I tried, you know. I really did give it my best shot. But I couldn’t. I told myself that I’d never forget, never stop keeping your memory alive. But that was years ago. Time went on. Much to my surprise, the world didn’t stop spinning when you died. I held on for as long as I could, but it’s time for me to finally let go. I’ve been clinging to what few memories I have left of you so tightly that I’ve warped myself, become a hollow man who can’t move on from the fact that his daddy died when he was seven years old. I’ve lived longer without you than I did with you.

So why haven’t I been able to move on? Why have I been weighed down by this ball and chain for so long? Why haven’t I just dropped this load off my shoulders and freed myself from the past?

Maybe it’s because I don’t want to. Consciously or subconsciously, maybe I don’t want to finally grow as a person. I’m comfortable in this suffering. You did teach me to never give up, after all. Maybe I took that too closely to heart before, took it to mean I should never give up on even the faintest hope that I’ll keep your memory alive.

You were a good man. You didn’t deserve to die the way you did, withered away in a hospital bed after months of suffering through painful surgeries and treatments. Nobody deserves to die that way, but it seems to be the only way father figures seem to leave my life. Wonder if that’ll happen to me. Maybe.

Regardless, you did tell me to never give up, and maybe, should’ve, haven’t, possibly: those words are what really have been keeping me down. You did always hate hypotheticals and possibilities. I’ve got to stop worrying about the hypothetical, the possible, the should’ves. It’s just ridiculous that I’ve been stopping myself because of what could happen if I moved on from your death.

I’m sorry, Dad. I’m sorry for never moving on from your death. And I’m done with maybes. Done with haven’ts. Done with should’ves. Done with possibly. It’s time for me to move on, Dad. I love you. Goodbye for now.

Thomas stood up and left his father’s grave, leaving nothing on his headstone. He hadn’t come to visit his father in a long time. It wouldn’t be long until he came back again.