I miss you. So many mornings, I wake up with you on my mind, usually because you’ve decided to pay me a visit in a dream. I’ll go through the following day wishing I could talk to you, just once more – even though talking was never our greatest strength. I tell myself if I had the chance, I’d tell you everything I never had the opportunity to say before you died.
I’d tell you how sorry I am that you got sick. I’d tell you how sorry I am that you had to struggle through seven years of such a miserable disease. I’d tell you how devastating it was for me to know that you were living with lost dignity, while your body slowly shut itself down, along with your mind.
I’d tell you how much I loved you – even though I struggled with saying it out loud. I’d tell you how much I continue to love you, after you’re gone. I’d tell you how much I wish you could’ve died at home. I wish you could have spent your final days in the place you loved the most, where you were always the happiest and most content.
I hope you’re playing your guitar, healthy and whole, smiling that signature smile that so many people remember and describe with fondness. I hope your music echoes through the stillness and the silence of my dreams, so that a part of me can hear you while I’m sleeping.
More than anything, I’d love to know that you forgive me. I’d love to know that you understand – everything I was feeling and experiencing during those seven years, I hope you know it ALL. Everything I couldn’t tell you then, because I was hiding in my own darkness, lost in my own ways of coping through avoidance and distraction, and selfishly distancing myself further away from you the sicker you became. I wasn’t strong enough to be present. I wasn’t strong enough to be there for you the way I should have been. And this will haunt me always.
Please do something for me… Always continue to visit me from time to time. Look in on me, see how I’m doing, and find little ways to let me know you’re still with me. Can you do that for me, Dad? In return, I’ll do something for you. I will search for joy and happiness in the littlest, simplest things, the way you did. I won’t ever settle. I will live each and every day with pride in my heart that you were my father, and I was your little girl.
Love from your daughter,