Dear Dad,

I know that you think you’ve lost hope. And when you’ve lost hope, all hope is lost.

The thing that I’d like to tell you the most is don’t give up.

Put the gun away.

The reason I’m asking you this, telling you this, is that grief is something we all share. You haven’t had the chance to read it, because it’s not written yet, but Elie Wiesel, a concentration camp survivor who will go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize, will write a book called Night. The book is going to be published in your future.

In the book, he says something that struck me in my heart. He said that we are all connected by pain. When I think about it, all humans have all of these different emotions from pain, love, grief, and anger. If he can survive witnessing his whole family being murdered in a concentration camp, still live to endure the grief, and then write about it, why can’t we?

Dear Dad, we are all connected by pain. I think what he meant is that even if you’ve been through a divorce, even if you’ve been through a broken heart, or even if you’ve lost everything financially, you still have not lost it all.

Dear Dad, if you take your life what will become of your daughter? If I could see into the future, I would tell you that she would become a wrecking ball, a tornado intent on weaving destruction in the lives of men. She would tell them that she loves them when she really doesn’t. As a teen, she would seek love in all the wrong places and would run away from home — even when she is a cheerleader and student body president. She would achieve and exceed expectations, all the while covering up her heart of stone.

If you take your life Dad, I’m not sure what will become of her, of me. I believe that from that day on I would hate the world. I would be devoid of God. I believe I would spend my life trying to prove that I could be something, that I was worth something because I would feel as if you didn’t feel like I was worth it to stay.

Or, would I go the opposite direction? Would I one day find truth? Would I one day find the ability to tell lost men, like you, that you are not defined by your finances. That you are not defined by your achievements. That your legacy consists of all of the gifts inside your heart. Those God given gifts.

Dear Dad, which direction will I go? Will I live on the edge of life or death always? Will I teeter on belief and disbelief in God? Will I go to the left or to the right? Will I follow Satan and his belief that I am rejected and worthless into the depths of hell, making life so much more difficult for everyone around me?

Maybe I’ll do both.

Dear Dad, this is one last plea. Consider this, what will it be like for a little girl to grow up without hearing I love you?

What would it be like for me in college, at parents’ weekend, or even the princess parties at 8, 9, or 10 years old. What about the soccer fields, where the other Dads are with their daughters on the sidelines?

Dear Dad, what about me? What would it be like on the day that I walk down the aisle? If you can’t think of anyone else right now, at least reach up, reach one hand out of your grief for mine.

Dear Dad, you may not think I care now but your decision will impact me for the rest of my life.

Dear Dad, put down the gun.

Tammy

 

 

 

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