The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Mother’s Gift

Recently, I was involved in a dialogue with some women who did not have a relationship with their severely abusive parents. We had all assumed that the death of an abusive and estranged parent would bring some sort of relief – or closure. Sadly, the other women have subsequently lost a parent with whom they were estranged. They were surprised that contrary to feeling some relief, the death of a parent caused their anger to intensify. The death of a parent also brought the death of hope; the death of their inner child’s dreams, and the death of the last vestiges of denial.

No longer could they hold onto the fantasy that one day, their parent would acknowledge and apologize for their abuse and possibly even repair the relationship.

Once again, they found themselves mourning what could have been, but never was. They grieved at a deeper level than before. They mourned the loss of a parent they never really had and they mourned that they would never know what it was like to be grief-stricken over the loss of a loving mother or father.

I was heartbroken for these women and for anyone who has or will lose an unrepentant parent to death.

My mother gave me a huge gift. One not many people in my position receive. After fourteen years of no contact, she called me, acknowledged my abuse and apologized. I was not certain on that day about where we would go from there, but of one thing I was sure – it took a great deal of courage for Mom to call me. For that, I was grateful indeed.

After sitting quietly for a few moments, I said, “No matter what happens between us, Mom, you have given me a wonderful and irreplaceable gift.”

Through Mom’s gesture, she participated in the healing process and provided a new level of healing and forgiving previously unavailable to me and forever unavailable to those whose abusive parent dies unrepentant.

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