Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

It’s hard to believe that four years have come and gone since you suddenly passed away. I can still remember the events as if they just happened yesterday. When I think about things, the pain is still so fresh, so bitterly real, that my heart aches to relive any of it. The twenty four hour period before the end, when Mom and I sat there in the ICU waiting area, was perhaps the longest, most painful period of time I have ever endured.

The nurses and doctors fought hard and did everything they could do. It just wasn’t enough. It wasn’t God’s plan. I remember every sense of hope, fear, anger, more hope, helplessness, frustration, pain, grief, and a wide range of other emotions that long night. I questioned God on several occasions since then. I try to get past it, but to this day I still want to know why. Why would God take you and leave behind a man who beats his wife? Why would He rip you from our lives and leave behind a man who walks into a small town school and murders innocent children and courageous teachers? It just doesn’t make sense to me. People always say that time heals all pain. I’m still not convinced that it does.

You were a remarkable person and someone that so many people in this world never had the pleasure of meeting. You worked hard all of your life. You loved God and did what you could to lead others to Him. You didn’t have a father who ever told you that he loved you, but despite that, you always showed me love. I never doubted for a second that you loved me. You were quiet, yet firm and outspoken when the situation called for it. You were the rock that held our family together.

I feel so overwhelmed at times because I think I need to fill your shoes and take your place. You were always the solid foundation that Mom could rely on in times of trouble. And it wasn’t just the major things in life…it was the little things too. The normal, everyday stuff that we all have to do. You carried all of that for Mom. I can’t do that like you did. I hope you don’t see that as any failure on my part. Even as I write this, I know you don’t.

Holidays are so hard on all of us. Christmas is next week, and once again, there will be a huge, gaping hole in our celebration. In a world so full of changes, you were the one constant that held us all together. By God’s grace, we make it through life. It’s not always easy, but we find a way to survive. To go on. To take one more step, one more breath, even though it hurts with each and every one. Even though they don’t talk about it very often, I know the girls miss you terribly as well. I can see it in their eyes whenever your name is mentioned. I’m forty years old and don’t understand. How could they possibly comprehend any reasoning we could provide to explain your passing?

We cling to the hope that God had a reason to take you away from us. We might not understand it, but we have to live with it. I look forward to the day when we will once again be reunited in a place where the streets are paved with gold, and there will no longer be any pain, suffering, or emptiness. When you look upon the glorious face of our Lord and Savior, Jesucristo, please ask Him to help heal our broken hearts here on Earth.

I miss you and love you more than anything,

Your son,



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Have a blessed day,


Categories: General

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55 replies

  1. Dear Chris,
    When I read this, I was saddened by your loss. At the same time, I was cheered by the obvious love you had for your father and at your reminiscence of the positive role he played in the lives of you and your family. I think people too easily overlook the essential and vital role that a father plays: and I thank God for all the men who choose to fulfill their role as father with the best of themselves and actively parent their children – in whatever capacity.

  2. I was 25 and pregnant when my dad was killed in a car accident. It was December 9, 1994. Although our relationship was not good, I can understand your loss

  3. I envy you the warm thoughts of your dad… My dad and I don’t share that kind of relationship. I find your letter to him to be quite touchingly beautiful.
    I also wanted to let you know…in appreciation for your blog, I’ve nominated it for Blog Of The Year 2012. If you choose to participate, the instructions are on my blog.

  4. This was so beautifully written. Your father was described as a wonderful man who held your family together – I too lost my father but at age 9 and I too wish to be convinced that “time heals all”. There is a void that will never be filled.

  5. This is beautiful. God definitely has a plan. It’s comforting to know that His ways are higher than our ways. We don’t always know they why’s or how’s to any event but God has a bigger plan. God bless and happy holidays!

  6. Your dad seems like a great man, and it is a very well written tribute to him. They say it is only the memories of the person that we can carry with us of somesome when they pass, but it sounds as if he left you with such good memories that you should be proud of him, yourself, and your family, that are endeavouring to pull eachother through it…

    Your tribute affects me a lot because it reminds me of my granddad’s passing too, as he was my closest family member. He was my moral compas, he was my emotional support, and my inspiration. He was the man that (modestly/unknowingly) guided me to be the person that I am, and without him I know I would not be in the same place I am today. He was our rock, our leader, and yet our consciencious diplomat too… my gran likes to refer to him as her “gentle giant”… as she grew to depend on him, and he gave her a great deal of strength, even though he was soft at heart, and in facted depending on her as much emotionally… (also she is tiny, and he was a large man…) … His passing left a hole in all hearts…

    But, rather than intending to tell you all about my granddads passing, I just wanted to be able to share my appreciation for your piece! I also wanted to share my belief with you, as I think it is true of all great men, and I think it gives an answer to one of your questions (albeit not fully fair or justified) – Because he was such a great man, I know my Granddad’s there, waiting, somewhere just around the corner… waiting ready… waiting cautiously… making sure that we don’t have to experience anything unfamilar, or disconcerting, all by ourselves… he is there to guide us, as and when we really need him, even if that it is just when it is our time – the time when it will really matter… great men are selfless like that… and lower men would not be able to perform this, the most important task of all….

