You Were Gone Before I Could Make You Proud

You should still be here. I remember, a few months before you passed away, you made a joke about how you were dying. I didn’t think much of it; you said stuff like that all the time. We both did, actually. I told you that you had to live long enough to see me graduate from college, and you told me you hoped you would. That you would love to be alive to see that. I’ll be the first of your kids to do so, and actually, the first person on your entire side of the family. Me. I wish you were here to see it.

I’m going to apply to graduate school, too. I never got to talk to you about that. I wonder what you would have thought. Would you be proud? I feel like you would be. I hope so, anyway.

Sometimes, for split seconds, I forget you’re not here. Even now, I’ll think to myself that I should call you and ask you something. What was all the stuff you put in your spaghetti sauce? Why did you and mom get married in Vancouver, and not in Portland? Why were we handing out candy at Aunt Teri and Uncle Frenchie’s house one year on halloween? Did you dress up as the grim reaper, or did I make that up in my head? I know you’d remember. You remembered everything.

Lily misses you a lot. She wrote you a letter today. She asked me if she could send it to heaven, and I didn’t know what to say. In the letter, there was a picture of her crying, and a picture of you saying goodbye. It said, “If you want to go, I’ll be so lonely. I love you, come back.” I hope she remembers you when she gets older. You were such a great Papa, I don’t want her to forget that. I don’t want her to forget you.

I miss you. We all miss you.

Is this forever?

Is this how I’m always going to feel? Like there’s a weight on my chest and I can’t breathe? Like I’m never going to be completely happy ever again?

I’m overcome with sadness and exhaustion. I didn’t want to get out of bed today. I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to sleep and forget any of this was happening.

I wanted to forget that you’re not here. I wanted to forget that I’ll never hear your voice again. Never see you. Never talk to you. I wanted to forget that you’re gone, but it’s all I think about. I miss you. So, so much.

They say that time makes it better, but it’s been two weeks and it’s just gotten worse. I get that two weeks isn’t a long time. But it also feels like it has been a lifetime. I’m living a different life without you here. But it’s not the same, and it’s definitely not better. I hate it. I hate this. I’d give anything to go back. I’d give anything to have you back.