Closure, Tying Up Loose Ends, And Letting Them Go

The post I'm about to share with you is a very personal one. But it's one that I feel the need to share because it's been extremely healing for me.

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Some of my longtime blogging friends may recall a post I shared nine years ago entitled, Coming Full Circle, which was about the death of my birth mother when I was 6-years old, and how it affected me later in my life.

Backstory:

My birth mother died of cancer (Hodgkin's disease ) when she was only 40-years old; leaving a husband and three children. My father, for reasons I truly believe were his best intentions, never told my siblings and I that our mother was sick with a serious illness, or that she was dying, because he didn't want to worry us or cause us pain. So when she was in the final stages of dying, five years after being diagnosed, my siblings and I were taken to stay with a relative. And after the traditional two-day Italian funeral was over, the three of us were then brought back to our home and told what had happened.

I have long since forgiven my father for the choice he made because I understood why he made that choice. My father was a very lovable, kind and sweet man. He always looked for the good in everyone. However, he was also a man who had a difficult time facing things that were unpleasant or uncomfortable. He didn't like to always see the truth. Therefore in an effort to shield his children from their dying mother, he took us away right before she passed so that we would not have to experience it.

When I was in my late 20's, my father and I began to have conversations about what had happened because he felt very guilty over the choice he made. When we were alone, he would sometimes ask if I forgave him. And of course I did because I knew he had made that choice in an effort to protect me from what he feared. He didn't want to put his children through the painful process of seeing their mother die. He wanted us to remember her as she was, when she was alive and healthy.

Yes I know, I realize that was not the best decision, and I told him that. However, I loved my father and understood his reasons.

Later in life when I began to have relationships, I could see that even though I had forgiven my father, I carried with me the emotional baggage of a deep-seeded fear of being abandoned by anyone who loved me; afraid that they would eventually just disappear.

For years I repeated the same pattern over and over again when it came to intimate relationships. I would get involved with someone; then back away before they had a chance to leave me so that I wouldn't feel the pain of losing them.


Present story:

My inspiration for this post came to me months ago, while sorting through old family photographs and discovered this...


This is a picture of my birth mother, my older brother and sister, and me, standing in front of our home in West Oak Lane, Philadelphia back in the late 50's. As you can see from the decorations on the windows, it was during the Christmas holidays. 

Seeing this photograph, got me thinking and feeling a lot. In fact, I actually went on Google Maps and typed in the name of the street and house address, because I was curious to see what the house looked like now.

Here it is...


It felt strange to look at this photograph and then look back at the old one; knowing that I stood in that same spot with my mother when I was 6-years old. And that is wasn't long after this photograph was taken that she passed away in her bedroom, which was directly above the three windows you see in the front of the house.

For days after I found these two pictures, I kept looking at them; feeling a strong sense that I seriously needed to let go of my fear of abandonment because this house was where it all began.

I'm tired of not allowing myself to love and be loved because of an old, embedded fear from my childhood.

It's funny, I have absolutely no problem walking through my fears when it comes to so many things in my life. However, when it comes to walking through my fear of abandonment, I've continually stood paralyzed.

But I no longer wish to do that.

You see, this move to New York represents so much more than just leaving Philadelphia and moving to the city I love with all my heart. This move represents closure, tying up loose ends, and leaving behind once and for all, the fear that I've held onto since I was 6-years old.

For the past several months I've done a great deal of emotional releasing and crying. I've cried from the depths of my soul; feeling the pain of the past, and then letting it go.

It's time.

It's time to move forward in this new chapter of my life because I have a gut feeling that not only will I experience new creative opportunities in New York, but also love opportunities.

And I want to stay open to those opportunities; allowing my heart to love without fear.

In conclusion:

For not one second do I regret my childhood because the reality is that I can't change it. I can only learn and grow as a result from it.

I know that my parents, regardless of whatever choices they made, loved me because I can still feel that love.

And it's their love that I choose to remember...


Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
X

27 comments

  1. A beautiful tribute to both your parents. As someone who was given away by my birth parents at 2 weeks old, and then brought up by my new parents I can relate to this post. My mother was abusive, to me my brother and my Dad, in fact my Dad had a life time of suffering until he died. I've had to let go of a great many things and move on, and I have. I don't look back I live for the moment and try to cherish every day. I recommend it to every one.

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  2. Valerie DaggattJuly 13, 2018

    'I know that my parents, regardless of whatever choices they made, loved me because I can still feel that love.'