    …. I reckon that’s why all the great men are taken first.

  7. mmmm, same here, but it goes to my mom, Christmas season really brings back all the memories we have about people we lost and love…But i still love Christmas day…It brings me My Saviour. Merry christmas from Indonesia. JC bless u ^_^

  8. Your post took me back to a time (nearly twenty years now) when I lost my dad very suddenly. He was out playing golf when I got a phone at the bookstore from my brother. He said that dad had a heart attack. He was gone by the time I reached the hospital.

    I make sure to share stories of my dad with my three amazing kids whenever I get the chance like Christmas.

    Thanks for sharing your story and take care!

  9. There is healing in sharing of grief, clearly–and no timeline for it, either, is there? My parents passed within 16 months of each other, my dad three years ago. It is a strangeness that becomes somehow normal. I want to thank you for following my blog.

  10. I miss my mom as well…been 5 years …very poignant words…thank you and thank you for following my blog

  11. Great post. Don’t want to “like” it, but it IS appreciated.

  12. Hi Chris,
    I wrote a post called: Don’t Ask “Why?” – Ask “What?”. This is a very hard thing to do when going through a very hard time, but if you can manage to do it, I believe you will reap a great reward.

  13. This is really touching, reminded me of my mother’s death which was over 12 years ago but still feels like it was yesterday.

  14. Chris, I share your loss and that of many other commenters. My dad died when I was 16 from a long drawn out session with cancer (lung, then brain) and I think it killed my mom’s spirit as her health suddenly went from good to bad and she died just six years after Dad. I still miss them both and reminisce about our Christmas preparation together in today’s blog post at Christmas is especially a trying time when someone close to you is no longer physically there. But I like to think that my mom’s and dad’s spirits are hovering nearby. Maybe that will help you and others, too, because our parents live on in our memories.

    Sharon A. aka Only Child Writes

  15. This is a very moving and beautifully written post. My mother died 5 and a half years ago and I still miss her every day. Thank you for sharing this.

  16. A great and very moving tribute to your dad, Chris. My dad died too young 22 years ago and my mom died about 4 years ago, three months after my wife’s dad passed away. We think of departed loved-ones often, but it seems their loss is felt more deeply during the holidays – I suppose because we’re also mourning good memories that they were so much a part of. I am glad your dad left you with good memories, memories you treasure when so many are trying to block out memories. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  17. When my father died, on Christmas Eve, 10 years ago a friend tried to comfort me by saying: “Never forget, if you have not learned from your father what to do or even what not to do, then he lived in vain, and I don’t think that is the case.”
    I still remember those words and very often in my daily life I feel that my dad is still with me.
    And I am sure yours still lives through you.

  18. its a very loyal, beautiful and an exceptionally touching letter Chris…… thanks for sharing it with us and May God give you and your family courage to face the hard time you experience without your father….. although you cant bring him back but i really appreciate your thought you have mentioned in the last para “We cling to the hope that God had a reason to take you away from us.”
    God Bless You and your beloved family Mr.Chris….

  19. We lost my mother-in-law a little over 2 years ago. I found out I was pregnant a few months after her passing on her birthday. I’ve gone through a sea of emotions from sadness to talking to her during my pregnancy, asking her for strength, to totally anger at the things of hers that are in her house, which has now become my husband’s and mine. Not many people are strong enough to talk about the anger and the questioning of God’s motives. This is a very touching and intimate letter.

  20. I can only imagine your pain. I am sure this time of year would be more difficult for you. Beautiful tribute.

  21. I buried my father on his 94th birthday 7 years ago and I miss him as much today as the day he left this earth. I tell myself it was time for him to leave, but somehow I have a hard time believing my own explanation. My father’s horse still jumps the corral at the ranch where he (the horse) now lives and returns to Dad’s house about once a week and dad’s been gone all these years. Like your father, my dad sat tall in the saddle–in more ways than one.

  22. A beautiful and very touching tribute to your dad Chris – he would have been proud to hear how you feel.

  23. Losing a parent, a child or any loved one is something we never get over – no matter how much time passes – there will always be a part of us missing. God’s Word says that the rain falls on the just and the unjust – bad things happen to the good to and bad of us. But, for believers, glory awaits when Christ returns for us.

