For all those times you stood by me. For the truth that you made me see. For all the joy you brought to my life. For all the wrong that you made right. For every dream you made come true.
You were the strength when I was weak. You were my voice when I couldn’t speak. You were my eyes when I couldn’t see. You saw the best there was in me. Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach. You gave me faith ‘cause you believed. I’m everything I am because you loved me.
New Home. New Job. New Perspective.
Even though it’s been since 2017; It feels fresh, raw, and emotional. It comes unexpectedly. I’ve been struggling internally with the passing of my father and not sure what to do with it. As a medium, I’ve helped others’ with their own grieving journey – and yet my own grief has been bottled up, suppressed, and hidden where no one can see. As I sit in my new apartment, I feel like it’s time to express myself the best way I know; through writing, in hopes it will help with my grieving journey.
I’ve decided to write and share an open letter to my father about my thoughts currently about his passing. Some of the revelations that I’ve experienced from the lessons I’ve learned since his passing.
At the time of your passing – brought mixed emotions. On Aug 22, 2017 at 8:05 am, I lost the thing that anchored me to this world. My protector. My safe place. Something I didn’t realize until you were gone. Even though I could communicate with you after you passed – it didn’t seem real.
It was a rough go – you were sick and fighting a battle I didn’t understand. Things were said and done from misunderstandings, pain, hurt, etc. I personally feel apart from your passing and the pain that came along with it; bringing so much negativity. You had your imperfections like any other person, yet when you passed you were treated like you didn’t exist.
It gives me a heavy heart knowing that you never received acknowledgement by having a funeral and it disturbs me that in the moment, a family member thought the need to tell me that “you didn’t deserve to have a funeral with what you did.” Hence why I feel the need to write this open letter to you.
I felt numb. I shoved down all my emotions and did what I needed to do. There was no time to grieve or even talk about it. I remember going to your doctor’s appointment the day you passed to go visit your doctor to tell him the news. Driving in the car, in disbelief that you passed and you’d be home later. Having feeling the anchored that grounded me become untethered.
2021 – 2022 has been a challenge: leaving me with more and more time wishing you were still physically here. It wasn’t until recently that I noticed about you and our relationship as father and son. Through thick and thin, you’ve always had my back. You loved me unconditionally. Something I haven’t experienced with anyone else. With Christmas coming up, it makes me reminisce, missing you even more, and wishing I realized this sooner.
More so recently, since your passing, I feel like I see you for the first time. I’m starting to understand you as you were the greatest man I never knew. Through life experiences, I’ve gained a lot of understanding and empathy – seeing your perspective on things.
I remember being a scared little boy snuggled in your bed when it was storming outside as I was terrified of the thunder outside. I remember the scent on your pillow that would carry me off to sleep because I felt safe and secure.
I remember you teaching me that honesty was the best policy.
I remember being a little child and taking 10 cents from the local YMCA coffee machine and you turning the car around because it didn’t matter if it was a penny – stealing for any amount wasn’t okay.
I remember going sledding with my family and suddenly having an asthma attack. With my inhaler at the house across the road you shoved me to the ground and held my chest while telling me to relax because I was panicking and you needed my lungs to relax to reopen again.
I remember you working long hours and fighting for a house so your children would have a safe and consistent place to live and grow up.
I remember your kind heart and soul, always willing to help others.
I remember you protecting me the best way you could through everything happening in my childhood.
I remember you going to advocate for me when I was getting bullied at the school.
I remember you looking after me when I was sick in Grade 3 with pneumonia and had to be off school for 3 weeks.
You taught me to stand up for what I believe in and be counted for.
I’m everything I am because you loved me. You are and continue to be my strength, protection, and guidance – just in a different way. I attribute my kind, down to earth, caring, and supportive nature to you. Seeing the good in people. Helping others’. As time passes, I notice how much I am a lot like you in a lot of ways.
You may have had faults with your imperfections; it doesn’t erase the goodness inside of you. You’ve taught me and continue to teach me during my life path.
I’ve many moments since your passing of wishing you were still here – willing to do anything to bring you back to the physical to talk with during not only the difficult times, but also my successes and milestones. I know energetically and spiritually you’re here – it’s just not the same.
As I write this, my heart breaks and the tears continue to flow. Sitting in my own place thinking about you and knowing you were my only true family – as other family members are scattered throughout Canada and the US. I know this Christmas, while I sit here with my dog, know that you’re the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. Thank you for being my Dad. You inspire me to make a difference in the world. Inspire me to be a better person; a better CYW.
I’ll never forget you Dad. I love you.