My father died and I never told him I forgive him. The feelings of forgiveness took a long time to come to me and I was still wrestling with anger and hurt before I finally acknowledged the forgiveness that eventually came. But, he died before I could ever tell him so.
I had a tumultuous relationship with my father. It wasn’t a daddy’s little girl type of upbringing. I used to long for the day that I wouldn’t have to deal with him in my life and, by choice, I cut communication with my father as I got older. His influence remained with me as much as I tried to run from it. Feelings of anger, rage, and abandonment rose up in me whenever I spoke of him. Later, it turned to indifference, which I described as being “over it”. I told myself and everyone else I was “over” all that happened in the past and in a place to move forward. I had a husband and children to raise and I needed to find all the love in me to give to them.
My being “over it” was just a mask; a mask of the pain that I never truly dealt with. A few years ago, circumstances brought my father back into my life in a way as he started changing. He began forgetting things and not being himself. He physically aged considerably and his mental capacity diminished. I was actually mad at that too. Mad that he could become so decrepit and confused that he’d forgotten all that he put me through. Where’s the fairness in that? I had a few interactions with him during that time and my emotions were still mixed with anger, hurt and then the indifference. Again, I got “over it”.
My father died this year at the age of 61. His passing confused me initially. Then it hurt me. The floodgates opened and I felt the pain of the past and the pain of the present. I felt the pain of the little girl who longed for a daddy and the anger of a woman who felt robbed by whom she had to claim as a father. I felt the pain of the present, grieving for what was and wasn’t. I felt the pain in realizing that he no longer exists in the physical world and I never got to tell him that I truly do forgive him.
For all that he was, his presence in my life was done the best he knew how. For all that he wasn’t, our interactions brought me to who I am today. As God’s vessel, he brought me into this world and I stand before all today a product of him. My father wasn’t the best, but I do forgive who he was at his worst. And I now must forgive myself for holding on to the anger and hurt for so long that I never got the chance to heal with him.
Click here to check out I Am My Sister's Keeper by Stephania.
Stephania Vereen a BOND guest blogger, is a former Educator now turned Freelance Writer/editor, Author and Speaker. She wrote and self-published the book Letters to Words and operates the Word of Mouth Today blog where she shares her experiences about people, places and things she likes and thinks others would appreciate as well.