    I am happy that you you can still feel it, my friend.

    Now that you have come to realise the things you write about the future will be pain free. The memories will remain but they will bring peace to your heart. Something you might never have thought would happen. Stand straight, face the world with happiness and enjoy. Love, live, and ENJOY!

    I didn't know you had a sister. The family likeness is very strong and I loved seeing the photographs.

    Stand tall, you are better than most.
    (Those words were sent to me at a time of great upset and I have never forgotten them.)

    God bless you.

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  3. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comJuly 13, 2018

    I'm so glad you're ready to forgive and move on to new opportunities! And thank you for sharing this post. The fear of abandonment is one I recognize.

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  4. Oh Ron, what a touching and extremely personal post. This is strange, but I've had a feeling that you've been walking through some emotional things the past year. It sounds horrendous in this day and age what your father did, but parenting was different in those days and there wasn't much parenting support/education for them to know what to do. It's sad that he felt so bad about it later on, but I'm glad you and he were on good terms in later years.

    How cool that you were able to look up your old house! Remember when I find mine online when it was for sale? It's a strange feeling knowing so many other families have come and gone since then.

    Here's to new beginnings, my friend! XO

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  5. Ron, thank you for bravely sharing this most personal story! I'm glad you've forgiven your dad -- he obviously meant well and loved you three very much. Sad that we now know kids need and can handle the truth, as long as they know they're loved.


    I'm glad too that you've done proper grieving over this phase of your life and have opened the way for a new phase to usher in. I think we tend to repeat mistakes when we haven't properly addressed and fixed them. I see a clean slate before you, complete with new opportunities to make the years ahead most rewarding!


    How fascinating that you were able to find the house you grew up in, thanks to technology. As much as we often complain about it, where would we be without the Internet??


    Happy weekend, my friend! xx

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  6. Joe, thank you so much for sharing your story on this blog post topic because your outlook and perspective is exactly what I'm trying to express with my own story.

    "I've had to let go of a great many things and move on, and I have. I don't look back I live for the moment and try to cherish every day. I recommend it to every one."

    BRAVO! And yes, that's the attitude to take. We can't do anything about what was, however, we can choose NOW, by letting go and living in moment. I totally agree!

    Again, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. You've added much!

    Have a fantastic weekend!

    X

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  7. Hey there Valerie!

    I LOVE what you shared here....

    "Now that you have come to realise the things you write about the future will be pain free. The memories will remain but they will bring peace to your heart. Stand straight, face the world with happiness and enjoy. Love, live, and ENJOY!"

    Yes, you are absolutely right! Months ago when I discovered this photograph in a box of old family photos, I knew it was a sign that I had to let go of the pain and fear I've been holding onto before I moved. I spend a lot of time releasing a lot of memories and feelings. And afterwards, it feel SO GOOD. I felt cleansed! I'm sure I have more healing to do, however, this was such great start. I look forward to the future!

    "I didn't know you had a sister. The family likeness is very strong and I loved seeing the photographs."

    Yes, we did all share the same family likeness, many people used to say that to us.I have an older sister and brother from my father's first marriage. I also have another (younger) brother from my step mother. She passed away back in 2012. I posted about it on my blog. She was such a wonderful lady. I miss her very much.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet words, my friend. Thank you.

    Have a faaaaaaaabulous weekend!
    X

    P. S. We're having ANOTHER heatwave this weekend. UGH!

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  8. Thank you, Fiona. I could really sense that I needed to let go of feelings that I've been holding onto before I moved to New York. And seeing that photograph made something "click" inside me. It actually felt very good to cry and let everything go. I felt like a cleansing.

    "The fear of abandonment is one I recognize."

    Isn't is something how that feeling sticks with you? I spoken to many people who also have that same free from their childhood.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing on this post, my friend. Have a fantastic weekend!
    X

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  9. " This is strange, but I've had a feeling that you've been walking through some emotional things the past year."

    And you were absolutely right, I have been. But honestly, it's all been good because I feel cleansed. I feel lighter. I feel ready to open my heart again. And letting go of these emotional things was part of the process. I needed to let go of all of this before I left Philly, so that I can make a fresh start in New York. I feel joyful.

    "It sounds horrendous in this day and age what your father did, but parenting was different in those days and there wasn't much parenting support/education for them to know what to do."

