Dear Mom [Week 56]

Hey Mom,

Week fifty six!!! I don’t want it to be true. 23 weeks since my last letter. Shame on me. But, a whole year and month without dad. Shame on God. Yes, I just said that. People can get over it. God can handle it. I’m angry. I want my dad back. I’m stuck in the anger part of the cycle. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I feel like I am trying to stay in denial, but I’m really just stuck in anger. What is there to bargain for? It’s not like God is going to bring him back to me. And I want my dad. I need my dad. I especially need my dad this year. It’s been a hell of a year.

I love getting stuck in anger. I’m like The Incredible Hulk. Anger is where I am comfortable. My kids have started to refer to me as The Hulk when they want me to tone it down. I find this practice a little relieving. It simultaneously gives my weakness permission while calling it to order in a humorous way.


Dad was a hulk, too. I always wanted to be just like him. He’s my hero. Dad’s anger actually scared me many times in my life, but I came to accept it as a necessary flaw to an otherwise perfect man. I guess that’s why I justify my own anger.

Man, I am angry. I hate everyone right now. I am especially angry at God. I’ve tried to give Him my whole life, and look how it has all turned out for me!

Last week, LG and I had the honor of attending a family sculpture therapy session for a friend of LG’s. She was molested by her brother as a kid. Her family swept it under the rug. The secret needed to be kept at all costs. This brother of her molested many of her 10 siblings, and she has never talked to her family about her turn at his hand. She was near the bottom of the pack and violated starting at such a young age that she doesn’t remember a time when she was actually safe. Anyhow, the therapist is trying to work with her to get her anger out. She is suppressing it like the good little Mormon girl that she is. They used me to act as her sister. I was letting my anger fly around like a cornered raccoon, calling the acting pedophile a monster and yelling at LG and the other dramatic mom for being the worst neglectful parents of all time. Our hurting friend couldn’t get anything out but a polite, “I don’t understand.” Our other friend at the session told her that she needed to get to the stage of anger with her past. She needed to go through the stages of grief for her past. I never thought of the stages of grief being applicable to anything but death. It opened up all kinds of emotional possibilities.

I’m good at anger. I will never need any help with that…unless it is to escape it. I need a full-time life staff doctor to cure me. Please, doctor! Do you have a magic pill for my green skin, bulging muscles, and raging scowl?

I guess I like anger because it’s a productive emotion. Unlike shame or sorrow, which feel totally wimpy. I’m all about productivity and being capable. Just like my dad. Get out of my way. I will get it done. Even if I have to plow over your reluctance.

I think that someday on my tombstone, someone might write, “Forever angry.” I’m serious. I’m so close to the dark side that I can feel its embrace. I don’t even want to turn to the light. I just want to disappear into the dark, and talk like Darth Vader for the rest of eternity. I’m going to go kicking and screaming and raging that life was not fair.

Then maybe dad will know how much I need him, and he’ll brave the divide to come and give me a comforting soft therapeutic healing hug. If his black hole and mine combine, maybe we’ll figure out light, instead of running from it with our fists outstretched. Two negatives make a positive, right?

I couldn’t make breakfast last Saturday. I laid in my bed and trembled. My body convulsed as I explained to LG that breakfast was all wrong without my dad. LG told me I never had to make breakfast again. That’s true love right there. That man loves his breakfast.

And when we were prepping the pavilion for Abigail’s wedding, Darolyn showed up. She marched over and declared that Rick would be right there in the middle of all that chaos. And he was. I just couldn’t see him. And I was stuck doing the work of two mighty humans. Mine and his. No wonder I am angry.


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