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How Does One Say Goodbye?

by shannonxx


How does one formulate their last words for someone they love?

When is the appropriate time to sit down and think about what they truly mean to you?

At the age of sixteen, I was gripping the little life that was left out of my father’s hand, as he lay still in that hospice bed. The smell of that room will forever haunt me. The smell that would forever change my life. That room. That room was not a room to me, but more of a war zone. Not in the context of guns and violence but every time I came near that room I was forced to sit down and fight myself on what to say, how to act for my family, and how to become that strong girl I was always told to be. It felt like a constant battle. Those four walls was where my father left his life behind to embark on a new journey. A journey that would take him away from me, but also away from the pain and reality of the life he tried so hard to escape from.

As I was told to say goodbye to the only man who ever showed me how truly beautiful I am, or how smart I am; amidst me believing otherwise, I could not muster up anything. I felt helpless. The only man to truly mean his “I love you, darling” will be gone, and his voice would be nothing more than a silence I long to fill. But, how does a father let alcohol take this all away from him? His family, his friends, his job, and now, his life? How does a father of twin daughters choose to hold a bottle of alcohol rather than their little hands which desperately reached up too him? How does a father choose to drink to the bottom of a bottle rather than explore the beauty that surrounds him? Most importantly, how is it that his daughter was scared to death to be alone with him, but at the same time, she wanted nothing more than her daddy to hold her and tell her “everything is going to be alright”?

Back as a child, alcohol was a curse word to me. It was a word that made every nightmare I endured, reappear. I understood what alcohol was, I knew the effects, and I knew the troubles that arose every time he took another deadly sip, all as just a child. That sip led to me having to speak to my father for one last time as the cirrhosis slowly stole his life away from him, and slowly stole a piece of me that I was not ready to give up.

So, what does one truly say, as she says goodbye? “I love you!” “I miss you?” Are they substantial enough to be the last words to the man who was supposed to be there forever? He was supposed to see my high school proms, my graduation, and even walk me down the aisle one day. Now, those will never be. They will all be a distant dream that will never be fulfilled. I would have never pictured at sixteen years old I would be trading in football games for hospital visits, homework for goodbyes, and smiles for tears that seemed to never cease.

All of this because of one too many mouthfuls of a beverage which has so much evil lurking at the bottom of it. My life turned upside down for the satisfaction that alcohol provided. A satisfaction that nothing else could fulfill, not even his children.

Thus, what does one say as their final words to a part of them that will forever be gone? A father who gave up his life at forty-two years old. A father who had the whole world left to conquer and yet, it conquered him just a bit too early and left me dreading those few holidays that are spent looking through photo albums rather than being face-to-face. Those few holidays that leave me feeling empty as I reminisce about his vibrant smile; the same smile that is reflected back at me every time I look in the mirror. The smile that keeps me strong and reminds me to never follow in those same footsteps.

As I sit alone reflecting on what to say, and what I should have said, a million ideas flood my head. Yet, none of it will truly ever be enough, and now, none of it really matters.


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135 Reviews


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Mon May 26, 2014 1:59 am
lakegirls wrote a review...



This was truly beautiful, you have no idea how much this affected me. My father died when I was 11 years old and I was in the same boat as you were, what do I say to a man who I was supposed to see turn grey, to a man who was one day going to walk me down the aisle and hold my children? There is nothing, nothing you can say that will ever convey how much you loved him and that's the sad truth. What are the perfect words to say goodbye? I don't even remember what I said, that was 9 years ago now. My dad was 44 years old when he lost his battle to cancer, I wasn't even a teenager when he died. He's never seen me with makeup on or seen my hair straightened. He'll never read my writing or meet any of boyfriends.

I'm sorry for rambling but I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you writing this and I'm so sorry for your loss.

If you ever want to chat you can PM me.

Love,
Nicole




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Sun May 25, 2014 12:16 pm
Dutiful wrote a review...



Hello there! I'm here to review your fabulous work!

First of all, let me start by saying that I absolutely understand and relate to what you might be feeling because, I too have faced many losses like you. Not my father though, but almost everyone I love and everyone I held close to my heart. All in one year, too. It was dreadful, so I also know that no matter how much anyone tries to console you, it will never work. But my condolences extend towards you in the hope that you will put it all behind you and look towards a new life.

Now, I really thought this was written beautifully. You've managed to show the feeling that one goes through at that time.

Yet, none of it will truly ever be enough, and now, none of it really matters.


This was my favorite line, because it is so true.

My life turned upside down for the satisfaction that alcohol provided. A satisfaction that nothing else could fulfill, not even his children.


I understood what you were trying to say but I feel you could have written it better. I think you might want to reword it.


I would have never pictured at sixteen years old I would be trading in football games for hospital visits, homework for goodbyes, and smiles for tears that seemed to never cease.


I also thought this was beautiful.

Well, that's all for my review! I don't want to be too nitpicky, but I will suggest you proof read this whole thing once again so you understand where the errors are :)

Good job!

Keep Writing!

CHeers!




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Sun May 18, 2014 7:37 pm
AstralHunter wrote a review...



I am so sorry for your loss. Be not fooled, however, for you do not have my pity. No, you have my admiration.

Many people would have despaired were they in your situation, and some would even have followed your father's path as well, but you stand fast and you stand strong, no matter what life throws at you. I commend you for that, but now I must proceed with my review.

How does one formulate their last words for someone they love?

The first time I read this sentence, I thought the underlined was inappropriate. I thought it was too precise and too calculated, not reflecting the true emotion one should rather use when referring to such an intense moment, but then I realised it was fitting - if one did not prepare oneself adequately and wished to approach the matter spontaneously, words would fail. I extol you for compressing all of the above into one sentence.

Those four walls was where my father left his life behind to embark on a new journey.

Was is a word one uses when referring to something in the singular; were is used when referring to something in the plural.

...little hands which desperately reached up too him?

Remember, too means "as well" whereas to is a preposition. It is the latter you had intended to use.

So, what does one truly say, as she says goodbye?

If you begin with one, which is an indefinite pronoun, you must continue with it.

I would have never pictured at sixteen years old...

Typo - you need to swap the two.

Yet, none of it will truly ever be enough, and now, none of it really matters.

A heart-wrenching final sentence.


Rarely have I read such a poignant tale, and yours is one of the most heart-rending I have ever read. This may be of little consolation, but you, my dear, can take pride in your talent. You have a gift, and my advise to you is to rise up, no matter in what situation you find yourself, and apply it to the best of your abilities. If you can do that, you can do anything. And you will rise up, for you have forbearance.

Rating for this text: five stars (absolutely superlative)




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Sun May 18, 2014 6:29 pm
thundereagle wrote a review...



first off, if this actually happened, I'm sorry for your loss. secondly, this is deeper than the Marianas trench, man. my grandmother stayed at one of those places for awhile, before she died, and i remember it smelling like sadness. i don't know if that makes any sence to you, but it just seemed to clean a brightly lit to be a happy place. this is some heavy stuff you got here, very well written too.



Random avatar
shannonxx says...


That makes complete sense to me! Thanks for your kind words.



thundereagle says...


yup




cron
I see no reason to celebrate the random timing of natural events by eating poison and singing.
— Dilbert