I’ve been assigned a task to write a goodbye letter to my Dad. This is my homework from my therapist, Alice. I write this blog so that I can procrastinate the letter.
Why the assignment? I’m a widow. My husband passed away when my children were babies. Peter was 2 1/2 years old, and Cindy was less than a year when their dad died. I recently told my therapist that I’m sad that Cindy will not know the relationship of father/daughter. Yes, she has Mike Brady, but she doesn’t have her Dad. I know she is sad about this. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t feel badly for Peter. It’s just that I know what it’s like to be a little girl who is madly in love with her dad. I don’t know the father/son relationship.
Alice asked about my relationship with my dad. It was great. Really, it was. My Father was a gentle man with a dry sense of humor and an unwavering love for his four daughters. His easy going nature was contagious and his tender heart and straight forward advice stitched him to his children like a button. If our relationship loosened up once in a while due to distance or disagreements, the threads were easily repaired and left us good as new.
Almost eleven years after my Father passed away, Alice questioned whether or not I had ever grieved this loss. No. Probably not. I gave birth to my son three weeks after my Dad died. I went from sadness to full on head over heels love for my baby. I switched into mom mode and have never looked back.
So now the good bye letter. Alice doesn’t want me to interfere with Cindy’s chance to grieve her Dad’s death by projecting my feelings and experiences of father/daughter onto her. Ok. I understand that but a good-bye letter? Ugh! Painful. Scary. Vulnerable. Sad. So sad. And so I procrastinate. Oh! And Alice wants me to read it to her at my next appointment. Wish me luck.