An Open Letter To My Father Who's No Longer With Us
Start writing a post

An Open Letter To My Father Who's No Longer With Us

I wish you could read this.

An Open Letter To My Father Who's No Longer With Us

Hey Dad.

Today I missed you more than usual, but I guess I’ll have days like that forever. It’s been hard. I want nothing more than to call you and hear your voice, or to text you and actually get a reply. I saved some of your voicemails and I made a photo album on my phone so I’ll always have you with me.

It’s hard to believe this is real. Even now, it’s been almost two weeks and I’m still in denial. When I first found out you had passed away, it was hard to think of you in terms of past-tense. Every time I talk about you and have to say, “My dad did” or “My dad was” or “My dad liked”, my throat tightens just a little bit.

It kills me that I can’t pinpoint the last conversation we shared. It kills me that I can’t remember the last sunset we watched together. It kills me that I can’t remember the last place we went together, or the last laugh we shared together, or the last dinner we ate together. You and I had a different sort of father-child relationship, and I’m thankful for that. Even though you and Mom were divorced and didn’t live together, I liked having a home away from home. And your home is a lot more exciting than where we live currently. Your home was a lot more exciting.

For a long time in my life, I hated going to Long Beach Island, which was your heart and home - and eventually became mine, too. I didn’t want to be pulled away from my friends every other weekend, and in the winter there was nothing really to do. As I got older, my feelings regarding the island changed completely. Now I drag my friends along on day trips to the island, and I dream of one day living there year round.

Death is such a mind-blowing concept to try to understand. From a religious standpoint, there’s Heaven and Hell, and depending on the religion, there’s Purgatory as well. From a physical standpoint, your body decays in a coffin six feet under the ground. And from the reincarnation standpoint, your soul gets reborn into a different body. I haven’t sorted out my thoughts on this subject yet, but I’m hoping I do soon. I believe that a person’s soul doesn’t die with their body. As I have learned in just about every single science course I’ve ever taken, energy can’t be created or destroyed (thanks, Conservation of Energy). I don’t know if I believe that there’s a definite Heaven, and I don’t know if I believe you were reincarnated as soon as you were pronounced dead, but I know your soul and spirit are still somewhere. I just haven’t figured out what I want to believe that somewhere is.

Dad, I’m so scared I’m going to lose memories of you over time. I’m even more scared for Raymond, who is two and a half years younger than me. I know he misses you tremendously. It hurts to think you won’t be crying happy tears at my graduation, and it hurts to think about who’s going to walk me down the aisle one day. I know it’s hard to forget someone who gave you so much to remember, but over time memories fade and get blurry. I don’t want that to happen with you.

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t think I was going to cry that much at your funeral. I felt all cried out. However, when I first saw your casket, I completely lost it. It was the most beautiful casket I’ve ever seen, and unfortunately I’ve been to quite a few funerals. It was a shiny, periwinkle-bluish color, and it was the perfect casket for you. I like to think you would’ve been content with it.

When they wheeled you towards the hearse, I could physically feel my heart breaking. My body hurt from the emotional pain. Even though your body was in the casket during the service, I felt close to you, like you were right next to me. When they wheeled you away and towards the hearse at the end, I really felt my world crashing down around me. With every second they pulled you away, I felt your death finally sinking in. I don’t think I’ll ever forget when they took you away from me.

You never realize how much there is to a person until they’re gone. The first day I found out about your passing, I heard your favorite song and started crying in the middle of McDonald’s (your favorite). You would’ve teased me so much if you could hear this. The strangest little things make me think about you, like eating sushi and MarioKart and big white trucks.

Sunsets haven’t been the same without you. You and I (and sometimes Raymond) would always ride our bikes to Fourth street and watch the sunset over the bay. Again, when I was younger and naïve, I didn’t like going to watch the sun set. They were always the same to me; I was expecting something beautiful and spectacular-like different hues of purples and pinks and reds, but all I got was a blindingly orange orb slipping behind the horizon. What I’ve learned, though, is that what was beautiful about these sunsets was the thought of a day coming to end and the idea of new beginnings in the morning. Even on the days I wasn’t there to go with you I know you went; you were devoted to sunsets like it was a religion. I hope the sunsets are just as beautiful wherever you are now.

I was scared I was going to lose my love for Long Beach Island when I lost you. I was worried it would be too hard to go back, and go to all the places where I can still see you so perfectly in my mind. The day of your funeral, I went with four of my closest friends to all of your favorite places on the island. We watched the sunset from Fourth Street, and I finally got that spectacular sunset I was searching for. Purples and pinks and reds saturated the entire sky. In a way, I feel like you’ve always known that’s the sunset I had hoped for every time we got on our bikes and went to Fourth Street, like you painted that sunset for me. I tried not to think about how much I wished you were there.

Nobody I know understands the shattered heart that comes from a little girl losing her Dad, and in a way, I’m thankful for that. I wouldn’t wish this heartbreak on anybody. While the initial wound will eventually fade, the scars will last forever.

I’m thankful for the 17 years I had with you, Dad, but I wish it could’ve been 17 more. I will watch the sunset every night, the way you did, and I’ll think of you for every last one. I hope you’re at peace, wherever you are. I miss you.

With all my love, B.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Golden retriever sat on the sand with ocean in the background
Photo by Justin Aikin on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my dog. I am constantly talking about my love for her. I attribute many of my dog's amazing qualities to her breed. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and because of this I am a self-proclaimed expert on why these are the best pets a family could have. Here are 11 reasons why Goldens are the undisputed best dog breed in the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

Boyfriend's Christmas Wishlist: 23 Best Gift Ideas for Her

Here are the gifts I would like to ask my boyfriend for to make this season unforgettable.

Young woman opening a Christmas gift

Recently, an article on Total Sorority Move called 23 Things My Boyfriend Better Not Get Me For Christmas, was going around on social media. I hope the author of this was kidding or using digital sarcasm, but I am still repulsed and shocked by the lack of appreciation throughout this article. I would like to represent the girlfriends out there who disagree with her standpoint -- the girlfriends who would be more than happy to receive any of these gifts from their boyfriends.

Keep Reading...Show less
Two teenage girls smiling

The 2000s were a time that many young adults today can look back on, joyfully reminisce and somewhat cringe at the trends and the fads that we all used to love and adore. Here's a list of things from the golden 2000s that will have one feeling nostalgic about all of those times.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

7 Types Of Students You Will Meet In College

You wish you could be #5, but you know you're probably a #6.

cool group of lazy college students in class

There are thousands of universities around the world, and each school boasts its own traditions and slogans. Some schools pride themselves on sports, while others emphasize their research facilities. While there is a myriad of differences among each and every school, there will always these seven types of students in class.

Keep Reading...Show less
woman in white tank top and orange jacket holding a bible
Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Life is hard. There is no surprise there. It’s confusing and scary and hectic, but there are some amazing qualities, too. Sometimes you feel alone and don’t know what to do. School gets in the way of what you want to do or you’re dropping friends you thought you trusted. Everyone has their moments. Everyone has felt in the lowest place and couldn’t find the strength to get back up. But I want to help with that. Here are 10 Bible verses I hope will brighten your day, or at least make you feel stronger and happier.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments