Papa, I’m glad you’ll never go through the hardships of aging, but I still very often think of how much better my life would be if you hadn’t been taken so early.
I don’t think I would have cancer or be this much of a mess. Well by society’s standards at least.
You wanted to do so much and never expected to go that early. How I wish I could have supported you in your endeavours. This blog is my feeble attempt to, as you never got to write your memoirs.
My too beautiful Papa. I miss seeing your soft eyes and your sweet smile as you blow out the candles on the butter cake baked by Amma. Your favourite.
I miss getting you a card and present from the 3 of us. In my fantasy, I’m getting you the present you always wanted – a trip for all of us to London to see all the literary and historic sights. Oh how happy you would been, but alas. I’m sorry I didn’t fulfil this wish for you. Truly deeply sorry.
All of Amma’s cooking was your favourite. I’m sure now you would long to tell her all the ways you appreciated her. Instead of criticising. We all realise too late.
Even though your relationship wasn’t the best due to lack of compatibility, and because it was arranged, I do recall a time when I was a toddler, that you would both laugh together so happily. You teased her when her back was turned. It’s like a video in my head and the room is filled with sunshine.
My mum admitted she thought you were very handsome. And as you both got older you did want her to always accompany you and you really did need her by your side. I too felt so much better knowing you were there looking after her. Well, in reality I didn’t gave it a moment’s thought. It was totally taken for granted as I selfishly galavanted off doing my own thing.
It always felt special that your birthday was so close to mine. I feel extra lonely in October, but it’s a month precious to me.
The 19th year. Seems like an ocean of time. You do know I will never stop thinking the world of you and needing you.
You were a young father, far from perfect, but the only Papa for me. No one else would have loved me that much.
It’s weird to think that the age gap between us is closing. I’m less than a decade away from you.
I can’t even imagine the day when I reach a chronological age that you never got to reach.
With time I gain more knowledge about the world and I yearn to share it all with you. It’s like you are suspended in time. Or have you been watching me all this time in a way I can never fathom. I wish that was so. I don’t feel it, but I sure do wish it.
My only wish, is for a redo, while retaining the maturity I have now, of truly understanding you. Because I am you, in countless ways. I’m thankful I have my mum’s softness though, especially when it comes to children.
There is this vacuum that I can’t fill. A gaping hole of regret and yearning to do so much for you. And that is grief.
Since then, I’ve felt deeply blue and extra anxious around this time. I’m in a state of panic. That is grief too.
I am Papa-less, but am grateful for loved ones who truly listen to me, and I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that I am surrounded by angels on earth. Some of them are so little and so absolutely pure, but with empathy beyond their years. My heart aches with gratitude.
Some are even virtual. They are writers like me who have lost their dads. I feel a deep connection with them.
It helps. To have people who understand the overwhelming enormity of loss. With them your pain is never dismissed or diminished.
In a way I should be grateful for the grief, as it always comes with a great love. Imagine if I felt relief instead, as someone unfortunate children with horrible parents do.
Being loved unconditionally is so important and I want all children, small and grown, to have that. Not based on status, or how much money you make, how intelligent you are or how well you do, but just for being you. If you have a kid, that is your responsibility. And thank you my darling Papa for more than fulfilling that responsibility for me. Thank you for never ever making me feel less than.
Happy Birthday Papa. I love you with every fibre of my being and miss you too much.
Tears in my eyes as I read this. It’s hard when you lose your Dad so early because it’s hard to know where he is and how to share your life with him. Is he in the summer breeze, in your heart or in both? Is he in the ether of space or in the lines on your face when you smile – or is it both? I love your letter to your Dad. Sending you lots of love, Janet xx
Thank you so much Janet. Your sharing about the loss of your beloved dad helps me too. Hardly anyone talks about topics like this in the family. You often feel the loved one is forgotten.