My husband's father died last night. I write 'father', but the man had abandoned his then wife when my husband was still in utero. He left his first family: pregnant wife and four-year-old son for the woman with whom he'd been having an affair & began a new family with her.
My husband met his father a handful of times in his younger years, but had had no contact with him in decades save for a social media missive my husband chose to ignore some three years ago. Apparently, the father knew he wasn't long for this world and had wanted to make amends.
How does one feel about the loss of a parent, I use the term here loosely, when there was well and truly no connection with that person?
I tried to have a conversation with my husband about the loss, but it devolved into an argument. He mentioned his father's penchant for reacting angrily to seemingly minor infractions and the fact that the man had undergone a multiple bypass surgery when he was still in his thirties as probably being the reason he died. The news of his father's death was third-hand with no cause of death having been given. The man was 73, so, really, his cause of death is just speculation. His 'heart issues' could be a good guess, to be fair. But when hubby pronounced that his father had had Tourrets, I made the mistake of asking if his father had ever been diagnosed (as his older brother had been). 'NO, I'm diagnosing him, OK?!' I said that I wasn't trying to say that the man wasn't a raging ball of stress, as you'd experienced him those handful of times when you were a child, I was just wondering if he'd ever been diagnosed. DON'T ask such things of the newly-bereaved. Although to say that the hubs is 'bereaved' might be a stretch.
Whatever this man was or wasn't, he was not a parent to my husband. And he was not a good husband to his first wife.