A letter to My Dad, James


It will be sixteen years this July that my Dad, James, died. It doesn't seem that long,but in some ways it feels like an eternity. I would think that I would be 'over' his death bynow, but I don't think I am. I miss him so very much, and I still find myself crying when I think about him, even after all of these years.

My Dad was only 42 when he died. At the time, I was sixteen, and my three sisters were twelve, four, and one. Boy my Mom had her hands full! My dad was playing softball on a Saturday morning when he collapsed. It was discovered that his death was a result of arterioscelorsis, which is hardening of the arteries directly related to cholesterol and the types of foods we eat. At the time, it wasn't a concern and cholesterol wasn't known to be a problem. His death came as a big shock.

I thought I handled his death well. I mean, I cried at his funeral, but I stayed strong, greeting the people who came to pay their regards after the services. My Mom was having a hard time and was unable to talk with anybody, so she sat away from the guests with her Grandmother. I took over and thanked the well-wishers, hearing about what a"great guy" my

dad was and how much he would be missed and I even learned that he spoke of all of us atwork. He was very proud of me and thought I would grow into a fine woman--I learned that fact that day too.

It took me over a year to again cry for my dad. I don't know why it was so hard for me to get to that point. I seemed to be angry all of the time. I was sitting alone in my room and I got frustrated. So frustrated in fact, that I tried to tear apart the yellow pages. I couldn't so I just started throwing things around and knocking the things off of my dresser. The next thing I know, I am sitting amongst the mess bawling my heart out.

I have done plenty of crying over my dad's death and how much I miss him since then, but I don't think I am over this loss. When a parent dies, especially when a child is young, so much is lost besides memories and spending time together. There are the lessons the parent teaches the child, memories the parent shares, and skills that we are taught including how to relate to people which is displayed when we grow up.

I missed out on many of life's lessons because my dad's life was cut short. I am now learning how invaluable they are and I miss my dad even more. I am striving to become a better person so he can be proud of me and I can deserve the praise he held for me. Dad,I love you!!


You can send email to Shannon at [email protected]

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Anniversary date - 7-26-84
Date of post - 6-13-00

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