had already suffered two heart attacks and a stroke when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and faced death. 

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Although OP explained he did not care if his father passed, he was met with a moral dilemma. His father, only having a few months left to live, wanted to see him. His mother, sisters, and wife also wanted OP to visit his father. 

OP found himself confused about what to do about the situation. He did not want to visit with all the hurt and pain in his heart. However, if he went, he would give his sisters, mother, and wife peace of mind and perhaps provide them with closure on their relationship together. 

He wanted to give his mother closure and a piece of mind for when his father passed away. | Source: Pexels

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So he reached out to fellow Reddit users for advice on whether he should make the trip to visit his father. One commenter wrote that if OP decided to go, he needed to do it for himself and not his family members. Many sympathized with his situation and understood why he would be wary of visiting his father. 

He vowed never to speak to his father again, not attend his funeral, and not visit his grave.

A while later, OP shared a heartbreaking update with the platform. He had visited his father in the hospital after thinking that perhaps his father had something to say that was worth hearing. He went alone, without his wife or family members. 

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When he got into the hospital room, he saw his father, now an old broken man, who was not the cold, harsh man he remembered. He was still angry because he couldn't stand to look eye to eye with his father, who had treated him terribly for years. 

OP sat in his father's hospital room for hour until they finally spoke. | Source: Shutterstock

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OP and his father sat silently for an hour until OP found his voice and said, "You know this is the last time we'll see each other, right?" His father did not respond for quite some time until finally, he said he knew. 

OP then asked his father, why now? Why after all these years did he want to see him now? Why had he wanted to see him so badly that he had to send a message through OP's mother?

He then learned that his existence had meant nothing to his father. On his deathbed, OP's father explained he asked him to visit to give his mother closure. She had never asked them to reconnect, but his father knew she wanted it. 

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The more OP's father spoke, the more his heart broke. | Source: Pexels

Then OP asked his next question, why had he treated him so severely throughout his life? His father said he had never wanted a son and never had any interest in having one. OP felt hurt, but he continued to listen to him. 

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OP's father said he tried to care about him as a baby and young child, but he realized he could not. Then OP heard the words that finally ended their relationship: "I never loved you, but I didn't hate you either. I just didn't care for you."

His father said he wanted to give OP up for adoption, but OP's mother would have never forgiven him. Instead, he pushed his son aside, and although OP sought his approval, he did not care about him. 

His father never cared about him from a young child and always pushed him aside. | Source: Pexels

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After OP's father finished talking, OP was crying. He left his father dying in his hospital, angry at him for being so cruel and mad at his mom, sisters, and wife for pressuring him to go. He could have gone his whole life not knowing his father's true feelings. 

A small part of him had hoped that when he walked into the hospital room, he and his father could have looked each other in the eyes and buried the hatchet. But instead, he learned his father, who he spent so much time trying to please, had never cared about him or what he did. 

He vowed never to speak to his father again, not attend his funeral, or visit his grave. When his father dies, he hopes to be in a bar drinking because his father will be gone from the world. He also vowed to do everything in his power never to be the father his father was. 

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He decided he never wanted to visit his father's grave. | Source: Pexels

Questions to ponder:

Do children owe it to their parent/s to reconcile with them if they have a problematic relationship?

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OP was unsure if he wanted to visit his father on his deathbed. However, after pressure from his family members and hoping they could bury the hatchet, he decided to visit. Unfortunately, their meeting did not end how he had expected, and he was left angrier than before. If he had not tried to reconcile with his father, perhaps he would have saved himself a lot of pain. 

Is it fair for family members to pressure other family members to patch up relationships with others?

OP's mother and sisters had pressured him to visit his father. They had a different relationship with OP's father because, as OP explained, his father had doted on them. Although he might have helped them get closure about OP's relationship with his father, ultimately, it ruined any chance of redemption for his father and left OP even more hurt.

If you enjoyed this story, check out this one about a father whose eldest son kicked him out of his daughter's hospital room when he went to say his final goodbyes to her. 

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