I don’t know how to address you anymore considering it’s been sixteen years since I’ve seen or talked with you. Sixteen years since you left me to fend for myself against the unforgiving terrain that is life. You have missed half of my life and I will never know why it had to end the way it did; why you had to pull the trigger while I lay asleep in our home. Was it the alcohol? Was it depression or loneliness? Was it the fact you hated your job and who you worked for? All of the questions that linger in my mind all of these years later will never dissipate because of your selfish action. I know what was going through your mind at 3:30 in the morning when I asked you to turn down your guitar since I was trying to sleep. What did I receive for that simple question? A drunken, coercive, guilt-trip about how no one loved you. How was a sixteen-year-old kid supposed to reply to that? What was I supposed to do besides try to go back to bed after saying that what you were saying wasn’t true? Time and time again you put me in an anxiety-riddled situation due to your alcoholism and if there is anything I am grateful for from your suicide, it is that I no longer have to live in fear for you. However, the problem is, although I don’t live in fear for you, I live in fear every day of everything else in this world, anxiety is a bitch, so thank you for being part of molding my life into a mass of fear and trepidation.
After everything you’ve done, no matter where you are in the universe, what I want most is for you to go to a mirror and just stare at your reflection. I want you to look at yourself and feel all of your pain, your sadness, your loneliness. While you are staring at the person in the mirror, a person you can’t even recognize because you’ve been too ashamed to face yourself and while the tears are streaming down your face, I want you to realize that none of that pales in comparison to the pain I’ve felt these past sixteen years. Not only did I have to find your body, your suicide note, but I’ve been in a perpetual state of self-blame over not being able to prevent this. While you’ve been gone, I’ve celebrated birthdays, graduated three times, lost loved ones, made friends and lost friends, got married, had your granddaughter, got divorced, and you missed all of it. You weren’t around to help, provide guidance, or celebrate any one of these life moments. You abandoned me when I needed you the most, and all I want to do is tell you how much I resent what you did to me, how you raised me, how you showed such little care for me. Someone I loved dearly told me once that I made them feel dead inside; did you feel the same way? Am I really that bad of a person that maybe it is my fault for everything that has gone wrong in my life and yours? I’ve died a thousand times over trying to figure out myself, trying with every ounce of effort to live a good life and be a better parent and partner than you ever were. Sometimes I feel like all I am doing is failing, but then other days when I look my daughter in the eyes and get to experience life with her, read her a book or give her a bath, even have a conversation about princesses and bugs, I know I am winning.
I could spend this time ripping you apart at every seam for the past, for all of the drunken nights I watched you toil away; for all of the moments of anxiety and sadness I felt as a child watching my father disintegrate before my eyes; for every day I woke up since I was six years old to check to see if you were still breathing from the night before, but where would that get me? Would I be any different than you? Would unleashing this lifetime of animosity and hatred towards you push me in the direction that I need to go? Most likely no. So with all I have, until the last breath I give this world, I will try to forgive you for what you’ve done. I still feel this pain every moment of every day, a pain you can no longer feel, but unlike you, I will continue to push through all of this adversity. I will cry, I will be sad and angry, I will lose my patience and lose perspective, but I will never lose hope in myself. I will not end up like you and I will be better than you to how I treat those I love and how I treat myself because I deserve nothing less.
I hope wherever you are amongst the universe, you have finally found peace and some semblance of happiness. I will find it here and be all the better for it.