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Lessons from Loss - Healing the rift with my dad

I wrote about my relationship with my mum and dad in previous blogs, but I must say. I can’t write enough about the significance of those relationships in our lives and how those relationships determine how we are in our current ones.


Lessons of Loss podcast

Rachel Smith recently interviewed me for her ‘Lessons from Loss' podcast series. It’s a beautiful series that tells the stories of people who have lost something dear or significant in their lives and how they dealt with it afterward.


I was invited on the podcast to talk about the loss of my mother when I was at the young age of 18 years. When we spoke of that, the story's direction took a turn and brought to light the impact of the loss of the beautiful relationship I had had with my father around that time.


Working with men, I see many issues in my practice stemming from the relationships with the client's parents. Of course, I am not any different, and my relationships with my mum and dad also left the necessary scars and patterns in my life.


Death and anger

My mum died in 1990 while my parents were going through a divorce. I lived with my mother at the time, and as I wrote before in 'My girlfriend doesn't need me,' my relationship with my mother was far from healthy. She was a wonderful woman, but energetically, I was placed in her partner position. I unconsciously made it my purpose to make her happy, which, of course, I failed miserably.

When my parents divorced in 1989, I developed a lot of anger towards my dad, and when my mother got sick and died, this anger peeked and damaged my relationship with my father permanently. So it seemed...


From anger to love

It was decades later that I had a long and deep look at my life and when I decided to take responsibility for who I was as a son to my dad. I decided to apologize for my continued response to the picture I held him in, which my mother drew for a considerable part. This was the moment when our relationship started to shift. By taking responsibility, I could look at my father with renewed curiosity, and I began to see who my father really was. Not only that, but my father started to open up, and for the first time, he shared his emotions with me. He shared how he felt when apart from his family in 1990. He shared about his loneliness, his sense of helplessness, his sense of failure, and his despair. For the first time, we sat together and talked as two adult men, without blame but purely from the heart. Yes, he also had a massive part in the story, but the important thing for me was to look at what was mine and take responsibility for my actions, disconnect, and anger towards him. Taking this position made it possible for my relationship with him to heal.


I started to understand his position in the marriage with my mother, their difficulties, and the responses I saw him have. I began to understand how my father survived and could stay and take care of his family. I began to understand my father's love language and how he made sure he did his utmost to give us the life he thought we wanted.


I also began to see the love he had for my sister and me and the love, care, and patience he showed and still shows towards his current partner.


Gratitude

The most important thing for me today is the love I can feel for him now and the gratitude I feel inside me that in the last years of his life, we can have the beautiful relationship we once had when I was a little boy. We can admire each other for who we are, what we do, and what we have achieved. We can enjoy each other's presence and share emotions, something that didn't seem possible before.


I am happy with my relationship with my dad. He taught me so much. I recognize his qualities, patterns, and survival mechanisms in me, and I can bow to and embrace them.


Thank you, Dad!


Links to the podcast




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