Love Letter: Dear Dad, I’m Sorry

Quote from Mind Over Meta

A Guest Post by Mind Over Meta

December 9, 2017

I remember the morning when mum came into my room to tell me you’d passed away; I could hear my younger brother crying in his room. Nan and granddad came round, having lost their only child, and I remember the dimly lit rooms and deafening silences. I remember your funeral, I remember your friends all dressed in black. I remember time standing still and yet life carrying on.

You were just forty-six years old when you died. I was just thirteen.

Now at the age of thirty-seven I think of all the things you’ve missed; all the life events and milestones. I feel compelled to say ‘I’m sorry.’ Not because I think anything was my fault, but because I’m sorry for the things we never got to share.

To know you

I’m sorry that I never got to know you as a person. I’m sure you were complex and contradicted, just like the rest of us. Due to my youth I was too young to understand your inner workings, and I regret not having the chance to know more about you. If only we’d been able to grow older together.

If music be the food of love

I’m sorry that we never got to play those duets you spoke of when I started playing the piano at twelve years old. You’d self-taught yourself the flute and showed me some sheet music for piano and flute. You said that one day, when I got better, we could play them together. I’m sorry I didn’t get better sooner.

I’m sorry for the music you’ve missed out on over the years. You had an eclectic taste so I’m sure there would’ve been lots of bands you’d have liked. You also had a penchant for listening to music at a loud volume, so I imagine we would’ve enjoyed going to gigs together!

Perpetual student

I’m sorry that you weren’t around for my graduation. I didn’t go to university at the age my friends did; I went later when I was twenty-eight. You’d have been proud of me, and to have you there as my cheerleader and be with mum and I in the photographs would have been really special.

I am due to graduate with my doctorate next year. It’s been tough going, but I know you’ve been there helping me to push through. I’m just sorry you can’t be there to share the happiness and the relief.

Love and marriage

I’m sorry that you were unable to give me away when I got married the first time. I lit a candle in the morning to honour you and to say I wished you were there. I’d love to have had a father-daughter dance, but not to something too soppy. I remember being in the back of your car when I was about four years old, while you drove us to a hardware store. You had Dire Straits playing in the cassette player and I kept asking you to rewind the song “Sultans of Swing,” much to your amusement. I think that would’ve been a cool track to boogie to with you!

By the way, the second time I got married I went to Vegas and was given away by Elvis! Don’t be mad!

Life behind the lens

I’m sorry that there aren’t more pictures of me and you together. You were the family photographer and were usually found behind the lens more than in front of it. This picture is one I cherish:

Dad and a little Mind Over Meta
Dad and I. One of few photos of the man behind the camera.
The golden years

I’m sorry that I didn’t have the privilege of seeing you grow older and of looking after you in your later years. It would have been an honour to repay you for all the kindness and support you’d have no doubt shown me. I wonder what you would have done with your time during retirement?

Remembering you

I’m sorry that I can’t remember your voice. I can remember your laughter though, which was loud and hearty. I remember that I liked hearing you laugh; it made me feel happy inside.

I remember your nickname for me; Sissy. It was never said in a derogatory way, but I never got to find out where it came from.

I remember you liked to rub your unshaven chin against mine, knowing that I didn’t like it which seemed to make you laugh even more!

I remember sitting outside in the garden with you on one cold morning watching a lunar eclipse; I’d set my alarm especially to share the moment with you.

I remember you regularly helping me with my maths homework; numbers still confuse and frighten me.

I’m sorry for a lot of things, Dad, but I’m not sorry for the things I remember. These memories are precious stones which I’ll carry with me until it’s my time to leave this world you once inhabited. I have a feeling we’ll meet again, and when we do we can play those duets and we can have that special dance.

All my love


Your turn: What have you wished you could have said to someone who you no longer have in your life?

Mind Over Meta is a blogger from the UK, writing about the idiosyncrasies of the human experience and subjects like mental health, spirituality and the power of the human connection. Check out her blog, or connect with her on Twitter and Facebook. 

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Author: Angela Noel

On a quest to become a better human, I write about parenting, leadership, and personal development. I tell my stories so you can find your own.

41 thoughts on “Love Letter: Dear Dad, I’m Sorry”

  1. I’ll admit that I didn’t want to read this because I didn’t want to cry (I cry at sappy commercials, for goodness sake)….but I did it anyway, and I’m glad I did! It actually made me smile, vicariously experiencing your relationship with your dad. Beautifully written tribute!