    Yes, you are so right about that. Back then, things like cancer was hidden from the patient, as it was with my mother. She never knew she had cancer until the very end.

    Before my father passed away, he and I spent a great deal of time together and found closure. His death was a closure for me and my birth mother as well. Because when he passed away, I was able to let go of my mother at the same time.

    "How cool that you were able to look up your old house! Remember when I find mine online when it was for sale? It's a strange feeling knowing so many other families have come and gone since then."

    OMG...yes...how cool was that?!? And the second I saw the house on Google Maps, my heart started racing because it felt like I was back there, back in the 50's. And agree, I had the same strange feeling looking at that house, knowing so many other families have come and gone since then. A house holds so many memories, doesn't it?

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kinds words, my friend. Have a faaaaaaabulous weekend!

    X

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  10. Hello there Debbie!

    I really felt that I needed to share this post because it was such a powerful healing for me. I'm so grateful that I found that photograph because it sparked something inside of me to let go of a fear and pain I've been hanging onto far too long.

    "Sad that we now know kids need and can handle the truth, as long as they know they're loved."

    Yes, you're right. Back then, so much was kept from children. Now however, we've discovered that as painful as it can be, it's healthier to be totally upfront and honest with children. I think kids are much stronger and more resilient than we think they are.

    " I think we tend to repeat mistakes when we haven't properly addressed and fixed them. I see a clean slate before you, complete with new opportunities to make the years ahead most rewarding!"

    Yes, I couldn't agree with you more. I needed to go through this so that I could move on into the present. I actually feel very good about all this. I feel light a weight has been lifted off me.

    "How fascinating that you were able to find the house you grew up in, thanks to technology. As much as we often complain about it, where would we be without the Internet??"

    I know....can you believe that? Thank god for the Internet, hu?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. And thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Thank you :)

    Have a fantastic weekend!
    X

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  11. What a fantastic post, my friend. I'm glad to hear you are opening yourself up to all the possibilities this move will bring you - including love. I've often wondered why you weren't in a relationship 'cause you're a pretty cool guy, witty and outgoing and just plain fun. Somebody is going to discover that! Wishing you much happiness in this exciting new stage of your life.

    As for your dad's decision, well...it's sad that you never got a proper goodbye, but I do believe his intentions were good. I'm happy that you guys talked it over later in life and you were able to share your honest feelings with him.

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  12. Powerful post, my friend. And I feel badly for your Dad doing his best to protect you guys and only later realizing it wasn't the way to handle it. And badly for you that you lost your mother that way. It sounds like you've donee some serious healing work.

    (And also, I love the coasts you all have on in the first photo.)

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  13. Yes, it was something he regretted all his life, even though I told him (and meant it) that I forgave him because I understood why he did it. What was really wonderful was that he and I got to spend quality time together in his last two weeks alive, so we were able to have closure. I didn't want him to die without knowing how much I loved having him as my father. Also, being with him as he died was a powerful healing for me because I was able to say goodbye to him, and my mother.

    I starting my healing process back in my 30's, but it's taken time. Seeing that family photo made me realize there was still more I need to face, and let go of before I made my move to New York.

    (And also, I love the coats you all have on in the first photo.)

    Thank you :) Aren't they faaaaaaabulous? My mother was very particular about how we were dressed. She always had us clean, neat, and properly dressed. Back then in the 50's, people always dressed up.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my Libra friend! Hope all is well for you. Know that I continually send you much "good energy" and "positive vibes."

    X

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  14. Thank you so much for your sweet and encouraging words, Mark :)

    Yes, I feel that my move to New York will present me with many new opportunities for growth; one of them being love.

    In all honesty, I've been very content and satisfied being single for so long. However, I think it's time for me to learn how to share my life (and my heart) with someone.

    "... I'm happy that you guys talked it over later in life and you were able to share your honest feelings with him."

    Thank you, me too, because it gave us the time to share our honestly feelings.

    Also, spending quality time with my father before he passed away was such a powerful time for the two of us because we were able to process and heal many things.

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your weekend!

    X to you and Tara

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  15. Ron, thank you so much for sharing such a personal post with us, it's so bittersweet. What moves me the most is how much you loved your father, understanding why he made that choice. I'm so glad to read that you and he were able to talk opening about it later, and found peace.

    Love the wedding photograph of your parents. They were both so beautiful.

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  16. Hey there Candice!

