Franklin’s father’s urn is getting buried today, so I decided to write a letter of what I would want to tell him. No, this will not be read at the burial. He already had a funeral mass back in March.
Dear Mr. Don,
The first time I saw you was the day before your passing. You were no longer talking, but you seemed to recognize me. You “woke up” when you realized I was in front of your bed and you seemed so happy to see me. I found out the next day that you were excited about the fact that your oldest son finally has a girlfriend.
It was honestly rough seeing you in that kind of shape, but you seemed a bit better when you woke up. It was really rough seeing you the day of your passing and I really struggled to keep it together. I didn’t want your family thinking it was inappropriate for me to feel the strong emotions if I never met you before. I was told that I was picking up on the emotions Franklin was afraid to show.
Although I really wished for you to wait to pass the next day, higher powers disagreed with what I wanted. The higher powers didn’t care that it was Franklin’s birthday. The higher powers felt it was time to go. I think I noticed first that you stopped breathing. The sound of the nurse turning off your oxygen was deafening. Your death affected me more than I expected. I never knew you when you were healthy. I never met you before your cancer diagnosis. I never talked to you before you could no longer talk.
I wish I could tell you that you did an amazing job raising Franklin. I wish to thank you for being Franklin’s biggest cheerleader when he joined the army. I am sure he would turn out differently if he didn’t join the army. I wish I could have seen you healthy other than in pictures. I wish you were able to talk to me. I wish to know if you approve of me for your son. I wish you could be there at our wedding like you were for your younger son. He just paid for half my engagement ring and will pay the other half when it arrives.
Mr. Don, even though your passing was unexpected and completely avoidable, I promise to turn everyone’s anger into action. If your son allows me, I will participate and raise money for the Light the Night Walk put together by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in your honor. If I give up a career in the tech industry, I want to become a patient advocate so I can empower patients and their families to speak up if they feel like the care is not satisfactory. I don’t want anyone to regret not speaking up like your older brother regrets. I promise to look after Franklin on this Earth like you did when he was young and like you are now in the afterlife.
I know you are in a better place without any shoulder pain or cancer. We miss you.