Dear Anoushka – Noush,
Today, as I write this letter, you’re only 5 years old.
Your Dad died less than a week ago and your little heart must be broken into a million pieces. You won’t read this for many years but like so many people who knew and loved your Dad, this week he has been constantly in my head and my heart and so many of my thoughts. And so have you.
Because ever since you were born, it was impossible to think about your Dad without thinking about you. I never met you but I feel like I know so much about you because of the way your Dad spoke and wrote about you. Constantly and with untold joy. I can honestly say I have never seen anyone, male or female, so utterly transformed by becoming a parent.
I’m writing this letter on the Internet because one day, when you’re older, I reckon you’ll spend a lot of time searching for your Dad online. Trying to build a picture of him to supplement your own childhood memories. I suspect you will find lots of tributes to him written by others dotted in amongst all his own writing in which he wrote with such disarming, sometimes brutal truth about himself, his feelings, his life and his thoughts about the world, the human condition and of course you.
‘Lucky’ seems like a laughable word to use about anything to do with the tragedy of his death but there is an element of good fortune in the fact that your Dad has left you so many love letters online through his columns, his blogs, interviews he’s given…thousands upon thousands of words he’s written and spoken about his love for you. There aren’t many people who have that kind of legacy. It is his lifelong gift to you.
Noush, you were the best thing that ever happened to him and that would have remained true even if he’d lived to 100. Which he should have, dammit.