Dear Daughter and Son,
I am so sorry. To the core of me, to my soul, I am sorry. I am sorry you are living the rest of your lives without your father. I am sorry it happened so unexpectedly and without preparation. I am sorry for any and all struggles you had, are having, because of the death of the one man who meant so much to you both. I am sorry the father who was active and loving and guiding and involved in your lives is now no longer. I am sorry he won’t be there for your future accomplishments, your future milestones, all of the future impacts you will both have on this world. And I know you will have those impacts for you are of him, because of him, framed by him. You are of us. And you are yourselves which is beautiful and a wonder to see.
While you are my adult children, I still see you as just my children, the ones I birthed, nursed, protected, educated, and did my best to raise with a moral conscious. And I certainly didn’t do it alone. I did all of it with you father as my equal, your interchangeable parent. You could run to either of us when you fell, or when you needed to be fed, clothed and cared for. What I couldn’t offer, he did and visa versa. Your dad was one of those rarest of fathers who made you priorities, who balanced me, fed off my strength and corrected my weaknesses all so you could be loved and parented well. And now, I’m parenting alone and it sucks. I suck at it sometimes, and I’m sorry.
I am sorry I have not been the mother to you both that I know I was before Dad died. I am sorry I have showed you my sadness, my anger, my grief, and my uncertainties during times where you may have needed to show me yours. I am sorry when my patience has been short because of stress and insecurities. I am sorry I have taken you both on a ride of indecision or the amendments of my decisions. I am sorry my uncertainty has not helped either of you. I am sorry I throw at you my stress when I know you don’t need any more added to your own. I am sorry I don’t always say the right words of comfort, or show you understanding during your own struggles, especially when you may have needed me the most. I am sorry I haven’t been the once-was mother. It is another thing Dad’s death stole from me.
Please be patient with me as I navigate through this road I am traveling on now alone. Please try to be tolerant my times of my moods swings, my snaps of anger, my impatience with deadlines, my decisions changes, my inability to comfort you, my misunderstandings, and the loss of my once-was mothering. I know it’s not easy on you. You lost one parent and another one is not yet on stable ground. I can’t imagine all of what this does, has done, to you. Believe me when I say, your pain is harder on me than my own. You are my children and I am only as happy as my unhappiest child. It’s how a mother is, how a mother feels. It’s how I am. How I feel.
We’ve gone a long way since Dad died. We’ve conquered so much together and been there while we tried to move beyond some of this. Still, we both have our times of not so great moments with one another. We are all grieving. And I know I should be better than because I am the mother, and that’s the guilt I hold. I don’t always do better than, and it rips at me.
I am sorry for all your pain from the loss of a great man in your lives, all your sorrow and anger and grief. I am sorry for any disappointments I have caused, or anything I added to your grief. I will continue to try and do better. We are all in pain on this Reluctant Road we travel. Someone once told me, people in pain can’t heal each other. So, I won’t try to heal you. And I won’t put expectations on you to heal me. All we can do is stay together, the way Dad would want us to. We are stronger together, Dudak strong.
Love you both so much,
Mom, Mother, Momma