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, September 7, 2014

When Reconciliation is Worthwhile

My brother Rob and I have been largely estranged for 22 years - speaking briefly only twice until recently. Family violence wreaks havoc on families.  We all do what we have to to survive.  Sometimes survival means hurting one another.

At the end of 2013 Rob's wife became terminally ill. We spoke on the phone a few times from then until her death a couple of weeks ago.

During a conversation I had with my brother last week, I said, "When we were little kids, we were so close.    We mourned dad's death together, we commiserated about Ed's brutal violence towards us, we shared inside jokes, secrets, and a special bond.  We understood each other like no other.  I want you to know, that no matter what has happened between us, where ever I have been in the last 22 years, the little girl in me has always loved the  little boy in you."

"It never goes away Nance," was his reply and we softly said good-bye.


One Escaping Goat said...

So beautiful. Thank you. I am teary from reading your post.

AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Thank you One Escaping Goat (Clever Name). You have a kind heart.

I stopped by your blog - I like it! You write with a strong, genuine voice and a little dash of humor.

All my best,
Another Goat

Suzeeeq2 said...

I posted this sme comment on Fiona's estrangement blog.
just want feedback and thoughts please-
Hi. I am writing all the way from NC. My heart aches. I have been estranged from family for years. I just found out that my nephew was hit by car this am and is in critical condition.. I didnt know what to do so all I could eek out was a “sending prayers’ on Facebook. I havent seen my sister, nephew and family in 7 0r 8 years. I live in the same town. I have a mixture of grief and confusion and maybe some guilt and shame. Thanks for your blog.

AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Dear Susan,

I’m sorry for your pain. What a horrible tragedy for your nephew and your family! Estrangement is difficult enough; however, coupled with tragedy it can seem unbearable.

In my opinion you sent just the right response. Sometimes less is more. Just letting them know you are thinking of them is just right.

Reconciliation is a complicated landscape to navigate even under the best of situations. Your sister will most likely need all her emotional energy just to cope with this tragedy before she has the emotional reserves to consider reaching back to you.

Hopefully, she will see your simple and pure gesture in the spirit in which it was given.

Keep them in your prayers. And get the support you need to navigate your emotions during this difficult time.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

All my best,

Unknown said...

Hi Nancy,

I came across your blog as I was searching online for sibling estrangement support and this post came up. I'm wondering if you're still writing as there's not a lot out there on this topic yet I bet there are many people who experience the confusion and loss of estrangement from siblings.


AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Hi Megan,

At a certain point, I felt as if I had exhausted the subject of family estrangement. Every once in a while someone asks me a question and I either direct them to a prior post or write about my personal experience on the topic.

If you have a specific topic you are curious about, I would be happy to assist with a prior post or to write on the topic.

Also, I used to belong to a yahoo group on sibling estrangement; however, the group has been inactive for years. Possibly there are other sibling resources online?

I do know that support and validation are key to healing. Family estrangement is a very painful, unnatural, and isolating experience. Finding others to help pave the way is essential.

All my best,