On January 22, 2022, my Dad died. My theme, “Letters to my Dad” is based on random thoughts about him and the aftermath of not having him around anymore.
Thank you for spending 51 of your 87 years with me.
I am so grateful that I had you in my life for that long. Some children aren’t that lucky.
But who am I kidding?
I was truly expecting to have you around until you were 99 like your own father.
I know that Aaliyah said, “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” (you wouldn’t know the singer I’m referring to) but it pisses me off to no end how people think that it was somehow okay for you to die just because you were 87.
Am I not supposed to feel upset and sad because you were of a certain age?
Is there a scale of mourning based on age that no one told me about?
“Oh, your father was 87? At least he had 86 good years and all of his faculties.”
“Wow, 87? When I lost my daughter, she hadn’t even begun to live her life yet! At least your father lived his life.“
“Oh well, we all have to go one day, right?”
Sorry but age IS just a number.
Dad, I understand that people say these things to make others feel better but if that’s the case, I wish they would shut the hell up and say nothing at all.
None of those statements make me feel better. They just make me angry because their tone implies that I should be less affected and less sad.
When people say those things, all it does is make me NOT want bite my tongue to stop myself from saying something mean.
Those types of statements give me the urge to SLAP someone silly and that type of behaviour is not even part of my personality.
And when those statements are accompanied by a “vibe” that tells me the person doesn’t have an authentically sympathetic or empathic bone in their body, I find myself fantasizing about the day I can be petty and use their own words right back on them.
And Dad, you of all people know how petty I can be when I choose to be…
For a hot minute, I thought that I was overreacting but no, I’m not alone in my thinking.
Remember that woman who works at the post office? I was mailing out copies of your order of service to friends and family who couldn’t attend the funeral (yup, Covid restrictions) and I told her about you. We got to talking, she shared some of things people told her that pissed her off when she lost her husband and father two years ago.
Besides her, I’ve spoken to many others who have lost older loved ones and they all agree with me too.
I know exactly what you would say to me – “Girl, don’t fret yourself about it. Just ignore it.”
Dad, you’ll be glad to know that I’m trying my best to do just that – not fret.
But I can’t promise you that I won’t be petty if the opportunity presents itself... sorry.
Loving you always,