My Dad that was not my Dad

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A letter to my dad describing the moments and days following his death.

Submitted: July 26, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 26, 2017




I wish you were here to talk too. To tell you I am hurting. To tell me you always have my back. To make mom relax. To calm Rafi down. To laugh with Noa. To walk the dogs. To cook your amazing meals. To make the world a better place.

It isn’t fair. It isn’t fair that the best person in the world can just leave. It isn’t fair that all my friends have their dads and that their lives just keep moving. It isn’t fair I have to do this alone. You just were not supposed to leave me yet. Everyone keeps saying stupid shit like I can’t imagine or it will get better. Like yeah you don’t get it. Your lives aren’t changing all at once. Your lives don’t feel so wrong. You didn’t watch your dad die as you pounded on his chest. You don’t get it. You never will. Most of their parents will live a long time. I hate feeling mean, but I am mad. I am mad all my friends aren’t worried and scared about how to make it all work. I am mad they take for granted how easy it all is. I am mad they are already at advantages and I have always been playing catch up. I am just made they have their dads and security when mine feels all gone. Mad is probably the wrong emotion but I am. I am really really mad. I am pissed that this is all happening and I want to scream and instead I have to hold it in. I can’t scream and yell at everything because that would be socially unacceptable.

For starters I want you back. I would give up my life to bring you back in a heartbeat. I know that you would never want that, but you deserved to live a long life. You deserved to never miss any moments EVER. Every part of my life seems off without you. I get upset and I don’t know how to make it even slightly ok.

Second, I can’t sleep. Why did you have to die with me holding your hand?? No matter how hard I try I can’t get that image out of my head. That Sunday started like any other day. I woke up you were still in bed just enjoying the morning. As soon as I came up you asked if I wanted an omelet. I was sitting on the couch you came over and brought me it. Then we made drinks for my friends coming over. You even taste tested it for me because I told you my drinks were always straight alcohol.  Then my friends came and you did what you always did just cook lunch and make sure we had everything we could need. While we waited for one more person to get there you and mom were fighting in your room and I didn’t want my friends to here you so I kept slyly walking away to try to get you to stop. I just didn’t want to be embarrassed by you fighting in front of my friends. After my friend arrived we headed to the lake. I left the tags and I called you to bring them to the front door and like usual you went above and beyond. We pulled in and you were standing at the end of the driveway in your red Penn shirt with your big amazing smile. You looked so small and I think about your big smile as you were just standing there. After the lake I came home you were sitting in the dining room. I was being selfish and wanted you to drive me to my friend’s beach house. I started another fight between you and mom not on purpose, but the door broke. I tried to keep you two from fighting once I had started it up again. You were so mad about the door. You told me get in the car I am driving you to your friend’s house right now. I wish I had gotten in the car. Maybe if I had you would still be here. We were fighting and you were mad that I broke the door. Then you decided to drive to Rafi’s house to get away from the fighting and I called you crying telling you I needed you. Maybe if I had left him to go to Rafi’s he would have be fine. Then you came home and you were sweating and said you didn’t feel that well. I asked if you wanted me to take you to the hospital and you said maybe in a little. Later mom texted me come up ASAP. I went up and you were puking a little over the toilet. You looked sick, but I figured it wasn’t that bad. I was thinking selfish things like now I definitely have to drive myself to my friend’s house. Dad I am so sorry I was being selfish and not thinking of how bad you felt. Then we went into your room and mom had a fan on you and I was lying next to you. We asked if we could take you to the hospital. Why didn’t we force you? Damn I am so so sorry. After that you laid next to me while HGTV played in the background. I was just watching tv not super concerned because it didn’t even seem like a possibility that you could die. You were too young I didn’t even really think it was possible. I offered to go get you water and orange juice. We didn’t have any orange juice. Then you got up to shower and you were so hot and tired that all you put on after were you sweatpants. You got back in bed with me and I should have talked to you more. I barely said anything to you. You were just lying there kind of rubbing your chest. I asked if you wanted to go to the hospital. I stayed with you just in case, but I still believed there was nothing that could be wrong enough to kill you. I rubbed your stomach and you said you didn’t want to be touched. Then Rubin laid next to you and I moved him because you were too hot. Around 10:30pm you asked me to hold your hand. That is the last thing you will ever say to me. I was holding your hand for a few minutes not even realizing that would be the last time you were alive. I wish I had been paying attention to you more. Talked to you realized you were in pain or about to die. It all happened so fast after that. You let go I felt it. I looked over and you had your face in the pillow. You were probably in so much pain and I couldn’t do anything. I saw you like that I should have stayed next to you. Instead I screamed and ran out of the room calling 911. I used my cell phone. I should have used the home phone it slowed down how fast they got to us. I couldn’t do anything. I was screaming at them to come and they were asking me questions. Then they told me to go into the room and pick turn him over. I did and he was purple. I can’t get the image out of my head. He told me to pick him up off the bed. I did it. I picked my dad up off the bed. He was limp. I just had to pick him up like he was a child. I laid him on the ground. The guy asked me if he was breathing. I checked his pulse. I could tell there was nothing. His neck was all swollen and red looking. Everything was racing around me. I have never felt like that before. It was terrifying. He told me to start beating on his chest and that he would be there with me. He wasn’t there with me. I was all alone with my dad who didn’t look like my dad. I looked at my dad he was all discolored. I started CPR. I can’t get the stupid guy on the phone’s voice saying one two one two one two one two one two one two. I keep having a panic attack feeling when I close my eyes to the sound of his one two one two and they I just can’t breathe. It feels like I am drowning and stuck back in the moment. I can’t breathe and my chest hurts and I just start panicking. While I was doing CPR I was looking at my dad through my tears. I wanted to see him breathe. He wasn’t breathing. He never started breathing. I looked at him. I can’t get the image out. He was purpleish and red and white. His eyes were all closed and open but they were gone. They were each in a different direction and they weren’t looking at me. I wanted him to look at me. He never looked at me. I watched for him to breathe. Three times while I pounded I heard these gasps in my head I clearly though no no those can’t be his dying breaths. I knew those were his last gasps they weren’t him trying to breathe. They were me forcing air out. They weren’t him. I remember thinking I have heard that when someone dies they let out a final like breathe and I knew that was my dad’s. I can’t get that image and sound out. It is haunting me. It was so not normal. It looked all wrong. I wanted to be anywhere else it was surreal. It was so not normal. I heard cracking when I beat on his chest. I think I broke his ribs. I didn’t want to hear or see any of this. I kept looking at him hoping, but I knew. He wasn’t wearing a shirt. It was the last time I would ever touch my dad and I broke him. I let him slip away. It felt like forever before they paramedics came and also only seconds. He was just lying where I laid him and as soon as they go there I ran I just ran I heard the guy in the phone say keep going until they take over. I had already bolted I should have known to keep doing cpr. I ran tho I just ran barefoot onto the driveway. I remember collapsing on the pavement barely able to breathe. I called my friend because dad wasn’t there to call and mom had run somewhere. I was so not ok. I was laying there screaming. I knew I just knew. I wanted them to take him to the hospital. It was all a blur. Nothing happened they didn’t do anything. They didn’t save my best friend. I knew that when they came out without my dad it was not okie so did mom. She ran leaving me. I started to run I didn’t make it far. I fell down in my neighbor’s yard alone just screaming. I laid down and just cried. I wanted my dad. He would have held me. I knew I was alone now. I called Noa I made sure she had a friend near her. When I told her I heard her cry out. I have never heard that sound out of my sister. It is so unfair she lost her dad. She is a baby. She wasn’t even eighteen. He was supposed to see her become and adult. I went inside the house alone. I didn’t know where mom was. I asked to see dad. They said that would be a bad idea. Idk what they did to him. I sat in the basement curled in a ball alone until they finally took dad away an hour later. I went outside sat in the car with mom she wanted to drive it was a bad idea. She left me in the car when her rabbi friends came. I went inside I spent the entire night awake clutching myself. I was alone in the house and I felt alone. I felt like the world was over. In the morning I couldn’t move I didn’t want it to be real. Everyone said things and I wanted to punch them. I could have changed so many things about that night. I can’t sleep haven’t made it through a night. I just lay. I don’t want to close my eyes. I want my dad. When I close my eyes I can’t breathe. Nights are the hardest. Nights are impossible. I feel alone at night. I feel scared at night. I feel like if I close my eyes he will be gone. I can’t breathe. I can’t sleep. I can’t I just can’t. I lay and I lay and I cry. It hurts, my chest hurts. I don’t know who to ask for help.

