Suddenly, I miss my dad.
Like, I know I miss my dad – it’s not a feeling that you can switch on and off. Well, sometimes you can. I know that’s what I do most of the time now. When there’s stuff to focus on I keep the focus and switch it off. It helps to not think. It also helps to not focus on the negatives like how I was home 6 months ago and dad was there and now after 6 months he’s gone. Or how I shouldn’t have done this and stayed closer to home and perhaps it would have lessen my guilt. Or how I should have been a better daughter…you know, fulfilled his dreams or something.
I guess I’ve never had the chance to properly grieve for the loss of my dad. When he was feeling sick I was halfway around the world, trying to do my job while keeping an eye and an ear for updates on dad’s health. When I was in the middle of packing to catch my flight in the afternoon, news came that he was already gone. My reaction to the news scared me to be honest. I was calm and accepting. I was sad but I was keeping it together. My room mate couldn’t keep it together and he wasn’t even her father to begin with. I think I was staying strong because 1) I have a few flights to catch, 2) I didn’t want to be bawling all over the ship 3) I didn’t want anyone to worry about me and 4) Because there’s nothing I can do to bring him back.
So there I was, rushing to the HR, rushing to pack, rushing to the airports and finally back home. I saw his body lying in state, I saw my family and I saw my relatives. The brave front stayed on, until today. I just can’t afford to lose it. It has always been us looking at dad, looking at mum, depending on them to be the adults. Suddenly mum is looking at us and so yeah, we are the adults now.
I admit that there is a part of me that blames him for leaving so soon. Like why do you have to go before I came back? Why do you have to curse me with this eternal guilt of being the daughter that wasn’t there? Those were the thoughts of my childish mind. When I try to reason properly with that child, I know that my dad would always want me to be happy. Maybe he didn’t want me to forget the vision I have of him before I went away – not the shadow that was left when cancer consumed him. Maybe he was happy to know that I’m on my way home – and that was enough to bring him peace. Maybe…
So right now, I’m feeling part guilt, part anger and part acceptance. It doesn’t matter which part is bigger – his presence is still a big part of our lives as a family. I know we all think about him and will continue to do so as we carry on with our lives. It’s cocky of me to say it but I’m my daddy’s girl.
It’s been a great 29 years with you dad. Do watch over us and we’ll see you soon.