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, April 13, 2008

Abraham Lincoln and Estrangement

It is my pleasure that my children are free, happy
and unrestrained by parental tyranny.
Love is the chain whereby to bind a child to its parents.

- Abraham Lincoln

Although experts agree that family estrangement appears to be on the rise in recent decades, family rifts are certainly nothing new.

I found it interesting to learn that Abraham Lincoln was estranged from his abusive father. When Lincoln’s brother notified him of his father’s impeding death, Abraham decided not to go see his father. This is how he responded:

From a January 12, 1851 letter to his brother (Reference - Abraham Lincoln and His Books, By William Eleazar Barton, p. 70):

Dear Brother,

I sincerely hope father may recover his health; but at all events, tell him to call upon and confide in our great and good merciful Maker, who will not turn away from him in any extremity. He notes the fall of a sparrow, and numbers the hairs on our heads, and He will not forget the dying man, who puts his trust in Him. Say to him if that if we could meet now it is doubtful whether it would not be more painful than pleasant, but that if it be his lot to go now he will soon have a joyous meeting with many loved ones gone before, and where the rest of us, through the help of God, hope ere long to join him.

Write to me again when you receive this.


  1. Lincoln


Anonymous said...

And yet Lincoln's son Robert had a very tumultuous relationship with his mother (Mary Todd Lincoln) that ended in estrangement. In the book "Understanding the Borderline Mother" by Christine Lawson, Lawson sites so many examples of how Mary Todd Lincoln was a destructive force in Robert's life. I think the saddest thing is when the cycle repeats itself in one form or another.

AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Well said!