An open letter to my deceased dad.

I guess this is from one parent to another now, which is a bit strange for me. I’m dealing with this the one way I know how, with pen to paper so to speak. 

Well you’re gone. Blunt and to the point, much like you and I really.

I’ve been caught in a situation where I’m not really sure how to express what I’m feeling, but I guess thats been the nature of our relationship. I consider myself an extremely optimistic person, but also quite a morbid person sometimes, because I have imagined the death of my loved ones – what I would say, how I would react but you’ve knocked me for six here. I had genuinely never entertained the notion of you not being around. In fact, even though we’ve had a limited relationship, it occurred to me last night after finding out you were gone, that I had always imagined you at my wedding. I do feel bitter, and disappointed that you won’t be now.

Although we saw each other infrequently, you were often discussed – and no, not in the way you always seemed to think. We talk about you with love and conflicted understanding, from your own childhood, which seems to have moulded you 100% into the person you became, to the adult who never quite overcame his demons. But I do promise you, when I think of our times together as a child, my memories are not of fear or hurt, but of fun. I remember you bringing us back fairy trinkets from Broome when you came driving down Perth Street after being gone for so long in your combi. The pure excitement I felt then, without an adult understanding that you’d be gone because you and mum had separated and you’d just up and left for a while.

And while I now have peace and understanding in our relationship, I do resent that I had to have it from such an early age.

I resent that I had to grow up and have an ‘adult’ comprehension of why you were never around, but that you did love us. My only blessing is that my mum met a man and became best friends with him, and he raised me as his own – for him I am blessed, because my happy father daughter memories all lie with him. It would have been nice to share the load though.

As an adult, I have good memories as well, from finding you after a long hiatus (thanks for the rose you brought us that time, it was a sincerely nice touch for you and I know how anxious and nervous you would have been. You’ve passed that gene to my brother too by the way), to meeting you for coffee dates in Corio shopping centre (not my style, but I did it to see you).

Last night I called your mobile, because I thought I might get your answering machine – I did, and god its awful, such a stupid ‘Hey how are you! Oh no I’m not really here ..” kind of thing, but that’s you! Or was.

You missed seeing your grandchild – they’ll be born in 8 weeks. And I promise to let them know who you are, who you were and only ever speak of the good times. Because you were 100% a good person, just trapped in a vicious cycle of your own head.

I love you,

Madelin
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