Dear Dad, it’s been 12 years since you departed this Earth so suddenly. You never saw me progress my career, or find the love of my life and get married. But what really breaks my heart is that you never saw me become a mum and that my children will never know you.
Just photos and stories
Life milestones are hard when a parent is no longer around to help celebrate and share in them, but in my opinion, nothing is harder than when you start having children. Dad, you were such a constant fixture in my life and yet my kids – the most important thing in my world now along with my husband – only know you from photos and the stories I tell them. While they seem interested and sad that you’re not here, I know it doesn’t really affect them because I too grew up not knowing three of my grandparents who died before I was born. It’s hard to miss what you never had in the first place.
I have three boys
Yes, that’s right Dad, I have three boys! They’re eight, six and two and although they’re a handful they’re also beautiful and bursting with personality. Would you find it strange to see me, your youngest, now as a mum and would you think I was a good one? I wish you knew my boys, as I’m sure my sisters wish you knew their boys too. Who would have thought that you, the father of three daughters, would have had so many grandsons?! Seven mini men certainly make family catch-ups quite loud. If you were here I’m sure you’d probably try and hide from all the chaos, but at the same time you’d probably slip them money and sweets, and give the little ones bouncy rides on your knee.
You would have loved them
I wonder what you’d think about my youngest son’s names, both of which are nods to you. And would you see any likeness or similarities between my boys and yourself, or even your own father? Every time I see or touch their broad feet and hands I think of you, how could I not? They’re identical to yours! Something I’m sure you would have found terribly amusing. And if you were here would you have a favourite, even though you’d pretend you didn’t? All I know is that every time they do something funny or smart I imagine you laughing or being proud of them. You would have loved them all I know.
Read more about loss and children:
- Prince Harry talks about Diana’s death with little boy who also lost his mother
- Four-year-old bakes a cake for her late mum (and mails it to heaven)
- How to help young kids process and grieve the death of a grandparent
Dad, when I see other grandfathers at the park or kindy pick up with their grandchildren I can’t help but feel jealous. I wish it was you. And while I know I’m super lucky to still have Mum around to love and cherish my kids as their Gran, it’s still not the same that you’re not here too … that empty chair at Christmas and birthdays is the worst. Especially since they only have one other grandparent still alive now who lives on the other side of the world (that they never see). Some people really don’t realise how lucky they are to have both of their parents and their partner’s parents still alive and involved in their children’s lives. A relationship with a grandparent can be so special, yet it’s something my children will never have with you and that’s what makes me sad.
When my boys were all babies they would often stare and giggle at things that weren’t there. Even though I know you never believed in anything like this, some people think that young children can see spirits of loved ones who have passed. Was it you? I always wondered if you were around me during these times, getting to know my kids in your own way. I’d like to think this was true even if it’s not though, and that wherever you are now you’re still looking down as a proud grandfather who knows my boys, even if they don’t know you.
Miss you every day Dad.
Love Susan xxx