Dear Dad:

I promised someone I would write this letter about a month ago. I haven’t been able to do it. So hear goes:

Although my dad died over two years ago, I recently discovered that I have a little bit of “stuff” left over about our relationship. The bottom line is that I didn’t think he wanted to talk to me.

That translated to “no one REALLY wants to talk to me.” I’ve developed strategies around that. I will talk to different people, careful not to talk too long to any one person. Because I didn’t want to use up my time allotment and become annoying, too much to handle, or just plain TOO MUCH.

I’ve been careful about this. I made up rules: Don’t talk too long to the same person. Only call when I’m in a good mood, etc.

So this woman, Dawn, told me that I could could “complete” this with my dad by writing him a letter. I am kind of afraid but here goes…….

Dear Dad:

I miss you. You were a great dad. I wish I had not been so afraid of you for most of my life. I didn’t like when you criticized me. I didn’t like when you told me what you DIDN’T like about me. It hurt, Dad.

I think you thought you were being funny, but I guess either I didn’t know that or didn’t think it was.

I didn’t wanted to tell you this. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings or have you think I was just a “pain in the ass.”

I just wanted to talk to you. And I didn’t think you wanted to. It seemed like I was just bugging you. So it was better not to try than to be rejected.

OMG I didn’t know this was all there. It’s just like my relationships with men. Trying “not to be a pain in the ass.” Staying quiet. Holding it in. Not asking for what I want because I’m trying not to be told I’m a spoiled brat or “a rotten kid.” Trying to be good and not get insulted or criticized. Trying not to be “high maintenance.”

I really didn’t want to write this letter, Dad. I really didn’t. But I guess it’s a good thing to get this out and let it go. Trying to be good and not speaking up has not gotten me very far. Because that’s not really who I am.

I like to do crazy things and push the limits. I’m not really a good girl in that I am not who I pretend to be. I talk about people and I pretend I like them and sometimes I just don’t. Sometimes I swear and say FUCK YOU!!! I even screamed out of frustration the other day and it felt GREAT.

So, thank you for being a really great Dad. I forgive you for anything I took the wrong way. I forgive myself for not speaking up and for wasting so many years being afraid of you. I knew I could always count on you. You were always there for me.

I know that if we called your office, even if you were with a patient, you took our call. That makes me feel really special. And loved. And dancing with you at my wedding was one of the best moments of my life. And you said, “you know I always loved you, right?” And I looked in your eyes and said “YES.”

Thank you for letting me write this, Dad. I really really miss you.

And I’m giving up pretending to be good. And staying quiet.

I’m going to ask for what I want and speak up – in your honor.

And, I am blessed for having you for my Dad.

Rest in peace.

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