Today, I woke up with a heavy heart. Yesterday, I went to sleep with a heavy heart. What is going on? I find that sadness and loneliness has taken residence in this heart.
It is when this kind of heaviness arises, and I cannot shake it through ordinary means, that I turn to the gift that daughter mine gave me in late March 1999. What gift? A letter.
Today, I wish to put this letter here. Why? So that I never lose it even if I get parted from the original. Because all that I write here, I have always written for this daughter of mine. Working with these words will heal me. And, I say there is wisdom in this letter that is worth sharing.
On the envelope are written the instructions
“Instructions: open in Switzerland. Must be in a calm headspace. Must not be read while rushed. It’ll take 5-10 minutes to digest. Reread whenever you are sad or doubt yourself. If you experience continued sadness call your daughter.”
Wow, how do I even begin to say thank you.
My whole life, you’ve done nothing but love and support me. And, I am so incredibly lucky to have known nothing but love.
Whether I like it or not, you are such a big part of me. And, it makes me incredibly sad that this part of me is moving away. But, I know that distance will not break our relationship, it’ll strengthen it.
You spend your whole life caring for me and although your leaving is bittersweet, I know that in the end this will be good for you. You might be able to start a life where you can put yourself first and think about what you want. You always talk about having hopes for us kids – well this is my hope for you: let yourself come first.
It’s scary to love yourself but you need to so it to live a fulfilling life. I’ve put this self love into 3 different steps: CRY. FORGIVE. LOVE.
CRY – you’ve gone through so much pain in your life and are about to begin feeling a new pain. Let that pain exist, don’t push it away, or let reason make it extinct. Cry. Let yourself feel your pain. Pain demands to be felt.
FORGIVE – forgive yourself, don’t punish yourself for feeling pain. Whatever happened or is happening, you did the best you could and you loved unconditionally. I know you – you give everything for other people. Forgive yourself, you couldn’t have given any more. Secondly, forgive your self for loving so much, you love people so much that you no longer have enough love for yourself – you work yourself crazy for other people and demand nothing for yourself. Forgive yourself for not being able to love you.
Knowing you, you’re probably reading this and thinking, “What, of course I don’t do that, I get happiness from caring for my family.” But I dare you to think about how much you do for us and what this has done to you physically and emotionally. Forgive yourself for this.
LOVE – you are not a failure, you’re not a failure, you are not a failure, you are not a failure
1-I am not a failure.
2-I am worthy of love and happiness.
3-I can succeed in whatever I do, I simply must keep trying.
Remember this! It’ll do you good.
After you say this mentally to yourself – allow yourself small acts of love. Love yourself in your doing. Love is both mental and physical.
Cry. Forgive. Love. That’s what I want for you.
Papa, finally, I want to say thank you. I don’t mean thank you as a small passing pleasantry. I mean THANK YOU. I would not have survived without your love. You made me who I am. You have showed me what it means to love someone and care for them full heartedly. All in. That is a lesson on one else could have taught me. A valuable lesson.
Through your love, you’ve showed me that I can love myself and that there is something I can love about myself. This, to me, is evidence that you have succeeded as a dad. And, for me you will never be a failure.
I love you papa, that love is unconditional. I love the good and the bad. This love isn’t going away any time soon. You are more than just blood. You are my flesh and soul.
Be Brave. Love yourself.
From Clea – your favourite child. “
So here I am. I have cried in reading this letter – tears of gratitude for my daughter, and the love that is present between us. I have forgiven myself and the other – daughter has reminded me that I be/do the best that I can. As for love, there is now a smile in heart and on my face.
Thank you daughter mine, I am so grateful that you exist! And, that you see me – the good and the bad – and you choose to love me. So grateful that life has blessed me with you. I never forget that you are miracle – in the fullest sense of that word.