Dear Papa,

Is that you in the back of my head? Are you still here? I keep looking for signs, maybe I’m looking too hard. It doesn’t seem real that you are gone. I’m writing this in hopes that it reaches you somehow, wherever you are now. I hope it’s an amazing place that delivers you from everything cold and hard in this world.

Your laugh fills my memories, and still brings me joy. I know the years of suffering made you more somber as of late, but you never lost that sense of humor. That beautiful sense of humor. But what I’ll miss most and what I really feel like I’m losing is your energy. So healing, soothing, peaceful, and serene. I don’t think I ever told you, but you had an amazing presence and it never failed to inspire me. I’m not sure if I decided to pursue art because of you, but you certainly made me want to stick to it. The last time I saw you, you told me if you could do it all over again you would have committed more time to art, so the way I see it I’m creating for both of us. I’m so happy that you lived long enough to see me pursuing a life of writing, I know it makes you proud.

MePapa1 MePapa2

MePapa3 MePapa4

Having you in my life so much as a child shaped me, and helped me to become the person that I am today. Thank you. I do wish you could have stayed just a little bit longer, but I guess we always feel that way about the ones we love. You suffered later in life, but I never lost hope that you would overcome the pain and finally get back to being that person I’ve known for most of my life. My spring break is coming up soon, I didn’t know what to do and I was really thinking about coming to see you. It’s selfish of me to think that you should have waited that long to see me again, but I still wish it could have been that way. I would have loved to see you one more time before you left. I would have loved to say goodbye.

We share a depth, and a darkness. I know I got this from you. I often think of you in my blackest hours, when I think nobody else would understand my mind there’s always that thought “Papa would understand.” I hope part of your spirit will stick around, and help to shepherd me through inevitable dark times to come. I can’t be sure, but something tells me you will.

There is a tattoo on my chest of a raven. I had no idea you were inches away from leaving us when I got it, and luckily you didn’t. You told my mom that if you were to ever die you would come back as an animal, and when my mom asked what kind of animal you said a raven. When I reminded you of that story and what it meant to me, you took the picture below. In my mind that raven is you, resurrected on my chest and above my heart forever. Right where you belong.


Photo by Joe Polaschek

Forever Your Grandson and Greatest Admirer,

Patrick Joseph Roe


7 Responses to “Papa”

  1. I love you and my heart is with you….

  2. Janet Robinson Says:

    Patrick… I loved what you wrote about Joe. Old friend of Joe and Jeanne. Known them since 1982… Your words will certainly be heard by him – and you described him so well. I am so sorry you did not get to see him one more time. .
    He was a special one …. I am crying with you.
    My deepest sympathy to you

  3. radiohudson Says:

    Patrick—your words are powerful and buoys my belief that the people you love become ghosts inside you. So as Papa Joe rests in peace, we’ll live on in the noise of the human experience which ultimately leads us to peace of our own.

  4. Dad,
    You took a piece of me with you when you left, and now my heart feels a little heavier. One day I will come for it, so please keep it safe and don’t let go of it.
    The pieces of you that are left with me fill my darkest shadows with beautiful light – which will surely help guide me on my journey, and along the way I will share it with the world.
    I am eternally grateful that you are my dad, and I am your daughter.
    I love you, Daddy!
    Leah xoxoxo

  5. Patrick, my Sweets,
    So beautiful…

  6. Carol Renna Says:

    Patrick, you probably don’t remember me, but I’ve know your Grandpa, along with the rest of the family for over 25 years, as they used to be neighbors of ours in Mission Viejo, CA. I was searching online to see if there would be services for Joe, and came across this. I’m sure your Papa is so proud and touched by your words. I know how hard it is to lose someone you love so much, so you, and your entire family are in my thoughts. Take care.


  7. Jeanne Polaschek Says:

    Patrick. Mikhaele helped me to find this particular web site and now I am crying all over again but they are wonderful tears of joy. Your have a beautiful gift for writing from the heart and papa was always so proud of you and I know for sure that he is with you and will continue to be with you in your darkest of hours.
    I was going through some of his papers and inside one of the files papa had tucked a card that was given to him that he treasured.
    It was written by a 16th century samurai ………
    “Perceive Those Things Which Cannot be seen” We must keep the Faith and remember that death is not the end.
    Love and hugs, your Nana……. (Nans) xoxo

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