Fatherless Father’s Day

I avoided social media yesterday.

This wasn’t a planned weekend technology detox – I am not that noble – rather, it was an act of self defense.

June 1st marked the 15th anniversary of my own father’s death, and while I am not the type to dwell on this fact often, on Father’s Day it’s really unavoidable.

In the decade and a half since my dad died from cancer, I’ve had friends whose fathers have also died.

This led me to think: what is the age where it is generally/socially assumed that one’s parent(s) is/are no longer alive?

Certainly it is not 29, which is the age I was when this happened to me. (My mom is still alive and kicking in great health, thankfully).

In the most conservative estimate, I’d wager 65 years is a safe bet. And if you’re 65 or older and you have living parent(s), wow! Celebrate your luck and fine genetics.

Dialing it back: 60 seems safe. Ditto 55. 50? Sure.

When I get to 45 and then 40 years, I’m not so certain.

The math isn’t easy. Average life expectancy in the US is about 79 years, and the average age of a first birth for an American woman is now 26. This obviously doesn’t account for being the sixth child in a family and thus having older parents or being the offspring of teenagers.

If the statistics can be used at all, it would suggest that most modern adults are roughly 79 – 26 = 53 years old when a parent is lost.

Once again, 29 seems to unfairly be on the wrong side of that equation.

So I stayed away from social media posts yesterday and felt grateful to be in the presence of another great dad, my Ever Patient Spouse.

 

 

One thought on “Fatherless Father’s Day

  1. Jani….Your Dad was a wonderful man and is missed by many. He so loved his girls. It never feels fair when the great guys die way too young! Next month we’ll be in year 20. I can easily remember the fun we had on river sandbars and family gatherings. Such great memories we share.
    Mary S.

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