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Letter to my Father

Seven years ago, I wrote this letter to my father on the anniversary of his passing. Now for Fathers' Day, I am resending it, with love.

Hi Dad, it’s me, Jo.

Hard to believe it’s been 15 years since I held your hand, 15 years since I kissed your    familiar, Old Spice scented cheek.

I wish you’d allowed us to talk about the fact that you were dying. We all had to say goodbye in so many coded, oblique ways in those seven short weeks of your illness. Do you remember? I said to you, “I can’t imagine a world without you in it,” and that was the closest you allowed me to come to “I love you.”  

The nearest you came to admitting you knew you wouldn’t be leaving the hospice was: “do what needs to be done.” You meant, don’t let me suffer and the wonderful staff there made sure that you didn’t.

It’s true that time is a great healer. After 15 years I don’t think about you every single...

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