A letter to my “father”

Many sit and mourn your loss. I seat and ask myself, what have I lost? I have seen you, I know your face, I know of you, but do I know you?

I ask myself, is it normal that I feel this way, this weird sense of loss, not the overwhelming sense, just the quiet one? Now that you are gone I’m forced to acknowledge it:  you, your presence in my life, but most of all, your absence.


Many won’t understand or acknowledge my sense of disconnect. Many will see and remember him differently than I do. I’m happy about that. I’m happy that he may have played a big important, vital, significant part in someone else’s life. But in my life, the value I place on this part is not as great.

I am slowly coming to terms that your life is no more. I’m coming to terms with the realisation that the relationship with me may not have been ideal, but that’s what you knew, that’s how you knew, and that’s how our society has been. I don’t blame you for anything. I have no hard feelings. Your death somehow seems like just an extension of the journey which I’ve been on recently. You’ve have helped me more than you know. And I’ve realised that suddenly.

Yes, I remember my “father.” I remember that man whom I’d call every month end, hoping that he’d be able to financially provide for me.  That pittance sum helped me pay my way to and from school. That’s it – that’s the most important role and significant memory I have of my father. And, looking back on my life now, what a contribution! What a role! What a life inspiration!

I’ve always thought that my relationship with my mom defined me,  defined my drive,  defined my need to succeed. My relationship with men, with friends, with the people I interact with.

Today, I lost my father. And this time, I say FATHER, not “father”.  Today, I learnt that I can’t distance myself from the reality that you shaped me. Today I cried for you not because you are gone but because you and I never got to define this together. We did define it but we defined it independently.

I thank you for the life you gave unto me. I thank you for these feelings that I am able to come to terms with. I thank you for the pittance because it got me to and from school. I thank you for instilling in me the mental fortitude that I need to become who I am. I thank you for just doing what in your mind and heart you may have thought was right. I thank you for trying. I thank you for being proud of me and my accomplishments.

In your own way you loved me. You loved me  the way you knew. You loved me; why, because you knew.

And in my own way, I love you. I love you because you made me, you created me, you defined me. I hold no hard feelings towards you.

I have forgiven you not because you intentionally hurt me but because you we reared in a society which didn’t foster a better relation between us. I pray that as I move on from this, the lessons which you’ve taught me, I can use to shape the man my son becomes.

Thank you daddy!

Many sit and mourn your loss,  and NOW,  I too am one of them.


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