I have written letters to you in my journal for the past year and for some reason all of them have remained unfinished. I sit in our living room, looking at the seat on the couch where you always sat, and for just a passing moment an image of you appears. I can almost feel your complete presence and it shakes me to my core. I want to reach out to touch you, but I know that the feeling of holding your hand is not a possibility for the rest of my lifetime.
Dad I cannot possibly fathom that the last time I felt the warmth of your hug was ten years ago. There has not been a day I wish you didn’t go and get that leg surgery and I hate that a little part of me will always feel guilty because in my heart I know you tried to fix yourself so you could finally play sports with me. It kills me inside that I never got to see you after it and that I can’t remember the last thing you said to me.
I know you would never want me to feel like I had to force myself to be sad on anniversaries like this. Daddy, the truth is I could never possibly force this type of feeling this one’s completely natural. I miss you so much it hurts, I really don’t know if that’s an actual emotion, but it’s the only way I can manage to put into words how the inside of me feels.
In my fantasy world of grief and beliefs of where you are you never got my letter because they were unfinished making it impossible to receive. So now in my head I think if I finished this letter it will leave me some sort of closure, and to be selfish I am hoping that you send mom and I a sign. So here it is Dad everything I’ve wanted to tell you in the past ten years good and bad.
I am mad that you were this perfect father that was supposed to be here for more than eleven years of my life and you were just taken away from mom and me in a blink of an eye. I am sad that I’ll never ride in the passenger seat of a car with you again while Frank Sinatra plays. I am jealous of all the people that got to know you for such a longer time then I did. I lose my breath whenever I think about how you’ll never sit on the side of my bed and tell me a story before I go to sleep ever again. I hate that when I am in a large crowd or people or playing a sport for fun I still look for your face and listen intently to see if I can hear the sound of your laugh. It makes me sick to my stomach that I still think there is a possibility of you walking through the door of our home.
I am jealous that my friend’s boyfriends will be able to ask their dad’s for permission to spend the rest of their lives with their little girls. I am disappointed that I have a list of songs I’ll never get to dance with you on my special day. It is disheartening to know you’ll never get to hold your grandchildren and spoil them like I know you would. It royally sucks that you won’t be there to watch me graduate and I’ll have to watch my friends be annoyed at all the photo’s their dad’s want to take.
To be honest Dad I know if you didn’t die I would be that girl who gets annoyed at taking pictures, but I’d give anything to be that annoyed girl because it means you’d still be here. I wish I had the opportunity to have fights with you, to make up with you, and to learn more from you. I want those moments of you meeting the guy I’m dating and knowing that you would tell me if you liked him or not. I dream of the moments where I fail at something and you’d be holding me in your arms just like mom does and telling me it was okay. If I could possibly pay to have each of these moments crammed into one day I’d use every bank account with my name on it to do it. Because if there is anything I learned in life its that moments are so much more precious than any item I could ever be given. Although none of this can happen it’ll never stop me from wishing it would.
As morbid as it sounds after ten years I was able to find positives in losing you Dad. I was handed this challenge that made me in touch with my emotions and made me the most loving version of myself. My mom has become my built in best friend and I know there would be nothing that would make you happier than to know how much we love one another. I found a hobby in writing that turned into a talent I don’t think I would have ever developed if I didn’t start writing about grief and you.
I only had you for a short time Dad, but it was enough time to teach me these lessons; I know I have to wait for a man who looks at me and treats me the way you did to mom. I know that you should be good to everyone whom you cross paths with because everything always comes back full circle. I know that trust and respect should never have to be earned, but given to everyone until they give you a reason not to. I know that it is okay to say what I feel and if people don’t like it, screw em! I know that family is the most important thing in my life and even when they piss me off they will still be there at the end of the day.
There is also something I have learned from losing you. I know that I am strong. But my strong is different than what the depiction of the word is typically. I am strong enough to ask for help when I need it. I am strong enough to know its okay to cry. I am strong enough to admit when I am wrong and even stronger to fight for when I am right. I am strong enough to look at the positives that come out of bad things that happen in my life. Most importantly I am strong enough to wear the loss of you on my sleeve with pride. I am not afraid of sharing my story and letting people know that you along with mom have made me who I am today. For the rest of my life I’ll still be doing the same thing, because if that means people will get to know even the smallest piece of you I have done my job of keeping your memory alive.
Ten years from now I’ll still look across from whatever couch I am on in life and I am sure for a brief moment an image of you will appear. Although you’re always looking straight ahead when I picture you I know when I look away that you will be looking at me just like the collection of photos mom took of us when I was younger.
I’ll love you forever and I’ll miss you forever.
Your Little Girl,