There was no way I could’ve prepared myself for the pain that came with losing you. Your addiction changed you, it controlled you, it ripped you from me. However, there was always a foolishly optimistic part of me that hoped that you’d come out on top. You’d be clean of your addiction and recover. You’d choose to live.
Losing you hurt my heart in so many ways. I mourned the loss of my father. The loss of the man who taught me to ride a bike, and would watch thunderstorms with me. The loss of the man I went fishing with, and sang in the car with. The loss of the nights spent cooking and the days spent playing baseball in the yard. The loss of my Dad. I thought of all the what ifs. I mourned the idea that you won’t see me graduate, or get married or start my life. I cried every tear in my body.
I was angry. I was angry that you chose your addiction over me over and over again until it killed you. I was angry that you didn’t want to try anymore. I was angry that I wasn’t enough to live for. I was angry that I hadn’t picked up the phone the last time you’d called.
I have my days. I have days that I’m still angry. I have days when I am still overwhelmingly sad. I have days where I can’t shake the thought of you. Your story wasn’t supposed to end this way, Daddy. You weren’t supposed to leave so soon.
Sometimes my chest pounds with the pain of missing you. When that happens, I look at photographs. And if I stare long enough, and I look hard enough, I can see it in your smile; the immense amount of love you had for me. And the pain melts away, if just for a little while, with the idea that I am still surrounded by that love.
I hope that you are free now. Free of all the addiction and the pain. Free of the worry and the sickness. I hope you have wings now and that you’re flying. Soaring through the clouds, above the oceans. I hope you have found the peace you couldn’t find on this earth.
I think of you when I see hummingbirds, and I like to think that when I see them, it’s you sending me a sign.
I look for signs all the time that you’re still with me. I think of you when I see sun poking out from behind a cloud, or when a Billy Joel song comes on the radio. I hope you see me. I hope you know how very much I love you. I wanted nothing more than for you to find peace, I just wish with every ounce of my being that it didn’t have to be this way.
I am not bitter toward you. I would not be who I am today without the struggles we went through. The pain of watching you battle your addiction taught me to have empathy. The pain of losing you, taught me how short life is, and how we need to tell people that we love how much we love them every chance we get.
Saying goodbye to you, ripped out a piece of my heart. I wasn’t ready, but then again no one ever is.
A piece of you will always live on in me. Thank you for giving me your eyes, and your crazy ambition. I’ll love you forever and always.
Fly high with the eagles.