A friend of mine lost his father this week. I feel like I've been watching a lot of my friend's lose their fathers lately. Maybe we're just getting to that age. (Although being in our 30's doesn't seem quite that old) I worked with this particular friend at a TV station in Las Vegas. He was in the promotions department. That meant it was his job to try to get people to want to watch the stories I covered by piecing together a 15-30 second promo to air during Dancing with the Stars. With some of the stories I did, it's a testament to his ability that anyone watched at all.
So this week, when his father lay dying in a hospital bed and he put his feelings into words on Facebook, I knew they were words I wanted to share here. He so accurately describes that feeling of being so grateful you had that person in your life and how you so desperately want to celebrate that life, but the grief of their loss makes it near impossible.
This is Sean's goodbye letter to his father.
I'm here for you, dad. The last few days have been the hardest journey of my entire life, but here I am. Here I am, waiting and watching your body fight the hardest battle of your life and losing, after the terrible things that happened inside your brain. I know you are probably gone, at least it seems that way to us on the outside. That is why I want to believe that your soul has been taken away, taken home to where you have no more pain and no more use for the crumbling temple wasting away in a hospital bed. I think that I do now-I believe that while we spend time visiting, watching and waiting for something to happen, your spirit is somewhere else. We struggle and stress, but your new life has already begun. That is why I have to say goodbye. This hurts more than anything I have ever done in my life, but it is important. I love you more than you ever know, dad, and even though we had a lot of good times and a lot of bad ones, you gave me life, and you gave me family. Family that is helping me through the painful times right now, and to celebrate the good times to come.
The hurt is strong right now, raw and unyielding. I can't numb this pain, but I can't be sad anymore. I wish this was easier. It is not, and I know it's not for anyone who has to go through this awful struggle. So here I am, wanting to say goodbye but wishing I didn't have to. You are my dad, and always will be. I know you will always be with me, in ways that I look at with fondness, and in ways that I hate, but you will always be there. I love you dad, and always will. As you go into this new journey, know that I will never forget you. I will never leave you. I will always be here for you, wherever you are. This is why I am saying goodbye, dad, and pushing away the sadness to make way for celebration—celebration of a life lived completely. Through the pain I will find happiness, for what I have become is because of you.
I love you dad.