Letter to My Father


Dear Dad,

I’ve been thinking it’s time that I write you back. I’ve read all the letters on your blog and tried to write a couple of times, but I kept starting and stopping because, as you know, I was never the best writer in our family.

So how the hell are you? (I’m trying to sound a little like you here because I know you like that kind of stuff.) You don’t need to answer—I can see and hear you all the time. Crazy, right? I can’t explain how, but just know that I’m always watching and listening. It’s like you guys have become my favorite new TV show.

Like, for instance, I know you’ve been having a hard time lately and I hate to see you suffering, so I want to tell you a few things that will maybe make you feel a little better.

The first is that I’m doing really well here. I know the psychic/medium lady told you that, but I wasn’t sure whether you really believed her, so that’s why I’m telling you now. It’s all good, dude. For reals. The psychic/medium (who, btw, is smoking hot) also told you that you couldn’t have done anything to stop me from doing what I did, and I want you to know that that’s the God’s honest truth, which is the only thing I can say here because otherwise He gets super fuckin’ pissed. My time was up and now I’m working on what comes next. I wish I could tell you more, but then I’d have to kill you.

Ha-ha! Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

The second thing I want you to know is that you can finally stop worrying about me! I know I’ve said that a million times before, but I want you to listen to me now—just stop it! The truth is, I’m worried about you! Pretty fuckin’ funny, right? I worry about you getting stuck in your sadness about me. And stop looking at my baby pictures! We both know that I was adorable (where’d you find one of me playing basketball?), but it’s not going to make you feel any better.

I get the sadness 100 percent and I know you’re going to do whatever feels right for you, but I also want you to get on with your life. I know I’m the only one who could say that without you getting angry, which is why I just did. Dad, I understand that it’s hard to live without me (just like it was hard to live with me!), but you can, you have to! And do me a favor—delete my name and number from your iPhone already! I can’t call you back!

I miss you and Mom and Zach and wish I could still be there with you guys. But here’s a little secret—sometimes I am! You guys can’t see me, but I know the three of you have felt my presence. That little pang, or whatever the hell it’s called, you sometimes feel in your heart? That’s me! Hello! I’m right there! I’m right where I’ve always been and will always be.

I’m not sure when you’re going to post this letter, but I know that Thanksgiving is coming up soon. I know you’re going to feel a little sad this year, especially when you look at the empty chair next to yours. Who are you going to whisper your stupid jokes to? Who are you going to share the sourdough bread from Gjusta and the Irish butter with? It might not feel like there’s anything to be thankful for this year—other than maybe this year being over with—so maybe make a toast to the empty chair at the table, and have an extra glass of wine for me (I no longer touch the stuff).

The only shitty thing about crossing over to this place is seeing all of you guys hurting so much, and that’s why I want you to read this whenever you’re in pain. Remember that I loved and continue to love you, and I know how much you all loved and continue to love me, and that’s the most important thing in the world. Your world and mine. Life ends, but love never dies. (Remember, I was born a poet! You always gave me way too much credit for that!)

We all love each other, Dad, and that’s forever. You’ll understand what I’m talking about when I see you next, which won’t be very long from now.

Ha! Just fuckin’ with you again!

In the meantime, stop being so fuckin’ sad­, and think about all the other good things in your life. Stop wasting your energy on tormenting yourself. You can grieve, just like you’ve been doing on your blog (btw, I read every post! Well, almost all of ’em. I don’t like the really sad ones). The word on the street is that the grief thing is also forever, but that doesn’t mean that you have to continue to suffer. You’ve suffered enough. You all have.

You were a great dad, mom was a great mom, and Zach was the best brother in the history of brothers (you should hear the way they talk about him here!). Maybe I could’ve been a better person, or maybe not, but at the end of the day, I was just me. Like you said, a pain in the ass who was deeply loved…I forget the rest. The one important thing I’ve learned since being here is that I’ll do better next time. I’ve learned a lot in my life and I continue to learn a lot each day in my death.

Well, there aren’t really days here and time sorta goes on forever, but for you guys life is short. And that’s what I’m really trying to tell you. It boils down to that line from Wild Things that you quoted in one of those stories where you’re sort of talking to yourself (which I like best, other than your letters to me): Live your life, live your life, live your life…

And keep writing about me, keep talking to me and keep thinking about me. It’s good to hear and I also know it’s good for you to get your shit out. I miss you as much as you miss me. And we’re just gonna have to live with that for now. Well, at least you are.

I love you, Dad! (And I’m sorry to copy one of your endings, but I know how much you like to hear those words.)



P.S. Tell Maura I said hi and that I’m sorry.

5 thoughts on “Letter to My Father

  1. You know, I had a really distinct dream about my deceased sister — a dream that seemed so real, I knew it kind of was — in which she leaned in and said, somewhat apologetically, “You know, Jule. No one here ever actually wishes they were back there.” It was such an eye-opener because I had never had that conscious thought before — that people who’ve died prematurely don’t wish to be back here with us, that they’re perfectly happy where they are. So there’s that.

    Liked by 1 person

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