This is the speech that I would have liked to have given at my father's funeral but didn't:
My Father and I had a very difficult relationship. My Father and I had trouble understanding each other. My Father and I had false expectations on each other.
As my husband reminds me from time to time: Hurt people, hurt people. In other words, If you are hurt you are very likely to hurt other people in return. This is what my Father and I did to each other.
While he was laying in his hospital bed, I prayed to God to heal my Father so that I could have a second chance with him. As I watched him take his last breath, my hope of a renewed relationship died with him. I am a basket full of mixed emotions at this time.
The few opportunities that my Father and I connected were very special to me. I just never told him how special those moments together were for me.
I will remember the good things about my Father and I will learn from his weaknesses and fears.
Father, at this time I want to tell you that I loved you with all my heart but I was afraid you would not understand my love for you. I was afraid of your rejection. I fear being vulnerable to you.
I tried my best to be a good daughter for you many times over, and I judge I came up short.
I now ask myself, "what could I have done different?" Accept him for who he was and expect nothing in return from him but himself.
For everyone in this room that is having trouble with a parent(s) I say, don't take too long to make amends, you might come to regret it. My Father and I took too long to forgive and accept each other and now all I'm left with is a broken heart and guilt.