Forgiving Our Fathers
When a father and son are estranged, the pain can be deep. But sometimes it just takes just one person to take the first step.
07/20/2006 09:53:36 PM
I don't know, either. What does that word mean, forgive? People use it in so many ways. Russert seems to equate it with reconciliation, but why should you reconcile with someone who nearly destroyed you--even if he did his best not to? You were still the injured party. It's still your heart that was broken. In my own life, feeling a little forgiving towards my father felt nice, and it made me feel good, but it was being able to be angry at him (which did not happen until I was 22) that was healing and liberating.
06/29/2006 02:41:40 PM
I don't know what forgiveness means when it comes to my father. My father is now dying after 40 years of drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, he was so abusive to the family that three of his six children (my siblings) have severe mental and emotional illness. All but one have been on medication and abused drugs or alcohol at one time. Due to his behavior, we were poor to the point of being ragged. I'd say my father is a monster and has no good traits except for a strong sense of humor. He doesn't deserve forgiveness. I'd say he doesn't even deserve the time he has left. Nevertheless, I find myself sad. I don't know what to do with that feeling as I have avoided him for 24 years.
06/29/2006 10:16:38 AM
Forgiving my dad began with letters, emails, and phone calls. It was through those more impersonal contacts that I began to see Dad for who he is. I had to get to know him before I was able to forgive him. While we still have a somewhat distant relationship, I've come to love him and accept him as is. In doing so, I gained a tremendous gift: his love and acceptance! :)
06/16/2006 08:11:00 PM
Sometimes forgiveness doesn't mean reconciliation. St. Paul (Romans 12:18) tells us, "If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all." I know that someday God will make things right between my father and me without punishing anyone. But I also have learned that I can't be with my father without his hurting me. Even if he never molests me again, he can't seem to stop with the emotional abuse, criticism, nagging, namecalling. But in letters and on the phone, he can be a nice guy. Plus, he's the only dad I have.