Grief Diaries

Letter to my Father

It’s been a year since I last saw you; 31st July 2021. It’s quite funny, and at the same time not funny at all, how on that day something in my heart knew I would never see you again. Something in my spirit ached within me as I watched you that bright and early morning embark into that taxi, shut the taxi door, and be driven away into a future that shortly after would leave a hole in my heart and a pain in my chest. If I had known, I would have hugged you harder.

When you first passed, they told me that it doesn’t get easier, you just learn to manage it better. In some ways, they were right. In others, they weren’t at all. I’ve found that my way of ‘managing’ sometimes includes not thinking about it at all – even though you cross my mind every single day – and then breaking down when I’m in a store buying your favourite sandwich or in the kitchen holding your favourite mug (the pink one, of course). It has gotten easier in some ways, but it has also gotten so much harder in many others.

People don’t ask how I am anymore. It’s not their fault. After all, grief is most heavily felt by the affected, and yet is most effectively hidden by the same. Nobody knows how deeply my heart aches because I do a great job at masking it dad. But I miss you more every day, and sometimes I think about what I’d trade in to pick up the phone from you one last time.

I haven’t written in over 9 months. I used to love writing. Your death has robbed me of so many things I used to love – but it’s not your fault. I know you wouldn’t have wanted that at all. You would have wanted me to develop even more loves, but it’s hard dad. It’s hard when you were my number one cheerleader and now I look to the benches and nobody is there. I just see a pair of pom poms that haven’t been touched since November 19th. Since the day my heart broke in two and hasn’t recovered since.

I don’t write anymore. I struggle to edit videos. I don’t go outside almost half as much as I used to – if not for work I probably wouldn’t go out at all. Sitting in the sitting room is hard because all I ever think about is you in it, and how you would stay there all day long. How you would nod at me and smile that signature smile with two thumbs up when you would enter the kitchen, call me “Goo goo babe”, and then return there. Seeing my friends talk about their parents is always difficult for me, because it reminds me that you’re not here. I don’t even want to talk about Father’s Day, or how I broke down in work the week before it because it was too much for me to handle. I’m crying for the first time in weeks because I’ve made it my new profession to suppress my emotions. But what choice do I really have when I have noone to express them to?

God has been my strength. I know you’d be happy to hear that – after all you live with Him now. He has taught me a lot about death. And He has comforted me more than I ever anticipated. I am grateful. I learned that from you – you were always so thankful. I have still not met another person half as thankful as you. I wonder if I ever will. If I do, I will thank them for reminding me of my father.

I have developed a new fear of death, especially of my loved ones. In a way, losing you made me realise that death is not as scary as I thought. But in another way, it has petrified me. I often look at those around me, whom I love, and become deeply deeply saddened by the thought that they could be taken at any moment. I don’t want to lose anyone else. I don’t want to lose mom. I love her so much and the thought of her not being here one day really scatters me apart. Your death has taught me that to be conscious of death is both painful but necessary. Realising that one day we will all die is the only way to ensure we appreciate each other while we live. The irony of it all.

I miss you dearly, severely, and every other word in between. The thought of you not being here at my life’s greatest milestones still tears me to pieces. My wedding, my graduation from med school, my first child… I can’t name any more because I am struggling to support my airways right now. But I really do miss you. I hope you are in a better place. If I knew this time last year that I would never see you in the flesh again, I would have hugged you and never let go. I would have let you miss that taxi. If you had insisted on going, I would have entered the plane with you and followed you right until your very last moment 4 months later. I would have held you tight. If I knew then what I knew now, maybe I wouldn’t be filled with so many regrets. Maybe I would not beat myself up for the could have, should have, and would haves. Maybe I would be kinder to myself. More gentle, more understanding, more at peace. If only I knew then what I know now, maybe you’d still be here.

I miss you more and more every single day.

I don’t know what I’ll do when your one year comes.

I miss you more and more every day.

Continue to rest in peace.

From your beloved daughter.

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