Hi Dad,

Been thinking a lot about your last days. It all seems so surreal to me. The thing that is on my mind the most, is what I now realize was the “air hunger” you were suffering through. How I wish you didn’t have to experience that. All these weeks I’ve not been able to put your death certificate away, but today I did it.

I regret not seeing you alive on your very last day. I didn’t know it would be your last; although I knew it would be soon. I regret not being there in your final moments to comfort you, to hold your hand and to tell you once more how much I love you. I wanted you to know you weren’t alone in this.

Memorial Day is coming, so I got a tiny flag for your grave. I wonder if your headstone is in place yet? Your burial flag is protected in a case, but it’s in my closet. I want to have a proper place to display it, so I have plans to do some reorganization here.

On Sunday I took pics of my kids. When I saw them on my PC, it struck me- how much my little guy looks like you sometimes.

I have no idea how to find your siblings, I would like to inform them of your departure.

My big brother found your birth certificate and mailed it to me- it was a surprise, as I don’t think he knew what it was- he just said he had some odd documents he thought I should keep. Funny- grandma’s surnames are not what I thought they were! I better update my ancestry profile!

The last time I saw you, the nurses had made you very comfortable. You weren’t suffering. You were still and quiet, breathing calmly. You were so clean and cared for. They were concerned for your comfort and safety. I really appreciated that. I had no idea that was the last time I would see you.

This whole experience is a reminder of just how precious we all are.

I miss you very much. And I’m sorry.

It’s been 54 days since you left– I thought we would have more time.  We were estranged from each other for 10 years, until the year prior to your departure.  Those last 12 months were difficult, and the last 3 weeks were surreal.

Did you know I was by your side?

Did you know it was me who cleansed your face and your hands?

Did you know I helped you drink when you thirsted for water?

Did you know I guarded your dignity?

Did you know you stopped eating and drinking, when you stopped eating and drinking?

Did you know you were leaving before I told you there was nothing they could do?

Did you know that it broke my heart to tell you that?

Did you know I was never ashamed of you?

Did you know just how much I love you?

Did you know that I would cling to any word you uttered in the end of your days?

Were you scared?

Did you worry?

Did you know I would never forget how you rested in my arms?

Did you miss me?  My kids?

Were  you disappointed with me?

Did you know it didn’t matter that you were 72 and I was 41?  I felt like a helpless child watching you slip away.

I think about you all the time.  I imagine you are whole, unbroken and resting in peace.  It doesn’t stop the tears, but it gives me hope.  When my daughter sings twinkle little star, I can’t listen.  It hurts- and I don’t know why.

For all the things you weren’t, and for all the things you were, I will miss you always.  I will be thankful always, and I will be grateful always.

Brilliant, Admired, and Beloved you are.

RIP Dad.