Dear Dad,

When I think about the fact that it’s been exactly seven years since you died, I don’t get sad. I get angry. I get this ball of fury under my ribcage that causes me to tremble and pace and wish there was something I could do. This helpless rage is not over how much I miss you — which is an immeasurable amount that only seems to grow even larger with every day — but rather over just how much you’ve missed.

You’re missing everything.

One of our last moments together, seven years ago plus some change, you were standing and I was helping you get dressed, maneuvering your oxygen tube around your flannel top while you stood, arms outstretched and wide, and you wailed, not to me, but to something not in the room. You said, “I’m so useless!”

But I was the one who was useless right then, because once the word “hospice” is said, it doesn’t matter what comes next. There is no stopping the end of things. Cancer doesn’t care. It doesn’t care that we had just started to talk to each other like real people, that you had just started to have regrets in life, that there were still so many things left for you to do, for you to see. Cancer doesn’t care, especially when you didn’t care about it first, and now you’re missing everything.

And I’m sorry, I know it makes me a terrible daughter. I’m sorry, because I know I’m not supposed to say it. I’m sorry, because it’s such a useless thing to feel, but today, I’m just so fucking mad at you.

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