It’s been 6 days, 10 hours and 41 minutes since you’ve been gone and it’s as though my heart hasn’t moved since the second you left. It’s still stuck, somewhere between two heartbeats, desperate to hold onto your last few breaths.
I’ve read countless messages of support and condolence and huge sadness in these last 154 hours. I’ve sat in God’s house bowed down in prayer for you at your funeral. I’ve broken the news of your passing to people I’ve loved and also those I’ve never met. I’ve held mum as her legs have given way. I’ve even watched you take your last breaths and stood at your graveside and prayed for your afterlife.
And yet still my mind and heart can’t comprehend you’re gone. You? My dad? That’s it? This stuff happens to other people. It’s not supposed to happen to us. And yet it is. Somewhere in my mind’s eye, I can still see myself holding your hand and telling you I’m not ready to let you go. Begging you to hold on. Willing you to win one last fight. Determined that this can’t be it.
My dad wasn’t the man who couldn’t walk or talk or breathe in those last hours. He was the man who came to England and worked three jobs to make ends meet in those heady early years without complaint. He was the man who would carry me as a sleeping 9-year-old from the car across four streets and up three flights of stairs. He was the man who bought me Hula Hoops crisps every day after school and told me not to tell mum. Who would make us laugh when he told us he thought he was a long-lost Indian film star. Who would loop cheesy love songs on long drives. Who taught me that education and hard work is everything and the only thing more important than all of it is family and faith. He was the man who prized his daughters more than his sons and his grandchildren more than his daughters.
He was the man who made mistakes and then used those same mistakes to make himself a better person. You always did say time never stays the same – and look today it isn’t. I miss you insanely. I see you everywhere. So much so I can’t catch my breath. And I hope you know how incredibly lucky I consider myself to have had you as my dad. The gap you have left is so infinitely wide, my words fall so, so short.