We never really grieved with our daughters, it’s only been recently that I have understood that. When our son died in 2000 my wife and I were so wrapped up in ourselves and our grief that I’m afraid we neglected the rest of our immediate family, our two daughters. Oh sure, we spent our time with them, and they were fully part of our family planning through the grieving and memorial process but we did not grieve WITH them.
This fact was brought painfully to my attention after watching a movie at the local theatre, a movie called Courageous, a show about family and the important, no, fundamental, role of a father in the family. Interestingly the movie got poor reviews from critics but was well liked by the majority of watchers, that in itself tells me it struck a chord with viewers, and that gives me hope.
The enlightening came during one particular chapter in the show where a family lost their daughter in an accident, and they too grieved, but without their only son. The father finally came to see his failing and both he and his wife grieved again, this time with their son. A powerful, emotion ridden scene. It was an epiphany for me, my eyes were opened, they wept, and I saw what should have been.
Since then I’ve apologized to one of my daughters. Unfortunately our relationship with the other daughter prevents me from resolving it with her but perhaps in time that will come too.
After all that I feel no better about the whole situation really but my apology was accepted and we must move on. It will be one of those times when what should have been, wasn’t. Regrets.
Grief is not our friend.