  24. A very touching tribute to your father. I lost my dad 18.5 years ago to complications from aneurysm surgery. My mom and I endured some hellacious times in the years that followed due to me being a teen with undiagnosed autism & side-effects of meds from misdiagnoses. I don’t know why my dad would be taken over a bad dad, I got to see a few of those growing up. I do know that from reading Joyce Meyer’s books that we can be comforted “not knowing”, that God knows all & can handle all we cannot. I can tell you time does dull the acuity. You never stop missing them. To do so would not be human. God bless you and a Merry Christmas.

  25. So sorry for your loss, Chris. Prayers for you and your family. Carina

  26. How beautiful your memories are…You and your Dad are both blessed to have each other…I learned when my husband went to be with Christ 7 yrs. ago that it leaves a permanent hole in your life and heart that never heals, but that’s okay because I think if it went away the memories would go with it. And thanks to God we will be together again…Bless you and your family.

  27. Such an honest and pure tribute…My deepest condolences.

  28. Very beautiful! Very moving! And very honest. It has been 24 years since my father died, 23 since my best friend left earth and 19 since my mother passed and 1 and a half years since my brother died– all of cancer.

    No one can replace any of them. The holidays are forever never the same. I fear the loss of the one human closest to me with a neurotic/psychotic terror. My husband.

    I am sorry for your loss. The raw pain does morph into a dull ache, a low grade sadness that lingers and surfaces at anniversaries and holidays. I wish you the only thing I can– healing of the gaping wound.

    You were lucky to have him and he you. You are honoring him in loving your family as you do.

    God bless you and help you in life’s mostcsorrowful mystery.

    • Chris the sharing of these intimate and life changing times do act as a validation to others that their grief, their pain and their way of experiencing similar situations is not something unique to them, but something they can “share” with others if only through the words they read. It is amazing how in reading such reflections, we become connected. I am glad you are dealing with this time in such a positive way by reaching out to others. God Bless.

  29. I’m so sorry for your loss, Chris, I send my love to you and your family and I pray that your hearts will heal soon. <3

  30. Hi Chris ! I’m sorry for your loss. May Jesus heal your wound, fill you and make you whole. I feel the same way as you as I lost my loving and dearest Father-in-law last year.

  31. What a great tribute to an obviously great father. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  32. Lost my dad in December 6 years ago. I miss him a lot. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  33. Your letter remind me to the loss of my dad last year, Chris. Like yours, my father was also a great man to me.

  34. That was a beautiful letter. It sounds like your father will be there, in you, this year. He sounds like a great man.

  35. Oh Chris, I’ve been there with the sudden loss of my mom at 51 and my husband at 58. We never got to say good bye. Long time passing now yet grief hangs on. We move on one foot in front of the other in order to survive and thrive. Love to you and your family, Chris.

  36. A beautiful if sad post Chris. My family also has the hurdle of a lost loved one to leap before Christmas, and despite it being 20 years, that darn hurdle doesn’t get any lower does it? I understand your questioning of time…although I suppose whilst that gap isn’t filled, we do collect new and special people, like our children, who help some. But in other ways the pain of “I wish you’d known them” is new. I think over the years I’ve given up with the why’s, in our case we’ll never know. Just like I don’t think those feeling the pain of the devastation in Cennecticut will. But for me, having someone so special to grieve means I had them for a while and that’s more than some have. I know it’s small comfort when all you want is your Dad back, but he sounds like a special person who raised an incredible son who has that legacy to pass on. I hope you find peace and wish you and your family a very loving Christmas together … I’m sure your Dad would appreciate you being there for each other,

  37. We are lucky to have had great father figures to look up to and miss forever, It is actually because they where such great people that it hurts so much.. I don’t expect the pain to go, I hope it actually never fades, the more beautiful my memories, the harder the heart ache. I am really sorry for your loss.. You are him, even if the shoes don’t feel fitting.

  38. Hi Chris,
    I am so sorry for your loss and thank you for putting your grief into words – it helps…
    I wonder do we complicate things instead of seeing things simply. I believe:
    God is good – all the time. When something bad happens, like the loss of your dad, it is not from God. Do you really believe it was God’s will that your father suffer and die prematurely? As Christians we are erroneously taught that God is in absolute control of everything that happens therefore all that happens must be His will. Yet, God’s will does not always happen. The bible says it is not God’s will that any should perish. Yet people perish. The bible says God has a hope and a future for His children. Yet many never walk in it. God’s will does not always come to pass. If we believe God is the author of evil, how can we really trust Him? How can we love and trust a Father who gives us death and doesn’t stop the suffering? What kind of a father would he be? Certainly nothing like you have described your dad as, as loving and protective.
    Health and healing WERE God’s will for your dad. A long life with the family he loved and who loved him. Yet that’s not what happened. That does not mean it was God’s will that your dad died. To believe that makes God your enemy. It has to. It was Satan’s will for your father to die prematurely. It’s his work we can get angry about. When we get the real enemy in our sights (the killer, thief and destroyer), it makes us want to stand and fight rather than be submissive to what we once saw as God’s inevitable will. I know what I’ve said raises many questions.
    And I know grieving people don’t need sermons. No matter what our theology, your dad is gone and you miss him and love him. Forgive me if you haven’t read my heart between the lines.
    Truth sets us free.
    Thank you for sharing your heart Chris. May Christ’s love and the lure of heaven minister to you and your family in your loss.

