Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dear Dad,

I guess a good question to ask is why the hell am I doing this? If there is some way that you can "see" the world you left behind then I hope you would find much better things to do with your time than read a blog. But I really am not doing this because I think you can read it. I'm doing it because I think it will help me cope with not being able to see you or talk to you. Especially talk to you. Because of the geographic distance we had for most of my adult life our relationship often revolved around phone calls. Now some people find a phone call to be impersonal or a poor substitute for face-to-face time. And that can often be true in a lot cases. But not with you. You always gave great phone, Dad. I sometimes think the physical distance made it easier for you to be a bit more open and honest. Not that you couldn't do that in person, but it seemed to make a difference in what you could say to me.

Some of my fondest memories of you are of us talking on the phone. Especially as an adult. I think one benefit of me not growing up in a home with you every day was that it was a little easier for you to see me as an adult once I became one. You would be honest with me in a way that Mom never could. And I appreciated it so much - whether it was in a discussion about relationships, a job I was unhappy with, a living situation or anything. You were caring but truthful and never sugar-coated things just because you were my Dad. I always appreciated that. And I hope you knew it.

But I also have to give credit where credit is due. I was largely inspired to start writing this blog when I read Dawn French's memoirs. (Dawn French is an hilarious English comdienne who I think you'd appreciate; although I know you'd have a hard time with her accent.) She wrote her book in the form of letters to friends, family and loved ones. The bulk of the letters were to her father who committed suicide when she was 19. The letters to him were both funny and heartbreaking; serious and whimsical and everything in between. Reading them was cathartic for me despite how different her life with her father was and how different your death was from his. But it got me thinking that doing something like this could be useful. Because I seem to have these endless amounts of thoughts and emotions about you and your death and I have to do something with them. And maybe, like when I read Dawn French's book, someone will read this and find something helpful or useful in it for them.

But mainly it's something for me. And so far it has actually been good. Maybe it's knowing that I have somewhere to channel my many thoughts/feelings about you. Not that a blog could ever fully contain them or fully assuage them. But it's some sort of forward momentum. And that is the best I can hope for right now. It will still never replace hearing the sound of your voice.


1 comment:

Leah said...

It feels a little bit intrusive to leave a comment here. It's so personal. But then it is a little more real (?) than FB, so I will.
I kept telling myself to stop reading, take a break, but I couldn't. You've always been good with words, and these entries are so beautiful, and honest, and heartbreaking.
If you weren't so far away, I would come find you and hug you. I guess I will have to settle for "it's the thought that counts."