‘I know you know something has happened. I am so sorry you have to feel this pain. I am so sorry daddy died.’

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“My Dear Son,

I watched as you played wild and free in the backyard. You giggled with glee while chasing a butterfly and feeling the grass between your toes. I can’t look away from your beautiful face so full of innocence and fire. I know you know something has happened. I know you know things have changed and shifted in your life. I know you feel that void deeply. My one wish is that I could take it away from you, that I could right the horrible wrong that was done.

Courtesy of Brianna Simpson

I am so sorry daddy died. I am so sorry that at your tender age you have to know this pain, even if you don’t know what to call it. Trust me, I see it. I see you. Working through the ABC’S of what has happened. I see you look inquisitively and happily at that perfect picture of daddy. You look up and smile at me and I wish I could tell you he was coming back home. But my dear son, he is not. I want you to know I love you, and daddy loves you. He didn’t want to go. He wanted to see you throw your first baseball and go to your first school dance. He wanted to be there on your first day of college and your wedding day. He wanted to see it all. But know my son, you will not be alone. I will be there. I will be there rooting you on at your first baseball game. I will be there to help you figure out what to wear to your first school dance. I’ll even give you advice on how to talk to that special someone. I will move you into your college dorm and hug you goodbye with tears in my eyes because my baby boy is all grown up. If you want me to, I will walk you down the aisle to marry the person you’ve chosen to spend your life with. I will do all these things because you are my son, my world, and the light of my life. I will do this with the love of your dad in my heart. Even though he won’t physically be there, know that he is there.

Courtesy of Brianna Simpson

My sweet boy, life is messy and complicated. There are so many questions you will want answered, and so many things you will want to know about your dad. You will feel a deep longing for him that will never be quenched and for that, I am unimaginably sorry. I will do the best I can to answer any and every question and thought you have. But also know, I will not sugar coat your dad’s life and our life together. People are not perfect, we all make mistakes. Your dad is not excluded from this. While your dad was a warm, loving, and kind man, he had his demons. But he did right many of those and he was better for it, which is all that can be asked of any man. I was so proud of him, and you should be too. If you are to be a good man in this world, own up to your mistakes and make efforts to fix them.

Your dad was loved by many, a hard worker, and the funniest man I have ever met. Don’t be afraid to love, be goofy, and go after what you want. Sometimes you will have to stand your ground a little harder than you may feel comfortable doing, do it anyways. What you believe and feel are right is far more important than what people think of you. Learn to listen and be still. Take in small moments with reverie, as they are the most important. Be kind to people, and show gratitude for everything in your life. Life won’t always be easy, as you have learned at such a young age, but LIVE. Breathe in that ocean air, climb that mountain, love with abandon. Do these things with a full heart, but also because you know how finite life can be.

Courtesy of Brianna Simpson

Let your dad’s love for life shine through you, and you will feel him closer than you ever have. I want you to know that while he is not here, he can be seen and felt in so much of what we do on this Earth. Look for those little signs from him to bring comfort. Listen for a song he loved being played on the radio. Feel him next to you as you marry the love of your life. Just know he is always with you. Also, know I am always with you too. Never feel you can’t talk to me, and if you feel that way, tell me. I will look at myself and figure out how to listen better. I want to share in every joy, sadness, embarrassment, and frustration with you. I have your back 100% for all of time. I will always be your biggest cheerleader and advocate. I know you will shine in whatever you do, as long as you believe in yourself and work hard. You are beautiful, bold, and free. You are your father’s son. You are your mother’s son. You are magic.

Always There For You,

Mom”

Courtesy of Brianna Simpson
Courtesy of Brianna Simpson

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Brianna Simpson of Fredericksburg, Virginia. You can follow her journey on InstagramDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read Brianna’s backstory, of losing her husband:

‘I awoke with a voicemail from the doctor. ‘How did I miss this?’ I raced to the hospital. I got teary eyed, and said to him, ‘I love you, you are going to be ok.’

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