  39. Thank you for sharing your emotions, Chris. My son was just 12 when he lost his father suddenly. He just turned 21 and the pain, while different than it was 8 years ago, is still immense and he struggles with it too. Holding us all up with love and light as we walk on our own grief path.

  40. I am 55 years old now. I was 14 when my father died from a sudden and deadly heart attack. I can tell you that while only the passage of time helps to heal the pain of loss, in that same passage of time you begin to come to an understanding as to its possible reasons.

    He would be 101 this year. While I am sad that he did not get to spend more time here on Earth with us, I have come to the realization that it’s perhaps selfish of me to even question his loss…that the reasons things happen might have little to do with our own daily lives at all, but could be part of a larger plan that God has.

    I will be thinking of you and your family this Christmas as I recall what it was like the first few years after my own father’s passing. May the Lord help ease your pain and sense of loss.

  41. I’m sorry for the loss of your father and know he was lucky to have a family who loved him so.

  42. I’m so sorry for your loss. I am very close to my own father and the thought of EVER losing him kills me. I’ve told God He’s *never* allowed to take him away…

    May God bless you this holiday season and fill in the hole you are feeling now. We’ll all look forward to meeting your dad in the clouds someday :)

  43. This is a beautiful and touching letter. It’s hard with missing family members especially around the holidays. Blessings to you all.

  44. Even though this year is the 10th without my dad, I still feel the loss keenly. It will never leave me and I sense your sense of loss will never leave you. But You also seem to have a storehouse of precious memories of your Dad to carry with you as you remember and grieve. One of our most happy times on family celebrations now is when my brothers and sister sit around the table chatting, and so often it starts like this: “Remember when Dad….” or “Remember how much Dad loved….” Bless you and your family this Christmas.

  45. Beautifully said Chris. My mother died 11 years ago, and I still grieve. It’s different than in the early days when everything was fresh and raw, but it still hurts and it makes me incredibly sad that she didn’t get to see her granddaughters grow into beautiful young women. Blessings to you and your family on your continued journey through grief.

  46. Hi Chris,
    I appreciate the way how you expressed your emotions about your father’s death. I very sympathize with you since my father died only few months ago and I can understand that the pain which you are writing about is even bigger than your readers’ perception might be. You have very good attitude towards understanding of someone’s death…when I am down, I always think of God, or Universe matter how we call it….and I know there was a reason for him to be taken to another place, another level. Not that it would make me feel better, but it gives me a bit of balance, which I have lost. This year, it will be my first Christmas without him, and I have no idea how to fill that silence and empty chair at the Christmas table. But even though I have no rational explanation for this….I know there is a reason to live and go on, no matter how painful it is, there is still a ray of life which keeps us here. I will be thinking of you and your family Chris.

  47. Blessings to you, Chris. It is not easy missing loved ones. I lost my dad, my mom, and my sister all withing 17 months to cancer between 2010 and 2011. I have struggled with the whys as well. I feel for you and I know that losing a beloved parent is difficult. I look for them in my actions and in my heart. I am comforted that by staying true to their ideals and honoring their love of family, they live on through me. It doesn’t take away the pain of loss, but it helps. Sending you strength and hope for the future.

  48. I feel your pain, Chris. I lost my father on Thanksgiving Day this year.

  49. This is profound! I am sorry for your loss. My dad was taken from me suddenly as well. I was 26. He had a heart attack. I have written about it so I won’t here… but I feel your pain. Especially during the holidays. And I too wonder about why the good die young and why the evil get to remain.. Though I know all the facts about this being a fallen world and there is good and eveil and it is not God making it happen though He has allowed our free will and that involves evil unfortunately. My dad was a good man too.
    My hope remains in heaven and that this is not the end. And though I am tempted to ask why about a lot of things while I am “here” I know that I have to rest in the hope that I don’t need to know the answers now and that someday in the end, it will all make some kind of perfect sense.
    God bless you… and I am saying this to me as well….
    Find the blessings in the people still here, find the joy in the children still here and embrace it.
    God bless us everyone!

  50. I miss my Dad too. That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  51. That’s so touching! My father also passed away, four years ago…I know exactly how you feel…


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