It’s not getting easier. I can’t carry this family. I can’t do this without you. You cared so much and now I feel alone. It is not possible without you. I want to give up. I won’t.  I am trying so hard. I’m scared dad. I am scared all the time. I am scared that I will never find someone that loved me as much as you. I am scared I won’t be able to protect Noa. I am even more scared mom will go nuts without you. I am scared without your security I will never be able to reach my dreams. I am scared I am not good enough. I am scared I am going to push away all my friends. I am scared I will never be happy. I’m scared I am not strong enough for this life.

The future seems so sad without you in it. Why should I keep going? You are the one who cared about me. I feel alone now. I feel like this isn’t going to get better. Everyone is living and I feel lost. I feel lost and alone and like I have to make it all work. I miss you so much. It hurts just to think about you and it just hurts a lot dad. Please come back to me. I don’t know how to feel better. I don’t even know if I want to. It doesn’t seem right to be ok if you are not here.  Sad doesn’t even begin to explain it, it feels like my breath is just gone. You were the greatest dad and human and this is all so wrong. I want to express to everyone how bad this is and instead I have to work and make it through each day and even act normal. Yeah fuck that. Fuck FUCK FCUK.

In closing dad I wanted you to walk me down the aisle. Yes Rafi or Uncle David can, but it is so not the same. You were supposed to be the rabbi performing at my wedding. I was supposed to looking at to you on the happiest day of my life while you performed the ceremony. I wanted it to be your voice and smile that I looked at when I was getting married. Then there is the whole grandpa thing. I will never get to see what my kids choose to call you. You would have been the absolute most amazing grandpa. Each of my kids would have loved you like I did. They would have admired you and I know you would never have missed an important event.  There is no doubt in my mind you would have been the favorite grandparent. It makes me sad you won’t get to be a grandpa because you were so excited about the possibility. You will never meet my future family and that makes me so angry and disappointed all at the same time.  Every time I think about it I start crying, how can you just miss the rest of my life?

I’m just so sorry dad. I am sorry it ended that way. I am sorry I could not save you. You deserved so much better. I am so sorry for not being there when you needed me most. I am sorry I started more of a fight and I am sorry I lead to you dying.


I wish this would get better and I miss you more than I can put in words. I don’t want to keep moving if you can’t. I am trying dad, I really am.  I will love you forever and always dad. You were the best dad in the world and nothing can make the hurt go away. Why didn’t you ask me for help?

Please just don’t be gone, don’t make me do this alone.

Love Always <3

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