To My Son – A Farewell Letter

Johnathan,

After years of being apart from you & Emily, it’s difficult to find the words to tell you how sorry I am. I’m sure we both wish we could reverse the clock twenty years and live our lives over again, but I’m afraid all I can offer now is this letter, as closure. Even after everything that happened, I hope you can forgive me, and know that you were always my greatest creation.

After the fire, I wandered aimlessly around the country looking for place to call home. I left everything I owned in the charred remains of that house, and I abandoned you & Emily without so much as an explanation. I don’t know if you have children of your own now, but I hope you never have to experience the pain I did when I thought you were inside that building. It shattered me; it tore me open piece by piece, and all my demons were strewn before me. I couldn’t even bear to look at Emily. The crippling fear in her face, breaking her soul, was something I couldn’t witness with my own eyes. I should’ve been the one to comfort & protect her, but I got so caught up in my self-destruction that I left her to deal with this all on her own. I am a coward.

If you do have a family of your own now, you never let them go. You die to keep them safe. I can tell you from my heart that they are the most important thing you have. Emily is the only woman I’ve ever loved, and I let her become a memory. Never again will I feel her comforting warmth, or the taste of her lips. I left myself with an insipid hole where her head should be resting. I destroyed myself, and I don’t want you to ever feel like you’re alone.

By the time I discovered that you were alive, it was too late, for both of us. It just became harder and harder to spark the courage to contact you, knowing that you & Emily had been surviving without me all this time. I knew that looking into Emily’s eyes would reveal her anguish to me, and I couldn’t do it. I want you to know that I never stopped loving you both. I thought about you when I was sleeping under a bridge, or in the doorway of a convenience store. In the end, you both kept me going. Knowing that you were safe kept me alive.

I’ve now decided that I have nothing left to give. This world has taken everything from me, and I’ve no longer anything to offer it. I’ve been rebuilt, though still broken. I have ultimately decided to take my own life, while I still have a flicker of good in me. I cannot see you or Emily again, but be safe in the knowledge that you were both my final memory. I will always be watching over you; you are never alone.

I’m sorry, son. For everything.