Last night I had a dream in which I was so angry, I woke myself up when I punched my pillow. My father was in the dream. 

It frightens me a little that although it’s been more than 15 years, he’s still so present in my life. That the gaping hole his absence left behind is still as wide as it ever was. 

People say that time heals all wounds. But that’s not true. Losing a parent is like losing a limb. You don’t heal; you learn to live without it.

You learn to go through life as if you didn’t need that limb, as if your body has always been that way. 

But some days, you wake up and half-asleep, reach out to touch that part of yourself and you realise that it’s missing. And you feel the loss of it all over again.

I’ve been asked if my father would have approved of the person I am today. I always reply, “If he wanted a say, he should have been around.”

It sounds like I’m joking. But the truth is, I would have been a different person. I would have lived a different life. 

And sometimes when I think about my father, I think about that girl too. What kind of person would she have been?

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