He was my favorite person in the world. And then one day, out of the blue, he was gone. Try explaining death to a two-year-old. "Daddy is gone and never coming back," is what my mother would tell me when I would ask for my father (which I'm told was quite often). I wasn't allowed to attend his funeral for fear that I would wiggle out of the arms of whoever was holding me and into the casket with my favorite parent.
It's amazing how that love never goes away. To this day I adore my father. I barely remember him, but the love I have for him is immense. It's idealized: he will always be perfect in my mind. I will never know his faults, never have bad memories to tarnish the good, well, there are a lot of nevers.
Insensitive and/or ignorant people have told me "At least you were so young." Others have flat out argued with me, "There's no way you could love someone you lost when you were a two." It's amazing how people can tell you how to feel when they have never lived through your experiences. The truth is I do love him and I think of him every day.
Bottom line: it doesn't matter how old you are when you lose someone you love.