A Love Letter to a Father Who Died Fifty-Five Years Ago

Dad, you’ve been gone a long time
and I want you to know how much
I loved and continue to love you.
The coroner ruled that it was an

accidental death because there was
no suicide note; I think that was
to be nice to the family and to
help us out with insurance, but I

know you committed suicide and I
can’t blame you. I have never,
ever been angry with you and I’ve
wondered about that and I have had

therapy to deal with the whole
thing. Given the wonder of my own
life, which you and mom provided
for me, I can’t even imagine the

pain, deprivation, sorrow, abandon-
ment and grief of your own life
as an immigrant kid whose mother
died in childbirth when you were

about seven and the death of your
dad from the Spanish influenza pan-
demic when you were about thirteen,
leaving you an orphan in America.

You did a great job as a father.
I don’t know where you ever learn-
ed it given your life, but you
showed warmth, tenderness, and

at the same time integrity, and
you modeled compassion and late
in your life, the love of Jesus,
as especially shown in the Sermon

on the Mount. Believe me, I under-
stand that when your health gave
out and you couldn’t continue to
provide for your family, you couldn’t

cope with that reality and the pain
and maybe shame were overwhelming.
It was just too much for you and
I want you to know that I understand

and that I just am sorry that, given
all your life’s circumstances, you
couldn’t find an alternative. I do
not stand in judgment. Still, I just

wish you were here so I could hold
your hand, give you a hug, kiss
you on the hair stubbles on your
cheek and tell you I love you.

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2 thoughts on “A Love Letter to a Father Who Died Fifty-Five Years Ago

  1. Heartfelt … because some wounds never entirely heal … nor should they. A fitting tribute to the man who gave you life … and provided until his own cup of courage was drained. Thanks for sharing …

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