It was the first Christmas that my dad would not be with us. He wouldn’t be there to make us laugh with goofy stories and facial expressions. He wouldn’t be there to blink in irritation as travel plans went awry. He wouldn’t be there to help me design my annual gingerbread house. And he wouldn’t be there to give us firm hugs full of love. We wanted to find a way to honor and remember him, but how?
We did various things that first year, like donating toys we thought my dad would like to kids in need, but one activity stuck:
My mom asked my brother and me to each write a letter to my dad, seal it in an envelope, and put it in my dad’s stocking before Christmas morning. She assured us that no one would read them and shared that knowing we’d taken some time think about him would mean a lot to her.
So each year I pick out a favorite note card or nice piece of stationary, find a quiet place to sit and I write a letter to my dad with the smooth blue and silver pen that used to flutter across the paper in his hand.
This tradition is a sacred opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed and tell him about what he’s missed. I cry, I laugh, and often times, I run out of words to express what lies within my heart. But no matter what happens, it feels good to connect. I feel honored to remember. And writing makes it possible.
(Excerpt from the Heart-Mending Wordsmith course, June 2014)
If you’d like to join us in doing some letter writing of your own, please join us for The Heart-Mending Wordsmith. It all begins January 23rd and I look forward to seeing you there.
Much love to you, now and always,
P.S. We’ll also be doing some letter writing on this week’s journaling call as a way to practice self-compassion and allow the love we generate from within to spread out into the world.
You can join us for that here.
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