  2. This is a very amazing and heartfelt post. It made me reflect on my own life.

    I wish I would have spent more time talking to my brother over the weekend before he died, last March. I remember giving him a hug and telling him how much I appreciated the help he gave my mom. For that I am grateful.

  3. Kudos to this post. A very difficult subject and yet, as you said above, cathartic to write. A very fitting tribute that really puts together how good a relationship you had with your Dad. I feel a lot of people take things for granted until they are gone and miss the opportunity to say all the things they wish they had before. A sad post and yet, not sad at the same time. Writing it must have produced both emotions at times and a few smiles of remembrance too.

    1. Thanks, Gary. Yes, there were mixed emotions writing it for sure. I have to say I found it hard reading it back on here, but I see my sadness as a reflection of the amount of love I felt from my dad. I’m very grateful for the memories he gave me 🙂

  4. Tears. It’s been almost 2 years since I lost my dad, and I’m filled with I’m Sorry’s for the things he’s missed. You’ve had almost a whole lifetime of them. This reminded me to be grateful for all the things my dad DIDN’T miss, like my wedding. Hugs.

    1. I’m sorry for your loss, Emily. I guess we all have to hold onto the memories we have and even though my dad has missed many events in my life, the things he gave me early on have stayed with me and given me a lot of strength 🙂

  5. This is a beautiful post. My father died in 2007 and he was much older than yours was when he died. So he was able to share and see many of the key life experiences you describe. I suppose I regret that he died before I published my first novel, because he always encouraged me as a writer and he would have enjoyed helping me promote and sell my novels. But I dedicated my first novel ‘Mystical Circles’ to him instead and like to think he is aware of what I’m doing and willing me to succeed, to keep on going and never give up.

    1. I’m sure your father would be extremely proud of you and honoured that you dedicated your first novel to him 🙂 I feel that my dad is very much with me, pushing me on. I’ve dedicated my doctoral thesis to him, together with my nan and granddad (his mum and dad). They showed me such love and it’s my way of acknowledging that.

    2. Losing someone at any time just plain stinks. But, I love how you have found ways to connect your dad to the creative work he no doubt would have been so proud of you for accomplishing. Thank you for reading!

  6. Thank you for sharing something so personal – and Angela, for posting it! My best friend died aged 37 – our children were still very young – I wrote a poem for her that I sent to her husband in the days after her death. Her sister read it at the funeral. Different feelings to a parent, but I understand looking at the things she has missed….our eldest boys are now nearly 22 and entering the world of work and so many first experiences. x

    1. Hi, Claire. I’m sorry of the loss of your friend, that must have been so hard. If you want, I’d love to have the poem you wrote as a guest post for the Love Letters category. I truly feel so honored when writers like Mind over Meta, Hayley, Lauren, Erin and so many more share their love and admiration for others. Sharing love makes it grow. If you’re interesting you can check out the “Guest Post Opportunities” page. But, no pressure. Just know I’d be honored.

  7. Wow, this hit home big time as I often think like this. I lost my dad to epilepsy when I was 26, and my dad was only 54. There is no other way to describe it other than, it sucks…a lot.

    1. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad. You said it, it just sucks. I haven’t lost a parent, but reading stories like Mind over Meta’s and the comments of others just underscores for me the power of love, the devastation of loss, and the beauty of coming together as a community to support each other through this thing called life.

  8. To Mind over Meta: I’m sure your dad would be so proud of you! Especially the obvious efforts you have taken to attain a PhD through nontraditional paths. I wonder if he is accompanying you in that duet in a spiritual sense? Guess we’ll have to wait to see.

    To Angela: You attract such wonderful writers to host for guest posts. You’re awesome!

  9. I miss my sister. It’s not that there was anything unsaid, we we’re a family that always kissed and hugged and said we lived each other. What I miss most is just talking. We used to talk on the phone a couple of times each week and I miss that. Just being able to pick up the phone and call her. Thanks to technology, I won’t forget her voice as I still have the last voicemail she ever left me. But I miss just talking about anything with her.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Jennifer. I had that achy feeling in my heart when I thought of what it must be like to listen to your sisters voice on your voicemail. Both sweet and sad. Thank you for adding your thoughts.

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