Fathers can be lost in many ways--- in drastic ways, like death, divorce or abandonment or in as less extreme situations, like unavailability or unpredictability.
To a large extent, our identity is defined by our father and we have to know him in order to know ourselves. In other words, an absent father leaves a gapping hole in our sense of self, inspiring authors to return to the theme of fatherlessness time and again.
Mona Simpson's novel The Lost Father gyrates around an abandoning Egyptian father for whom the search usurps her entire life.
Said Sayrafiezadeh's memoir of a political childhood, When Skateboards Will be Free, explores the relationship with his father who (supposedly) disappeared in order to plan an anticipated revolution.
A father who in some ways is unrelated, constitutes a kind of loss.
For example, Ms. H. suffered the consequences of a distant father who blamed her for all her problems. In essence, her father had provided little guidance, and worse, badgered her constantly for a lack of progress in graduate school Eventually, her father agreed to participate in family therapy. When he was able to own his responsibility for failing to provide adequate emotional support, she was able to move forward and to finish her dissertation.
A sudden shift in behavior may represent a kind of loss. Ms. N. 's father changed from a gentle, affectionate man to an unpredictable presence when he physically struck her without warning for contradicting him. In her psychotherapeutic work, she realized how his erratic behavior had affected her life and relationship choices.
Conclusion: The father plays a major role in who we are and who we become; his absence may occupy the center stage of a person's life.