Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Letter

Oh boy have I been avoiding writing this. Ever since I read Monika's post last week on grief validation, I have been reeling. That coupled with a letter I received recently from my aunt and  I have wanted to stay in denial.

Let me say first that my aunt and I have corresponded for years. I always look forward to her letters because they are handwritten and newsy. Like 8 or 10 pages of news and conversation. So getting a letter from my aunt is always welcomed.

But this one seemed to take a turn. Instead of news, I started reading things like "I felt so saddened that I allowed myself to be distanced from you...It never was what was in my heart...I am so sorry...I always had such hopes of being a very special aunt...I so wanted to talk to you about your feelings...I knew how unstable and grieved you must have been for a long, long time...I truly cannot imagine what those months and years were like for you."

After 25 years, I'll admit I was surprised. This is clearly grief validation in its purest form. Unexpected, unedited, unsolicited. I haven't written back yet. I think what's stopping me is that I don't know how to respond. What would you say?

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  1. I would say thank you and that you couldn't have asked for a better gift than the gift that she gave you, of validaton. People need to be educated and know our needs. She gave you an open door to share. Awesome!

  2. I agree with Jan. Thank her for her validation of the grief with which you've struggled for so long! Sometimes that's all it takes. :)

    I'm so glad that my post seems to have been the start of an incredible step in the relationship between you and your aunt! :)

    1. Hey girl... so I've about finished my letter to my aunt. I think it's turning out ok. I would prefer to talk to her in person, but since that's not possible right now I'm using lots of words very carefully in order to be as specific as possible about my feelings towards her.

      Just thought I'd update you. Thanks again for your post! :)