It’s been four years since I wrote my Heart Will, a lasting message for people I love and future generations. While I’ve been soul searching most of my life, the events of 2020, and in particular the much-needed spotlight on systemic racism, has accelerated my inquiry into high gear.
What are you up to this Father’s Day? Is there some quality time scheduled with the dads or devoted paternal proxies in your life? Is this the day you give your dad a card to show your gratitude and appreciation? Or will you be thinking of him and wishing you could? You might be ignoring the whole day if your relationship is messy or worse. Whether seeing him or calling him this Father’s Day is a real possibility or part of a romantic fantasy, how parents and children connect and express their appreciation for each other is as unique and complex as we are.
Our email post last month, “Mother’s Day Can be Complicated” was a plea to share what’s in your heart now with those who have mothered you and those you have mothered. Life is unpredictable and you never know when it’ll be too late to talk about how you feel. Our message today is similar, but with dad in mind.
Melt your heart and watch Tell Them Now, a video produced last year by the fabulous folks at Echo Storytelling Agency.
One of the things that makes this video so emotional for Reena, whose father died in 2002, is that she and her dad never had this kind of conversation. While writing this post, Reena took a leap and started a conversation with her dead father, something she hadn’t done before. Through her tears she remembered, among other things, his generosity and loving devotion to people in need.
The yearning to share what’s in our hearts was one of the core intentions for developing our curriculum, Legacy, Love Letters + Heart Wills. In our pilot offering, a dozen people met over four consecutive Thursdays to take stalk of their closest relationships. They wrote love letters to their parents, children, spouses, friends or siblings to be shared at the time of death. Some of them were so moved by thinking about their inevitable death, that they initiated the heart-to-heart talk that they’d been putting off for years!
The only father in the group wrote a beautiful letter to his twelve-year-old son and agreed to share it with you.
A Love Letter to my Son
My beloved Bombi
We have always been so solidly connected
You are a part of Me
Nothing could stop our connection in Life
Nothing can stop our connection in Death
It seems like I grew to be a part of you
whether you want me to or not
Sorry about that!
But you are not stuck with me
You are free to see and be the full beauty of who you are
with no restrictions from me
Like the crumbly crackers you love to eat
I am dissolved and digested into you
for your Own use
Fuel to fly free…to be who you are and who you deeply want to be
Let me be the floorboards on which you stand
the runway for your takeoff
the soil for your blooming.
You honour me with your Use!
You honour me with your Freedom!
You honour me with your Living!
Yes, it is disarming to have no one to hold you
no one to wrestle with, or smile an “I love you”
I am on the other side now.
Perhaps you can look for me on your other side
I hold you now from the inside out
We both can move to the other side
The other side of outside… Inside
Feel me there!
Push up against me there!
Curl up and rest with me there!
Yes, apparent loss can seem hard and cold
It may feel that I have left only an empty hole in your chest
a silent screaming pain
It is OK!
Pound your fists against My chest
Scream at Me
I am inside of you now
That Hole is my Well
Sink into me!
In my depths I am warm
I will embrace you here
Wherever you roam
you will always have a Home in me
You are Free and with Me
Love, Your Dad
We invite you to make a point this Father’s Day to appreciate your dad whether he is physically with you or not.