Meeting my friend's parents reminds me how my friends will never get to meet my dad.
Like most kids, when I started high school, I went from having around 20 decent friends to about five close friends. Some of these 5 people I had known for years, but others were relatively new to my life.
One of these new people quickly became one of my closest friends. I'll call her Zoey.* Zoey and I started becoming close at the end of middle school. We had almost all of our classes together, so we didn't really bother to get together outside of school.
While my mom hadn't met Zoey, she knew about her. I hadn't really mentioned her to my dad, though. I didn't really think much of this at the time, because I hadn't really considered how important it is for friends and parents to meet.
Friends and parents meeting is a big moment Your parents get to make an impression of who your friends are, and your friends get to meet the people who are (often) a lot like you. I've learned a lot about my friends from their parents, and I'm talking about more than the random information they tell me about my friends that I would've never learned otherwise. I get to see the people they've told me about and where they've gotten some of their characteristics, like their laugh or personality.
I never used to think about how important this meeting truly is. Thus, I didn't rush to have Zoey come over to my house and meet my parents. After my dad died, Zoey was the first person outside of my family that I saw. She came over to my house and missed meeting my dad by just a few days.
At first, I was sad about this, but it began upsetting me more and more as time went on. As my friends and I got closer, I began going over to their houses and meeting their parents. As I saw my friends bond with their dads, it made me upset. They'd never get to meet my dad. Never get to see my dad and I tell each other jokes, where I got my humor from, and the person who looked like the older and male version of me.
I wanted Zoey to meet my dad more than she knows. To this day, she is still one of the closest people in my life, and I'll never know what my dad thought of her. I'll never know what she thought of my dad. I'll never get to have her meet him, and then talk to her about how much I'm like my dad.
Most of my friends will never meet my dad, which is still hard to think about. But, I've them get to know him through me. Zoey was one of the first to ask me about him, and since then I've told her a lot about him. While she may never see my dad, she knows all of the small things she would've noticed when meeting him, which makes it a lot better for me.
* Name changed for privacy purposes.
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Written by Natalie Adams, the creator of Teenage Grief Sucks. Photo by Wynand van Poortvliet.