Missing you comes in waves. Today, I am drowning.

Dear Daddy,

This day marks 83 days without you. The memories are sweet, but they sometimes do not ease the pain and frustration of you not being physically present. All of these memories brought me to write this letter to you.

They say there is a reason. They say time will heal. But neither time nor reason will change the way I feel. I am living two lives. One is where I pretend that everything is alright, and the other one is where my heart screams silently in pain. I am unsure which pain is worse. The shock of what happened or the ache of what never will. My body literally aches at the thought of never seeing you again. It’s all the love I want to give but can’t. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of my eyes, the lump in my throat, and in that hollow part of my chest. This love is just like a grief with no place to go. Nobody can ever replace you. I am tired, daddy. I am tired of pretending I’m strong enough to handle it all. It’s a kind of tired that sleep can’t fix. Won’t you ask me for chai now? This time also I’ll say no, but won’t you make one cup for me anyway?

I just wish you were here so I could tell you how much I need you and how hard every day has been without you. I wish RIP meant ‘Return If Possible’.

Okay. Let’s make a deal. I swear I won’t be a stubborn child anymore. I swear I would let you come in my room even if I am studying or talking to my friends. I swear I won’t cry for Kurkure again. I swear I would be happy without a good wi-fi connection. I swear I won’t sit on the dining table and eat. I swear I would let you look at me with immeasurable pride. I swear I’ll never let my dreams die. I swear I’ll be on your side in your fights with mommy. I swear I won’t wear that torn jeans again. I swear I would learn those Hindi counting from you. I will try every single thing that makes you happy. Will you just come back?

I want to tell you that it hurts. It cuts me like a knife. I want you back. I want you to tell me that I don’t lack happiness. I want to be happy. I want to remove this mask of coping. I want to end this despair. I want you to tell me that my heart is not beyond repair. I want you to tell me that I can be whole again.

I wish I could have seen you one last time. I wish you were still here.

I miss you, daddy. I really do.

— Shantnu

I dream, because what else could I do?