Daddy’s Girl

On August 15, 2011, in Dad, by Dad

Dear Stephanie,
This is the day I found out you died, and my whole world turned upside down. Michelle was at home when the police came this morning to notify us. I was over at the Dominicks grocery store with Luke, just doing some errands. I always like going because it reminds me of your very first job, where you worked here as a cashier and I would come in see you. Anyway, Michelle called and told me that I needed to come home right away — that it was about you, and that it was bad news. I said, “What is it, is she dead?” I said it in a joking manner, never thinking for a minute that it could be true. And Michelle answered back softly “Yes, she is” I started to cry right then and there at Dominicks, in front of everyone. The drive home with Luke took forever, and all I could think of is that there must be some mistake. But there was a police car in our driveway, and when I walked in, the two detectives immediately expressed sorrow for my loss.

My mind was racing everywhere and nowhere. I was in complete shock, and just sat there numb while they told me the details of your death just this past night. They gave me the phone number of the coroner’s office, and told me I could call them tomorrow to identify you and to make arrangements. And then they left.

I went downstairs to the basement, to your original bedroom in our house, and lied on the floor and cried for a very long time. Michelle comforted me, but the pain was just so overwhelming.

All I can think of is that you just called me two days ago on Saturday to tell me that you had a breakthrough, and that you were going to get everything on track and were so excited for the college classes to start up again. You told me about the planner you had just bought to keep track of everything, and that you were going to write down your goals, and that you weren’t just kidding, you really meant it. You told me you loved me, and I told you I loved you, and that you were going to call me tomorrow. I hung up the phone and I was just so proud of you, Stephanie, I told Michelle how happy I was for you, and that it really seemed like you were heading in a good direction. That was just 24 hours ago, Stephanie. And now you’re dead…

I would give anything to have you back with me. I just keep thinking that there must have been something I could have done to avoid this. I’m so full of doubt and second guessing about what I could have done differently to have a different outcome. You are my first child, Stephanie, and I love you more than I’m sure you ever thought possible. You were always my precious daughter, and I was always your number one fan.

My heart is just breaking, and my tears are flowing, so I’ll just stop writing for now, my sweet Stephanie.


2 Responses to Daddy’s Girl

  1. TOM PARADISO says:

    John, my daughter Lauren was 5 weeks shy of her 20th B-day when she passed away/similar situation. I feel for you and your family. We are part of a club that no one wants to belong to Parents that have lost their children. Please email me or if you or your wife need to talk or just need to have somebody who has traveled this listen. God Bless you and your family

  2. adam underwood says:

    John, I am the father of two little girls. My heart breaks at what you had to go through. Any father’s heart would, and reading your account is terrible. I am so sorry, for you and Lisa both. No parent should have to lose a child, but it is not up to us to choose, I suppose. I cried myself when I read your account; who could not? From one father to another, May god bless you in your grief.