Last words are important.
My last words to my father were “I hate you”.
It’s hard to think back because when I do the phrase echo’s in my head on repeat. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. But it was true I hated my father. When I tell someone I just meet that my father passed away I never include that small detail. I let them tell me they’re “I’m so sorry” and I give a half smile with a little nod instead of saying it’s okay I hated him anyway. I did hate my father but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss him.
Most people don’t understand. People who have never been disappointed by the same person for years. People with two decent parents that do everything in their best interest. They don’t understand what it’s like to be lied to and manipulated and stolen from and embarressed. But I do. And here’s the thing with a disappointing parent you eventually stop believing in them like you did when you were 8 years old. They become a stranger you distance yourself from, someone you never want to be like. It eventually reaches the point that hating them isn’t even worth it anymore, you just feel numb instead.
I remember the last time I saw my father. He jumped into the backseat of my mother’s car, his eyes red and his speak slurred. He asked my mother for money to buy some cocaine. He tried to talk to me but I said “I hate you” the phase had become as casual as hello and goodbye. He got out of the car and that was the last time I saw him. He died days later from a drug overdose.
4 years later and I still don’t know how to feel about his death and our relationship. He was a shit father but he also had his okay moments. Moments I hold onto but with each year that passes seems to fade. Scratching lotto tickets with him, laughing, playing 80s music real loud in the car, 7-11 Slurpee’s. But then I also remember the times he spent all the rent money, yelling, drugs, police cars, nights he didn’t come home. It feels like I have lived two lives, the one with my father and the current one without him. I was such an angry and bitter 10 year old kid and when my father died I let all my pent up anger go. I think that was a temporary fix because my last words still haunt me years later. My mind still can’t seem to let my father go, he’s always there. Making me feel anger and resentment and pity for myself, but most importantly I miss him.