There will be many posts written today about the joy of being a father or having one who is alive and well. I will read those and share in that happiness. Sadly, I know there will also be many posts written today about fathers who have lost children or children who have lost their fathers. I will also read those and share in that grief.
Such is the nature of holidays that celebrate a specific person or event in your life. For some, it is a day of gratitude and love; for others, it is a bitter reminder of loss and sadness. For many, including victims of alienation, it is both.
And by “victims of alienation,” I mean both victims, the father and the child. Having experienced both sides of this myself, I can say with confidence that it is painful no matter which side you are on. The grief is different, of course, but it can be detrimental to your mental and physical health either way. Such a state of separation, when caused (or nurtured or encouraged or supported or ignored) by a third party, is utterly senseless and cruel. No father should have to watch his kids turn into strangers, and no child should have to believe that his once loving, caring father has magically become someone else.
This should be a day of celebration. Instead, far too many people face it with mourning, or with anger, or with indifference.
For those of you lucky enough to have a father of some kind (biological, step, adopted, or other), treasure him while you can.
For the fathers out there lucky enough to have a relationship with your children, enjoy it while you can.
For those of you on either side of an alienated relationship, I hope that you will find peace today somehow. I grieve for you because I grieve with you. May the future bring change, and bring it soon.