Parents and grieving & acceptance and peace…

December 28, 2011

I just reread my post with my last email to my father. You can find it here.

I feel no real emotions over this. It is as if I have been able to simply accept the fact that we do not, and will not (apparently), ever have a healthy relationship. It is done and I am at peace with that. They have made their choice. Yeah, sometimes I think about it and wonder, but not for long. There is no point dwelling on something over which I have no control.

So, yeah, I do finally have peace that I have done what I can…and it is enough. I still pray for them when I do think about them. I do not wish them ill. I really do hope they can find healing and peace before they die. I live my life as if I have no parents other than G-d. And that is OK. And it feels good to be able to say that, right now, I truly do not care. I feel indifferent.

Every once in a while I think about the possibility of hearing that one is dead, but that does not last long, either. I really cannot say how I would feel to get that news so there is no point in speculating on it. It is not something for which I think I can really prepare myself. I think I would probably cry…but not because I would miss them. No, it would be that I would be sad over all that they threw away…over all the things that could have been.

I have found that grieving needs to not only be for what was, but also for what was not. What was not is a legitimate loss…just as important as actually losing good things that were. I have lost my parents. The fact that I lost them probably before I was even born makes no difference. It is still a loss.

Their bodies may still be walking around, but whatever it is that makes them my parents died a long, long time ago. May my parents rest in peace. Still, I pray that they do wake up and truly live before they die.


  1. Hi there;

    You know, I’ve followed your ups and downs with the folks and your mom’s cancer since for several years, now, and I think you’re very right when you write that we have to grieve for the things we did not have. The hard part in this is that we often don’t realize what we didn’t have until we see what wasn’t there. Then, it’s a trigger… and it’s rather woolly for awhile.

    I don’t think it’s possible to part from our parents in a gracious way, personally. I say this because somewhere inside, we never stop grieving the lack of nurturing so vital to our well-being.

    Last year, I put the kabosh on my mother and closed the door because I saw myself bringing crisis into our home whenever I connected with Mom. It wasn’t fair to my wife, I came apart in ways I never understood, and I finally decided that this wasn’t something I wanted to cultivate in our home. I shut that door so I could gather my thoughts.

    So much has changed over this last year I can’t believe it. I think one of the reasons I reconnected with my yoga is because there wasn’t a pompous voice correcting the decision. As the year progressed, I gained more and more understanding about the ways I took back my life because I’d finally reached the point where I could say, “yeah, this is still insane. All done.”

    I think it’s hard to divorce a parent. I think it’s hard for any child to accept that they weren’t wanted or cared for with love. It’s embarrassing, shameful at times, and when we were young nobody talked about incest.

    Every time you write a column, you write from exactly where you stand, and it helps me to read your words, go back and look at the progression of posts relating to your process of disconnecting from your parents… and I learn so much. Even though I disconnected from my family, I can’t see the process of it all.

    I’m very glad you’ve been so open about your experience. These are the kinds of things survivors need to gather around and talk about, I think. As I read your post today I thought about how helpful it is to read about separating oneself from their abusers.

    Thank you for all the insight you bring.

    (((Happy New Life!)))


    • Sweet Meredith,

      reading this brings tears to my eyes. Thank you SO much for your gracious and validating words. We who write don’t always know if it is really helping anyone beyond ourselves.

      Yes! I agree that there needs to be more discussion about separation from abusers…how it happens, why it happens, how it affects us, the potential ramifications…all of that and more. Thank YOU for being part of this discussion. All along, you have been supportive and have recognized that I need to walk my own walk through all of this mess. I really appreciate that. You gave your input, expressed your concerns (and your hopes) for me and cheered me on.

      We survivors need to help one another to break the silence…not just about the abuse…but also about the healing process. We don’t all heal in the same way, but I do believe that we can all heal.

      Thank you for sharing this journey with me and for the insight YOU bring to me! I look forward to watching myself grow through all of this, recognizing that life is never a straight line. I will spiral around this and other issues, but each time I move UP on the spiral!

      Blessings and shalom,

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