I don’t want your sympathy, I don’t expect you to understand either. I’m writing this because most of the times when I feel suffocated, writing helps. Someday we’ll all lose our parents. Maybe if you’re exceptionally fortunate, you’ll die before them or with them. But if you are an unfortunate soul like me, you will have to face the agony of this loss at a young age.
Two years ago, on the fateful Sunday morning of May 24, I was woken up at 8 a.m., only to be informed that I no more had a father. To this day, I dread Sunday mornings. I have this irrational fear of them bringing bad news. I make sure I meet my mother, even if it’s just for five minutes, every night, and particularly on a Saturday night because I am so scared of history repeating itself.
Do you know what it feels like when you go off to sleep knowing you have a doting father and you wake up to a dead one? The world comes to a standstill. You feel like you’re living in a nightmare. Every morning you have to convince yourself that this is reality and you’ve got to deal with it. He isn’t going to come back, no matter how much you cry. You’ll think of all the times you’ve been a terrible daughter. You will wish your mother dead at that point because you can’t see her in so much pain. And you’ll know in your heart that Daddy’s little girl finally has to grow up.
Sometimes you’ll even forget he’s not there anymore. Yes, it will happen. And when reality will bite, you’ll feel like the air has been knocked out of you. Every single time. You’ll see him in your dreams sometimes and life will seem perfect again, but you will again wake up to the nightmare called reality.
People are going to hover all around you, wanting to know what happened, how it happened. Give them the middle finger. No one should be given the permission to put salt on your wounds. People are going to sit and chat, behave as if it’s a social gathering. You cannot do anything about it. Just don’t let them anywhere near your mother. They’re going to say so many things; they’re going to tell you how this was bound to happen because he was an alcoholic and a chain smoker. They’re going to tell you how you should have made him quit smoking. I wish I could say it gets better with time. But the truth is, no one’s going to tell you I am here for you. No one’s going to tell you that it’s okay to cry even if all the tears put together won’t bring him back. Everyone is going to give you bad advise like life goes on, and you should be strong. Here’s the thing, life will go on for everyone else, but not for you and your family. Life will never be the same again. NEVER!
My dad used to tell me I shouldn’t cry because each tear of mine is worth a million bucks. In these two years, I’ve wasted millions of them because they are of no value anymore. You’ll slowly learn to cry silently all night long; in fact, you’ll master the act. You’ll stop talking about him altogether because it feels too sacred and also because you don’t know how to control your emotions. When you’ll talk to new people, you will talk about him as if he’s still alive. They don’t need to know and you need to keep him alive somehow. What doesn’t kill you teaches you such coping mechanisms.
Hearing the word ‘papa’ will kill you every single time, and having to use it for someone else will feel wrong. More than anything, you’re going to feel so lonely because you’ve got to protect your loved ones from your own misery. You’re going to feel suicidal, you’re going to feel as if you can hear him talking to you; you’re going to feel anything but normal. You will laugh, go to movies, eat out, travel, visit a salon, you will do everything, but your inner pain won’t leave you, only you will know what you are going through.
Every little thing possessed by him or given to you by him will become all the more special, no matter how silly it may sound. People are going to tell you they understand but they won’t. No one cannot unless it happens to them. They won’t even let you mourn in peace and in your own way, let alone understand. You will hate this world and its ways more and more. You’ll know who’s true and who’s fake. You will become bitter about everything. Sometimes you’ll cry so much that you’ll be gasping for breath.
You’ll think of all those times he wanted you to be with him but you chose to do something else, and you’ll regret. You’ll eventually grow up, even though people may not agree, but it’s only you who is privy to the truth. And you will accept the fact that your fairy tale in which you were the princess is over. Daddy’s little girl is little no more.