To My Fatherless Friend

This isn’t something I normally post – well technically it is, the theme fits, the mood fits, and the topic is definitely a topic that should be talked about – however, this particular post wasn’t created just by me, instead it was started and inspired by a great friend of mine who is both hurting and scared. So today, I present to you an article that was wrote by both my unnamed friend and myself:

To my fatherless friend,

I am writing this letter, not in hopes that you will ever read it, but in hopes that you will never need too. I too am trying to come to terms with the decision made by your father. I know that part of you might find me selfish – for taking his death and allowing it to touch me so deeply – because lets be honest he is your dad, not mine. So to start this, I am not trying to diminish your relationship with your dad, I am not trying to steal your memories, or effect your feelings – but two of the most important men in your life were nearly as important to me, so with you I grieve the loss that you are experiencing.

You don’t know me very well, for fuck sakes you’re much too young to even know your father very well – let alone an almost complete stranger who sits behind a screen.

However this is something I need to tell you, for your sake but mainly for mine.

By the time you understand the contents of this letter I am sure you will know the story of your grandfather. You will be told why he is no longer with us, and although you will probably never be able to fully understand the events that lead to his murder – you will be given all the cold hard facts – just like I was when I was your age. Unfortunately though, you didn’t get to experience any time with your grandfather, so just incase you forget after you’re told the story of his death, I want you to know that he was a wonderful man. In fact, he used to bring me candy every single time I saw him – it was almost like his pockets were filled with an endless supply. But most importantly, aside from the candy, he took the time to acknowledge that I didn’t like mints – and ever since he found out that piece of information about me – he never brought me a mint again – not once.

We are more alike then you might think – even if you don’t know who I am. Because, you see, when your grandpa was murdered it was the first time my parents ever explained death to me. It was the first time that I had to bear heartbreak; it was the first time that I saw death take over my house and all the people around me. I bet that you felt the same way the day you’re mom explained to you why your father will never again attend a family dinner – and never again read you a bedtime story, or check for monsters under your bed.

The thing is, your dad never got the chance to explain to you, that monsters don’t live under your bed instead they live inside your body. Instead, in the short time that you were given with your father, he showed you how to always put on a brave face and to welcome to world with a crooked grin.

So I know that right now you are facing the most unbearable pain that you will probably ever experience and you are only 5 years old.

But if you take anything away from what I am telling you, please let it be this: your fathers bravery was an inspiration to so many people. He touched the lives of many, but I’d like to believe that he affected mine more than most. He quite literally gave me the tools to cope with my own demons and gave me a role model of what it was to be a real man. He did all of this whilst masking his own demons behind that very well known crooked grin. Your father was strong, your father was fearless, and your father is still a man that I will continue to look up to long after he is gone.

When the time is right, and you are ready, please don’t hide behind your crooked grin that will remind everyone of him. Instead please speak, cry, and scream – do whatever it is that you need to do to cope with your loss; do whatever it takes, just don’t bottle it in.

And if the day comes when you ever need a strategy to cope with the demons that I’m sure are growing inside of you, please come to me and I will pass down all the tools and wisdom that your father once gave me.

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