Monday, August 3, 2009

a grief that lingers

most of the time i am so busy with life that i don't dwell too much on the fact that my dad abandoned our family in october. well, if i'm honest with myself, i suppose his betrayal began a long time before that, but we just didn't realize it until october 16th. that is the last time i saw my dad, and sometimes i watch that final moment in my mind  over and over like it is on instant replay.

usually there is too much to do every day, so i find myself making it through the days pretty well. in no particular order, these factors have helped: weekly counseling sessions, good friends, a god who can take my anger and grief, a tender husband, a joyful daughter and a mom and siblings who are wading through just as much muck themselves. we kind of carry each other, and are carried, through this tenuous season. 

this blog is a public forum so i have refrained from blasting my dad on here, as much as i may have been tempted over the months. i don't really need to broadcast in this space what he has done, even vaguely; public humiliation is not really going to fix anything, and i doubt it would even feel very good for more than 5 seconds. suffice it to say, i have been wounded very deeply, and i have lost a father. 

i remember almost ten years ago, when a father i knew left his wife and two beautiful daughters, who were (and remain) good friends of ours. i could never wrap my mind around how he could leave these three amazing people for what seemed like such empty reasons. i wanted to run into this man on the street so that i could punch him and scream at him and shout, "what is your problem? how could you desert them like that? how could you abandon your own daughters? they are precious and you are just walking away?" i never ran into him; i never got to yell at him. i haven't seen him since he left his family so many years ago. i know it wouldn't have done any good; his decision had been made already, and his family figured out how to move forward without him. but i still don't understand how he could love something else more than his own children.

today i am in the quiet of my studio. it has been hard to paint because my mind has been racing all afternoon. when the music stops i am alone with my thoughts, and for some reason today all i can think of is the fact that my dad has chosen another over me. jonathan. rebecca. aaron. my mom.

that makes me very sad. my soul is weary within me.


  1. you are incredibly brave and honest. you moved me to remember that our god is a god that stays. so sad with you that your dad didn't.

  2. Today at dinner Sam said that he felt God kissing his heart today. I pray you'd feel Him kissing your heart tonight. You are cherished.

  3. Susannah, thank you for sharing your heart, which is enduring such sadness. It makes me glad to know that you have the comfort of good friends, your husband and M, your mom and siblings and God as your heart works to heal.

    I know you love the Weepies, so I'm sure you know this Deb Talan song, but these words bring me comfort on a near daily basis - I just love the image of borrowing happy memories during those days when everything seems bleak:
    If you can't remember a better time you can have mine, little one.
    In days to come when your heart feels undone may you always find an open hand and take comfort wherever you can.

  4. so sorry for this enduring ache and sadness in your heart. I am hoping your weary soul got a bit of rest and refreshment tonight at BS. love and miss you.

  5. You are loved by many, including me.
    You are very brave and incredibly self-restrained. I pray your Heavenly Father will give you peace. And believe me, God understands our tirades and anger with those who have betrayed us. God has blessed you this year with little M's surgery and also a maturity your mom must be proud of. I'm glad your little girl has other loving grandparents and your siblings and most of all Grandma Cornelia. You and Matt, too.


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