This is my one hundredth letter to you. I started to write to you when you lost your mind. The letters, at first, were awkward and short. Mostly, they said, “College Economics was the worst decision of my life,” or “I just ate Raisinbran and listened to NPR, it made me think of you.”
I found that writing to you helped me cope with the Alzheimer’s that stole you away from me. Today, it is different though. Today, instead of you being around and me knowing that I can still hold your warm hand or see your smile, today you are not here on this earth.
Your pain ended exactly a month ago at 2:27 in the morning. I was there, the image of your lifeless body and your glazed eyes will haunt me for the rest of my being. I grabbed your hand and I wanted you to come back to life. I knew it was selfish. I knew you were in a better place. I knew you deserved to be free, but I wanted you back. I wanted you meet my future husband if there is one because right now that is looking a bit dim — I wanted you to have pictures with my children climbing on top of your lap as you sat in your wheel chair, I still wanted to sit and tell you about my life even if I didn’t know if you were registering it or not. I need you still.
I thought when the time would come that I would be okay because I knew it this was what to come eventually. But now that it is here, I feel as though, I have lost myself. I am not longer the girl who has a dad with Alzheimer’s. I am the girl who has a dead father. I am not sure how to act around people anymore. I put on such a strong face for the world, but inside I am crumbling apart. I am completely lost and alone.
Everyone in our family has a significant other, and you were always my plus one. People give you a grace people in life to get over a traumatic event such as a death, but then they expect you to be back to normal, when I do not feel normal at all. I know everyone loses a parent and that it is a part of life, but how do they ever come out of the dark shadows that my mind keeps taking me too? What did you do when you lost your father? I should have asked you.