deb and dad childhood 2

The criticism that hurts the most is the one that echoes my own self-condemnation. (Hugh Prather)

You condemned yourself–in your final months on earth, in word, in deed & ultimately in death. Was the criticism you inflicted upon yourself that powerful? More powerful than the love & blessings that surrounded you?

I wonder if you are at peace Dad.
Did you end your pain, leave your torment behind.
I wish that for you. I wish for you that you found solace, wholeness, shalom, when you returned your soul to God’s care.
I wish I knew…

But then I think, well that isn’t really fair now is it Dad?
What if you are at peace? That is great for you. But, if I’m honest, that kind of pisses me off. Because you took your life, ended YOUR pain, and you left the rest of us with a mess! We’re not at peace Dad. We are muddling through it, loving one another down this dark & difficult road. But we are going to have to work really hard to MAKE peace with your death. It doesn’t seem quite fair now does it dad? I mean, you were a numbers guy after all. Does this seem like a fair equation?

What a painful irony it is. To wish at once that you are at peace, and that you might be hurting, just a little, for what we, your family & friends, have to endure. To be profoundly sad that I don’t know if you are okay, and to be mad that even if you are–we are not! It’s like a ping-pong game of emotions. Some days it’s exhausting.

I want to know your pain is over. That with God, you are no longer suffering. And I want to know that you have regret, that your heart is breaking just a little at the pain of those you loved & who loved you.

I don’t know what I want Dad. I want you. I want to sit across from you and tell you exactly how I am feeling right now. I want to yell at you and hug you, admonish you and hear your voice. I want to tell you that I love you, and that I’m angry, and sad…

Shalom is peace, a sense of wholeness. I wish for it, for you, for our family, for me. But we would not have to seek wholeness, if we were not left to pick up the broken pieces. The pieces you left behind.

You were broken inside, your soul in such pain, coming apart bit by painful bit. Depression took hold and chipped away at you, leaving a fragment of the person you had been before.

Now you are with God. I pray that there you have found healing. I do Dad. You deserve that, even if you didn’t fight to find it here on Earth.

And I forgive you… most of the time. But I hope you shed a tear or two each time we weep, or struggle or search for you. Because I think that we deserve that too…

It’s not that we fear the place of darkness but that we don’t think we are worth the effort to find a place of light. (Hugh Prather)