A letter to my father

So… this morning I got a phone call telling me about your death. Your lifeless body was found in your flat. Must have been 3 or 4 days you were there. For the first few minutes I felt nothing. Then I cried a bit. Then I forgot about you for the rest of the day. It hasn’t sunk in yet. But now I can’t sleep and I think about you. I don’t know how I should feel. After all you were my father by name and by genetics. You decided you didn’t want to be a parent when I was 4 years old and left. Since then, nothing.

I didn’t know your whereabouts and you didn’t care about knowing mine. You didn’t see me growing into an angry teenager, turning into a lovely and sometimes insecure young woman. You didn’t see me celebrating my baccalaureat nor did you see me passing my driving license. You didn’t send me off to university. You didn’t give me any clues or words of advice about your gender. I had to make do with my own perceptions. You were not the one I could turn to when I needed it. You didn’t hold my hand, kiss me goodnight, tell me not to worry or dry my eyes when I was sad.

Everything I did, I did it without you. Everything I felt was unbeknown to you. I have only one letter. The reply to mine when I was 34 and wanted some answers. You said what I wanted you to say. You apologised, you didn’t look for any silly excuses for your behaviour. Yes you were a selfish womaniser who didn’t want to be a father. You were irresponsible and you did regret it.

I kind of understood. By then I was too old to be angry with you. I could now shut the door on our relationship. It wouldn’t happen despite you wishes. It was too late. We were estranged for too long. I’ve been told I look like you. The shape of your nose and your hazelnuts eyes will be enough.

So…You’re dead. You were only 65. And ill. I was told you refused medical treatment, you rejected your friends’ offers of help and you didn’t want to see your siblings. Part of me thinks you wanted to die. You couldn’t do it, so you let yourself die. You might have felt you were not worth living anymore. And I think in some way that you were right. You lived the life of Riley for a while but it couldn’t last forever.

Tonight I will shed a tear for you. Because I’m sensitive, because I have a heart or because somewhere there’s a little girl crying for the dad she so wanted to have.

I won’t go to your funerals. I know you will understand.

Your daughter.


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C’est une vraie lettre ou une fiction? Quoi qu’il en soit c’est très émouvant. Je pense que l’absence volontaire d’un parent ou des deux est une histoire toujours dramatique.

This is a beautiful letter which could have been bitter and resentful but is mournful and sorrowful instead. I salute you for that. And I send you my condolences.

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