“But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drink, the very air I breathe, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o’clock in the morning.”Haruki Murakami
You are allowed to cry in front of everyone. You didn’t need to run back to your room or pretend that you were just taking a very long shower when you were crying about him. You didn’t need to feel so bad about everyone else crying because you were crying.
You didn’t want to cry because you didn’t want everyone else to feel sad, didn’t you?
You thought how could you cry when your mother is barely functioning?
You thought how could you cry when your oldest sister had to fly more than ten hours just to saw your father’s death body. How could you cry when your other sister was supposed to graduate soon and you, your father and mother, supposedly attend the graduation?
How could you cry when you at least got to talk to him hours before he went to sleep and never wake up again?
You were only thirteen years old that time. You were your father’s favorite daughter, you were his carbon copy. Everything that people praised about him, you had it in you. Now that he’s gone, you thought you had to live up to that expectation.
“Your father was a very intelligent, kind, and honest man”
“Your father was the smartest person that I’ve ever known”
You didn’t have to be like him. You are loved by everyone, your mother and sisters, even though you didn’t become as smart as him, even though you weren’t as funny, reliable, and honest as him.
You didn’t have to beat yourself up for not getting straight As.
You didn’t have to beat yourself up for not knowing what you want to do in life.
You were just a thirteen years old girl, you were allowed to cry about losing the one person that you looked up to.
You didn’t need to hide it just because you’re a kid and you thought that people assume you wouldn’t feel it as bad as your mother or sisters because you were just a thirteen years old girl.
You thought you would forget it.
But, you didn’t. You will never do.
Please remember that your mother was so heartbroken that she had to say that your father was taken away by God because she loves him more than she loves God.
You didn’t need to internalize that idea. You didn’t need to grow up thinking that you can’t open up to someone in fear of them dying or abandoning you.
You will grow up with lingering grief. And I’m really sorry about that. I’m sorry that Dad couldn’t see you got into one of the best high school in Jakarta, and sent you off when you went to Utah, and got into Universitas Gadjah Mada and graduated on time. I’m really sorry that he couldn’t see you get your Master’s degree either, or met the people you date. You will grow up forever thinking about his opinions and thoughts, and you wouldn’t get it and you would feel empty.
All I want to tell you through this letter is that I wish I could tell you to learn and prepare on how to be enough. You don’t need to please anybody nor accomplish or do anything that you don’t like.
You’re allowed to grief, even if it means grieving forever.