David Carr's Daughter Pens Essay on Anniversary of His Death

Dustin Cohen
Erin Lee Carr

"I’m a year out, and I’m still rendering."

Filmmaker Erin Carr wrote an emotional essay about her late father, New York Times media critic David Carr timed to the anniversary of his passing. 

 "I'm a year out, and I'm still rendering," wrote Erin Carr in a New York Observer essay. She talked about going through the 1,936 emails she still has from her father, one of which said, "Please know that I am with you."

In the essay, Erin recounts celebrating with her father when HBO greenlit her film Thought Crimes, a documentary about the "cannibal cop." She said that recently, after another big meeting went well for her, she walked over to the The New York Times building and cried, remembering her father. David Carr died of lung cancer on Feb. 12, 2015.

She said that she was not ashamed of her tears, writing, "I was closer to being the person my Dad saw when he smiled at me: a person who only existed because of combat with catastrophe, who survived that fight because of his confidence in me, and who learned that it’s ok to take a moment to celebrate, even if the contract is not signed and the outcome is far from certain."

The filmmaker said she wishes she could go back in time to speak with the "grief-stricken kid" that she was. "I would say this: You will feel uncomfortable when people light cigarettes around you. You will want to hit the mute button when friends complain about their parents."

She continued, "You will curse yourself for deleting the voicemails he left you. You will feel like the world is flooded with jello, and you’re walking through it wearing ankle weights."

Erin spoke about finding comfort in her family, joining a grief group, showing up for her friends and making her father proud. 

"Thanks, Dad," she said at the end of her essay. "Miss you."

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