I can’t – I won’t – let you die yet.
I don’t know you well enough to let you go.
We spoke for the first time barely a year prior to your death. One year….. One year is not enough for me to understand what it is that I’ve truly lost.
I’m still getting to know you.
Since the very first time I heard your angelic voice, my life completely focused on you. I was aware that I could never make up for being absent from your life, but for the next year, you became my entire purpose in life. You gave meaning to my life at a time when I needed direction. You consumed me daily. I did all I could think of to ease your distress. I wanted you to know that I loved you more than life, and that you weren’t alone. I never fathomed the notion of losing you before I got to you. I felt powerless and inept. I can only imagine how disillusioned you had become with life, and the distress you experienced when considering your place in the world. Looking back, I know I could have done more, much more….
I have no memories of you to contemplate, or stories of us together to relive in my mind. I’m not able to think back and lose myself in thoughts of happier times with you. There isn’t a certain song that reminds me of you, or a particular fragrance that brings you to mind. Shamefully, I can’t honestly say that I miss you as I should be missing you….. as a real father does when his only daughter dies. You see, when you were were born, I wasn’t man enough to step up and be the father that you truly deserved. I was a coward. I was a little boy. A self-centered, self-serving, angry little boy, pounding my chest with clenched fists, pretending to be a man. I rejected the idea of growing up and taking responsibility for my actions.
So what is it that I mourn?
I mourn not being man enough to be the father you deserved. I mourn turning my back on experiencing the love only a father can have for his daughter. I mourn not holding you in my arms as an innocent newborn baby, and the awe of watching you grow into a beautiful young woman. Of loving you unconditionally, no matter what. I mourn not being there the first time your heart was broken and hugging you until your last tear. I mourn not holding your hand on your first day of school and staying with you in class until you made new friends. I mourn not telling you that I love you every morning and tucking you in with a kiss every night. I mourn not staying up late, waiting for you to get home from your first date, and turning on the porch light as soon as you and your date reached the front door. I mourn not being a source for you of inspiration, guidance, hope, love…..
I mourn a future without you.
I love you my sweet angel.