My Dad Never Told Me He Loved Me. And That’s Perfectly Fine.

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About Ali A. Rizvi

Ali A. Rizvi is a writer, physician, and musician who lives in Toronto, Ontario. Having grown up in four different countries on three different continents, his interests are as diverse as the people he has met, known, befriended, and loved through his life. Ali likes being a man, and wants to continue being one for a while yet.


  1. Beautifully written, thanks for sharing. I can understand the hesitation to share emotions with south Asian family members. It is strange how death makes people more comfortable in saying “I love you” when they’ve never said it before. My grandmother actually stopped us from telling her we love her, she said it was something westerners say, and they don’t really mean it. She didn’t approve of it…until there was a tragic accident and we lost 4 family members. She said love you back after that. It is still rare and slightly awkward, though.

  2. I remember your Father. I have a lot of meories with him as well. He taught me how to swim. He Taught me how to drive a scooter. I miss him as well. Our Culture does not belive in saying I Love you all the time, neither does it belive in telling people that i will be there for you. The Concepts are different, We all know who loves us and how much and whom to be there for when needed. In our culture it is more about doing then just saying.

  3. Zaki Ahmed says:

    Excellent article. Very touching. I think most of us with South Asian dads have gone through this. I have two kids and I say I love you atleast three times a day if not more but I agree, it doesn’t mean anything more than my father never saying it at all. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Awesome piece and very relatable. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story about you and your dad.

  5. I’m crying as I write this. I never knew any of this . I never thought you had the capacity to verbalize this.

    I remember getting hugged and kissed by your father many times.

    But to date I have never admitted his demise. For me he is still in Riyadh or Canada just not being around as always. After reading this the reality has finally sunk in and I am mourning . I think he is the only Phuppa I have ever had any association with and now I miss him like hell.

    I don’t know if I am crying for him or for you. But for whatever’s worth I love you dearly…..and I love him dearly too :(

  6. Jeff McClaren says:

    Thanks for sharing. Fathers come in many forms. You only get one. No choice in the matter. It would be so difficult to choose one but if you could choose be that one.

  7. Beautifully written; I have tears in my eyes! Wow!


  1. [...] My Dad Never Told Me He Loved Me. And That’s Perfectly Fine. [...]

  2. […] My friend’s note jolted me. Not because I didn’t have a response. I did. I just wasn’t sure how to articulate it in a way that was both accurate and emotionally supportive, her loss being so recent. It also forced me to revisit the death of my own father, who I had a very close relationship with. […]

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