There is something on my blog that I rarely talk about: my Dad. More specifically, my Dad's suicide. I don't talk about it for several reasons, but mainly because I don't want to open up that wound. Who am I kidding? The wound that is still there. I'm sure it will always be open a little at times, maybe festering at other times, hopefully one day just a scar. But the wound is not at that point of fully healed yet. And one of the reasons why I think it's not properly healed is because I haven't really said good-bye. You see, I was too pissed off at my Dad to even think about having a memorial service to remember him, when all I wanted to do was forget. I wanted to forget my pain, my guilt, my loss, the void...the void that he caused.
But now I think it's time. Today is the 5 year anniversary of his death. In some respects it's been the longest 5 years of my life. Other times I feel only minutes have passed since I last saw him.
So this is my letter to him. Read it, don't read it...it's up to you, but I have to put it out there for me to continue to heal that wound a little more.
Dear Dad (aka Yo Papa),
I've been so angry with you since you died. Angry, sad, confused. It's hard to miss you sometimes because of my anger and guilt.
I still can't wrap my head around the fact that you are gone. It just seems like a long time in between phone calls. A long time in between hugs. And a forever between goodbyes.
I still ponder what exactly you where thinking when you pulled the trigger - I can't help but figure that you didn't know what you were doing, that you were too drunk. I find myself hoping that you didn't know, because then, at least in some respect maybe, you didn't consciously think that you would choose to leave your kids...never see your future grandchildren, never laugh, never feel happiness or love again.
I'm sorry I didn't have a service for you. Its now all these years later and I still think I should have. But I couldn't celebrate your life because of the way you took it. And on some levels, I still feel that way. But I'm ready to move past it instead of holding on to all of the anger and confusion.
I miss your phone calls. I miss you calling me "kid." I miss sharing my sense of humor with someone who so deeply understood it. I miss your faults and your insights, your advise and your laugh (your real, full on belly laugh). I miss your hug and your love. I miss how you would tease me and how you would protect me (like when I was 24, in your car and you stopped short, you threw your arm in front of me to stop me from going though the windshield). I miss your Mr. Peanut monocle.
You taught me so very much about life and loss. I know you weren't perfect, far from it, but I thank God for you being around as long as you were. I am so grateful for the time we had together. And all of the pictures that I have to remember you. And all of my memories, both good and well, not so good. I am grateful for missing you and being able to see past my feelings and appreciate you for who you were. You were a wonderful father, I couldn't have asked for anyone better.
As Carol and I continue to spread your ashes around the world as we travel...I hope that you are around, laughing with the two of us when we laugh. Missing us as much as we miss you.