An Open Letter to My Father

Dear Dad,

It’s been 5 and a half years since you died, and every time I think about it the idea becomes more and more abstract. Last night I think you “came to me” in a dream. I don’t think I ever believed stuff like that happened, but it felt very real to me last night.
It’s not the first time I’ve had a dream about you after your death. I used to dream about you coming back to life somewhat frequently. Like you would walk through the front door and have never been dead. Those dreams always hit me hard emotionally, but they never felt real. I don’t even remember everything that happened in my dream last night, but it felt real in the most trivial way. I was laying next to you and you commented on my nose ring. I don’t even remember what you said. I just remember that little scene, and waking up soon after. I just got my nose ring two months ago, so it was as if you were seeing me in real time, and being here.
I wish I could remember more of what happened, what you said to me. I know I woke up feeling raw, like you had just come to visit me at college and then left again too soon. The hardest part I struggle with is feeling like I don’t even know who you were. I was a week away from 13 when you died. I was old enough surely to understand the whole idea of death and to remember you, of course. But why is it that whenever someone asks me, “What would your dad say about that?” I don’t know how to answer? Why does it feel like I didn’t know you that well? Why is it hard for me to remember where you were or what you did when I think about memories before you died? It’s not fair. I was just a kid. I didn’t get a chance to really screw up and have you teach me a lesson from it. I didn’t get to have you through high school, and hardly middle school. If you did really appear to me last night, why is this the first time it’s felt this real? Where were you when I needed you?
Is this even real?

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