Letter Written to My Father

February 2, 2004 (Seven Months)

Dear Father,

I first of all want to tell you that I miss you very much. I continue to talk about you as if you just left. Mom misses you and wishes you were home. As the eldest I still feel quite helpless in knowing how and where to pick up where you left off, even though I'm well aware that I couldn't take on your role. Still, I want to honor you and mom. But, in all honesty, there's no manual as to what one does after a loved one passes. There's no rule book that says, "this is how I should behave or act."

I knew that my formal education ended a few years ago and that I would always be a life learner, but I never quite imagined that this part of learning would come so soon. I simply feel like I learn as I go. And I'm not sure that I'm doing a great job. I would like to think that I am, but I feel alone in this process.

That feeling of lonliness seems to be such a strong theme in my life. While you were fighting your illness and immediately after you died, there was so much support that it helped us get through your passing. But soon after, when the dust settles and the bills start coming in, it seems like all we have left is ourselves. This perhaps, seems like the most difficult piece to contend with. To lose someone you love is something that can never - in my opinion - be fully explained in words.

I've read so much on bereavement, death, and life for those who still must carry on. I find some form of consolation in hearing these writers share their pain because I at least notice a connection with those who have experienced this sort of loss. I've met with many people that you knew you. Each one has shared many unique stories about you, many of which I've never heard before.

I can't believe it's already two months since we said goodbye to you. I'm still trying to accept the fact that you're really gone and won't be coming home again. The memories of your last six weeks on earth are still etched within my mind and very connected to my heart. Even while you were in the hospital, you were such an example to me. I watched you go

I love you, pops.

With love,