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A Letter To My Late Father About Everything He’s Missed

Hey Dad,

It’s been so long since I’ve written to you or even about you. How have you been? Things have been unprecedented here. I’m writing today because I remembered you last week. We were driving back home when Ed Sheeran’s Supermarket Flowers played on the radio. It made me think of you, which is weird, because I don’t even know if you knew that song.

Anyway, you know when they say a year can do a lot to a person? Imagine 5 years. How much does that do to a person? Apparently a lot.

I’m married now. Remember when you told me I shouldn’t get married until I’m in my 30s? Well, I got married when I was 25. It’s sad you weren’t there to celebrate with us. You didn’t even get to meet the man I married. I think you would love him. I married a good man—he sometimes reminds me of you. He fills the emptiness you left, he kisses all the scars, and I’m forever grateful for that. We’ve got a dog—his name is Dave. Are you a dog person or a cat person? I don’t really know, because we didn’t have any pets growing up. Anyway, we don’t have any kids yet. But when we do, we’ll surely tell them of you.

I know, I know. You told me I should make a name for myself first. I should see the world, go and achieve all the things I’ve always dreamt of doing. Well, that’s more news. Some of my dreams didn’t pan out the way we thought they would. Some dreams never even happened at all. I didn’t make it on a network. I didn’t become a director or a reporter. But remember that writing gig I had? The one I told you is only a temporary job? Well, that’s actually what I do now. I write stuff.

I actually enjoy writing, Dad. Especially when you died, it gave me a safe space to let all my feelings out—anger, regret, resentment, sadness, frustration—and in return, it gave me joy, comfort, and peace. I’ve got my own book now. Can you believe it? Most of its pages are about you, though. I guess the pain of losing you was so great that it filled a whole book. Healing took years as well, but as life went on, I learned time really doesn’t do much. It still hurts. I’d be lying if I say I don’t cry about you, because I still do. Every time I think of all the things we like doing together, it hurts. Every time I go to places we’ve spent time at, it hurts. Every time there’s a new movie I know you would love, it hurts. Every time there’s a win and we don’t get to celebrate it with you, it hurts.

You missed a lot, that’s for sure. You missed a lot of new movies, new shows. You missed Avengers: Endgame; you missed Netflix as well. What a shame, you would have loved it. You missed birthdays too—oh, and graduations, weddings, anniversaries. Heck, you even missed your own birthdays.

But don’t worry, we’re okay. I hope you are too. I hope you’re at peace. I hope when you look at us, you’re not disappointed at the people we’ve become. I hope you’re smiling when you read this. Know that I miss you, always and forever.

Dian is the author of Catastrophes, a prose and poetry collection exploring living and loving, breaking and mending, falling and rising, losing and surviving. Get in touch with her on Instagram and Twitter.

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