Admittedly it feels a bit weird to be writing to you as if you could ever respond. As of today, it’s been seven and a half years since you decided to kill yourself, and a lot has changed. When I first found out you had died I was just a month away from my fourteenth birthday. At that age the loss of a parent is extreme. During the time before your death, I was still learning to cope with your and mom’s divorce even though I know it had happened back when I was six. Nonetheless, before you killed yourself life was tumultuous for me and your actions made it worse.
I know that sounds greedy and selfish, but I’ve spent the last seven years grieving. Losing you my dad catapulted me into severe depression and anxiety, I’ve been to therapists, on medication, done things I shouldn’t have done all in the name of simply coping so that I could wake up the next morning. I know now as a young adult all the facts, and statistics as to why you likely did it, although I will never be sure because none of us knew what was going on in your head. I know now as the person I’ve grown to be that I will probably spend the remainder of my life still grieving over you. And I know that grief will come and go.
I think though, in the depths of my grieving the thing I lament for the most is the future I will never have with you. You were not there for my first relationship or my first job, you missed out on my high school graduation, my acceptance in university, my first time moving away from home, and you’re going to miss out on so many of my life accomplishments and milestones. As your daughter, because of the choice you made, I will never get to know my own father. There will forever be a gap in my life.
The purpose of this letter was not to blame you for all my troubles in life or all my sadness, although I’m sure deep down inside me I am still very angry at you. Instead, I wanted to write you this to tell you that: I miss you, I love you, and I forgive you. I can’t speak for my siblings when I write this, but I’m sure they likely feel the same. I hope you know, that while I’m not angry at you in the same way I used to be, I still deeply miss you. And it’s so cliche to say I hope you’re in a better place now, but it’s the sort of sentimental phrase that gives me a kind of comfort.
I can’t undo the past, I wish I could, but we all live with the choices we make. And I guess I just have to continue to live with the choice you made.
With love and many other complicated feelings,