This was my journal entry - almost word for word:
I wrote a letter to my Daddy.
I needed some healing.
I wanted it to feel special so I lit candles and placed a few of his pictures around them.
Sometimes I still can't believe he’s gone - I remember so clearly. Other times I forget - I can’t quite see his face… can’t quite get in touch with it.
So what if I can’t remember his face? His essence is so clear to me. I think that’s how it should be, at least for me.
I live with his essence.
Writing the letter I cried. I felt close to him. At the same time it felt forced; I cried because I knew I needed to - because people say that’s what you should do. There’s something numb about that - not exactly what I’m looking for.
I want to feel.
I thought my letter would be long, but it wasn’t.
I thought it would take me all night, but it didn’t.
I’m filled with gratitude for having him as my Dad. I drew fishies on the top of my letter. He liked to fish and this made me feel silly and sweet - like his little girl again.
I never realized how attached I was to the idea of being Daddy’s little girl.
I took the letter to my hometown.
I cried in the car on the way there. Caio thought it was because he put on a really great song. It wasn’t.
We drove to the cemetery and I asked Caio to leave me.
It’s my first time here since he passed. We had had no formal burial - my Mom took my brother here one day and arranged for it. It was ‘no big deal.’ But it was. I avoided the visit for 6 years.
I was scared, terrified and anxious. What if I couldn’t handle it? The thoughts were dizzying.
I saw his stone.
Nothing happened. Numb again…or was I? Was it just not as bad as I thought?
I sat down. I really wanted to. I touched his stone and brushed it off. I checked out his neighbours and saw that they all had flowers. I forgot flowers. So I made a frame with sticks - he’d love that! Rustic.
A distraction from feeling or a sign of honor?
I cried a little. Cars drove by and the lack of silence surprised me. Defintly not how I pictured it. I thought a cemetery would be peaceful, but the road was busy and people come and go often.
I pulled out my letter. I put it on his stone. I lean back to see how it looks - did it look cared for? I decide yes.
I opened the letter. Fishies!
Daughter to Father…
Tears. Achy throat. I’m reading out loud.
People come and go. I worry that Caio will come back too soon and I look at the road too much. I set the letter down until people leave.
Leave leave leave. I want to be alone.
…Alone. I finish reading. I cry a little more. I text Caio and ask if he can bring flowers. He can.
With my phone out I take a picture of the grave, the frame (rustic!) and my feet. I did it. I’m here. Accept. Let go. He is at peace. Now I can be too.
Peace peace peace.
“Help me accept where you are.
Help me feel only what is mine to feel.
Help me release the pain of you leaving the Earth.”
Peace Peace Peace.
It starts here, with me, telling the truth to myself. I needed this. I’m here because I was finally honest with myself. Telling the truth will change a life! My life.
A lady arrives two rows over. She takes out a brush and brushes off a stone, kisses her fingertips and lays her hand on the stone. So sweet. She plucks a dead flower and asks if I’m ok.
I kiss my fingertips and place them on the stone. It’s cold. I prefer the Earth in front of it. I lay my hand there, close my eyes and send as much love as humanly possible. It feels good. It feels amazing.
I make a fist in the air and give 'props.’ Thank you Dad. You’re amazing. I feel silly for telling the air - and I feel amazing for letting go.
So. Much. Love.
Caio comes. The sun hits the grave stone and I think 'perfect timing.’ He brings the flowers.
“Because they’re from you.”
I lay some on the left and some on the right.
Caio says “Hi Larry” and I tell him he’s not very talkative.
He’s not there - not under that. He’s everywhere.
Caio goes to the car.
I get up.
I smile and I tear.
I’ll be back.
I go check the grave two rows over that received a brush and a kiss. “Forever together” it says, with an empty space next to it.
So. Much. Love.