This is an open letter to my Dad in heaven – you were gone too soon but will never be forgotten.
February 18th 2020 was the day I’ll always remember – a sudden heart attack took you away from us. Someone from home care found you on the floor lying motionless. They called the doctor and he confirmed your passing.
When I first received a call from the nurse, I couldn’t believe it. I thought you fell again because of the weakness in your legs caused by the Parkinson’s disease.
You suffered Parkinson’s for nineteen years. You didn’t do very well taking care of yourself but I knew you were trying to hang in there. It was really difficult to watch you give up so much. It started from you not being able to hold your camera steady (photography was something you loved so dearly) and soon after, you lost your ability to go on your daily bicycle rides.
As your condition worsens, you had trouble speaking, which made communication much more difficult.
We had no choice (due to work commitments) but to admit you into an assisted living facility – which you were adamantly against.
I lived about 1.5 hours away from you, with two kids and had a busy job. It is unfortunate that I didn’t visit you as often as I should have – which now I sincerely regret.
The day came and it was time to say our last goodbyes. We had a beautiful ceremony and it was good to see you dressed nicely and the awful look that you used to have on your face disappeared.
I am glad that you made your wishes clear before your death and I am thankful that you wanted it simple. Those conversations that we had during my evening visits suddenly became the last few words that you left me with.
I’m tearing up as I write this but I would like to apologize on behalf of my kids for not attending your funeral. My wife felt that Mariah and Michelle were too young to know what was going on and didn’t want me to share the situation with them.
Her rationale was that they have only met you a few times and that she had her own experience where she became really afraid as a kid when she learnt about the death of her own grandpa.
Because it was such a big deal for her I reluctantly agreed.
I have always wanted to have a better relationship with you. Things were complicated when Mom and you got a divorce.
I remember visiting you on weekends until I was about 7 years old. Those were fun and good times when we hung out by the pool together or played in the garden. However, that went downhill when Mom and you started arguing daily. I was caught in between the cross fires and felt like a part of my youth was taken away.
And because of that, we drifted apart and there were a lot of things left unsaid – which is why I am writing this letter to you today.
Thank you for always being there for me even when Mom disapproves of your presence.
Thank you for not giving up on me when I withdraw and shy away from conversations.
Thank you for trying your best to be a fatherly figure during my teens, sharing with me life’s lessons that were not taught in schools.
You taught me that happiness can be a choice. If I choose to live every day happily, I will be happy. Life is too short to be wasting your days.
You taught me to put in 100% of my effort into things I want with no safety nets. Taking one step at a time, progressing 1% a day makes a whole lot of difference instead of sitting there and snoozing.
And lastly, you taught me that “being nice” can be so easy. And that’s very true. It is not difficult to be nice to people, to treat others well and make kindness the default mode for the day.
I promise to take the many lessons you taught me through life and promise to share those values with my own kids.
While I currently can’t help myself from feeling the pain in my heart, I promise that I will find happiness and try to enjoy life without you. But the truth is, life isn’t the same without you anymore.
I will honor you and keep old pictures of us together.
Are You Intending To Write Your Very Own “Letter To My Dad In Heaven”?
I totally understand how writing a letter to your Dad in heaven can be a daunting task. The gust of emotion you’ll feel will not be easy to handle. To me, this is a necessary step of the grieving process.
*If you need ideas or quotes to craft a letter for your Dad, check out this post here.
By writing this letter to your Dad in heaven, you’re basically reliving moments that both of you once shared together. These recollections help you with acceptance of the situation and it reminds you of the valuable lessons your Dad once taught you.
I took me months after my Dad’s death before I could pen down something. Once you have managed to let your messages off your chest, you’ll feel relief and you’ll be able to move on with life.
To help you with this process, these are the things you may want to consider to add to your very own “letter to my Dad in heaven”:
- Specific memory of how you recall your Dad died
- How you wished you could have helped him
- Do you want to apologize for any specific incidents/conflicts
- What do you want to thank him for
- What are some lessons and values that he has taught you
- How are you intending to honor and remember him
Read more: How To Heal A Grieving Heart? (6 Easy Steps)