I do not like visiting you when the cold Christmas breeze begins to blow. I don’t like seeing you, pale, hard, and cold, sitting unmoving on the same spot I left you before.
I hate having to talk to you, stare at you, as if by talking at you my words could reach him–the first guy I ever loved. I hate how you confined him in your darkness, never to see light again.
I hate that whenever I do talk at you, part of me wishes my words do reach him, the man whose identity you represent. I hate how every year I dread visiting you, yet my year wouldn’t be complete without coming to visit the guy you hide within.
I hate how you encased him, swallowed him whole. Forever lost but never forgotten.
How I wanted to claw at you, shatter you, until you give back the man you hide, the man I love. I hate how your pale, cold hardness are all that is left to represent him–evidence that he ever existed.
I hate having to light candles on his birthday, not so he can blow them to make a wish, but to lay them at your feet, because you hid him.
Lastly, I hate how unfair it is for you to receive the words, the love, pain, regret and longing that is meant for him, when he should be the one receiving it. If only he was still here. I hate having to call you “Daddy” because you are not him. Because my father is so much warmer, softer, kinder, stronger than a grave stone.
But, thank you. For teaching me how short and absolute life is, that every moment is precious and you could not go back to re-experience it, to not take anything or anyone for granted because death is permanent and certain.
I hate you, but thank you.
The daughter who still grieves
This was written last May 24, 2017, in a spoken word workshop held by Words Anonymous with Roch Lazarte at Meridian International College.