My dad passed away a little over 2 weeks ago. I have been going through the grieving process. My good friend Maggie suggested I write my dad a letter. So over the past week I have been writing him letters. It has helped. I thought I would share the conversation I have been having with my dad.
I miss you so much. It’s hard to believe you are really gone. I keep wanted to call you up and tell you about things going on in my life or just to chat. You were always so much fun to talk to, you would get goofy and it would crack me up. I felt so good after talking to you. For the past 2 years since you had your stroke you were never the same. I could talk to you but I was never sure if you really knew what I was saying. I kept this hope inside of me though, a hope that you would get better and be my dad again. Even though the odds weren’t likely, I just couldn’t give up on you. I know you truly loved me though, even after your stroke when I would walk in the room your eyes would light up when you would see me. I know you were proud of me. I am so glad you were my father.
Even though your time on this Earth was a short 65 years, I know you enjoyed your life. More often than not you had that silly grin on your face and would be talking about your next fishing trip. You had such a positive spirit and I learned an incredible amount from you. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without your example. Despite you having a drinking problem you always went to work every day and you had a great attitude about work. You made sure you enjoyed everything you did in life, even if it wasn’t the most pleasant circumstances.
I learned how to save money from you. I remember you were so proud of your savings account and would be excited to tell me when you were able to put more into it. In my 20’s when I was struggling, trying to figure out how to survive, you helped me out the few times I needed you until I learned to be an adult on my own. The last time I saw you before you had your stroke was when you came to court to testify on my behalf when the state was trying to take Savana away. I am so grateful for that and thanks to everyone who showed up that day the state lost their case and I won. Thank you for all that you have ever done for me.
The last night I saw you alive was the night I took you to the ER at the VA. On the drive back to Mountain Home at midnight I held your had the whole time and told you over and over what a great dad you were. I wanted you to know how much I loved you. I knew it would be the last time I saw you.
I am having a hard time dealing with the whole process of grieving you. I haven’t been eating right and want to stay eternally stoned. Writing you these letters has helped a lot. I’m getting back on track and feeling my inner strength and joy coming back. I know you are not suffering anymore and that makes me happy, though my heart just aches and aches.
I have been remembering all the fun times we had when I was growing up. When I was a young child you were my whole world. I thought you were the best person alive and when I grew up I wanted to be just like you. Well I did turn out like you in many ways, my love for doing crossword puzzles and reading I definitely got from you. My success I give you some of the credit for as well, even though I did the work, you were the example.
Remember when your little dog Gremlin got ran over? You loved that dog so much and you were very sad when she died. You told me after she died that for quite a while you didn’t feel right and you were sick to your stomach. That is how I feel grieving you. I know it will take a while, but I will get through it. It is like compost, everything will get mixed up and decompose and in the end it will become fertile soil.
I am sad for myself really…that I can’t share myself with you anymore. You were a great listener. I would just talk and talk and talk to you and you were happy to listen to me. I could be honest with you about my struggles and addictions. You always understood. You had addictions of your own and knew what they were like. I never did tell you about hearing voices in my head though, I don’t know why…I guess I was afraid that was the one thing you wouldn’t understand. I wish I would have given you the chance. I bet you would have been just as supportive as you always were.
I’m out of time for now. I will write to you more later. I will always carry you with me and I will pass on the knowledge I have learned from you onto your grandchildren and they will in turn do the same. Your short time on this Earth was not wasted. You brought joy and laughter to so many people. You will be remembered.
I love you!
Your daughter, Vickee