    I'm so grateful for the time my father and I spent talking about this. Also, I'm grateful for the time we had together before he passed away because we were able to have even more closure. Being with my father when he died was such a healing experience for me because I was able to finally say goodbye to my mother as well.

    I love that picture of my parents too. It makes me smile in my heart.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet words. Have a wonderful week!
    X

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  17. Ron, as several others have shared in their comments, I can identify with feeling abandoned as well. You so perfectly put into words so many of my own feelings. Isn't it something how events from our childhood can stay with us in our adulthood until we're ready to face them and then heal them? Through your experience, you've given me so much to think about because like you, I'm at a point in my life where I need to (and want to) let go of things that are preventing me from moving forward.

    I am so glad that you were able to talk openingly with your father as you got older. I'm sure it relieved his guilt tremendously.

    Your love for your father is so touching. The picture of your parents is so beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing this personal post, Ron. XO

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  18. Powerful post, Ron! As I've shared you with many times before, through your life experiences, I've learned a lot. You really know how to express your thoughts so that they're clearly understood and felt. You write so well.

    I can even imagine what you must have felt like and gone through after losing your mother and not being able to say goodbye, or even understanding what was happening to her. I think it's incredible that you and your father were able to make peace and forgive. I'm sure by forgiving him, he was able to forgive himself eventually.

    Thanks for sharing, dude! Beautiful.

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  19. Hola Denise!

    " Isn't it something how events from our childhood can stay with us in our adulthood until we're ready to face them and then heal them?"

    Yes, absolutely! I think we fully realize just how powerful certain childhood experiences affect us long into adulthood. Back in the 80's is when I started to realize how much that experience was affecting me. However, I think healing is a gradual thing, which can take YEARS until it's all let go of. I could sense that before I made my move back NYC, I needed to look at myself closer and notice what I've still be holding onto. I think seeing that family photo made me realize it even more. Something just clicked.

    Me too, I'm glad my father and I were able to talk. I was also able to spend quality time with him before he died, which was healing as well.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Wishing you a faaaaabulous week!

    X

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  20. Thank you for your sweet words, Matt :)

    Weeks ago, I began to feel the desire to share this post because it was such a powerful part of my self-healing. Seeing that family photo of my mother and the house I was born was very cathartic because it instantly made me feel certain things, which I knew still needed healing and letting go.

    As I shared, my father was a very sweet, kind and giving man. He just had a problem with dealing with things head on. I think he thought that if he ignored things by being a total optimist, the problem would just go away. I'm glad he and I talked about it later in life and also right before he died. I'm grateful for the closure.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Hope you're having a super week!

    X

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  21. What a beautiful wedding photo of your parents. Family dynamics are so messy in our emotional development. There isn't any parenting manual and we're all just flying by the seat of our pants as to what's best for our children. I'd venture to guess most of the time, we're wrong! I'm happy you had a heart-felt conversation with your father and he shared with you his angst over this. I hope you can maintain a good relationship with him. I have found that sincere forgiveness is very healing power. We don't forgive for the other person's sake....we forgive for ours. Forgiveness provides closure only when we can truly forgive with no strings attached....but it's unreasonable to expect us to forget what happened. That's why I don't agree with "Forgive and Forget." Forgive and Release is a better method, in my opinion. Forgive and release lifts the burgeon from our heart and allows us to focus on healing and moving forward, aware of what needs to change to avoid repeating the past. You may enjoy reading a post I wrote about forgiveness a few years ago: https://peripheralperceptions.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/f-is-for-forgiveness/
    I so enjoy reading your insightful posts. :-)

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  22. Lisa, I can't thank you enough for your comment because you added so much to this topic!

    Yes, family are so messy in our emotional development, and I think all of us can relate to that because as you shared, there isn't parenting manual, you just fly by the seat of your pants; doing the best you know how.

    Me too, I'm so grateful that my father and I had our talks because it was healing for both of us. And when he died, we were both able to have closure.

    I love, absolutely LOVE what you shared about forgiveness because I agree 100%. Forgiveness is a very healing power because it provided closure when we can forgive with not strings attached. And yes, forgiveness does not mean we also forget because quite frankly, how could we ever forget?

    "Forgive and Release is a better method, in my opinion. Forgive and release lifts the burgeon from our heart and allows us to focus on healing and moving forward, aware of what needs to change to avoid repeating the past."

    YES! And that's what I mean sharing this post. I'm at a point where I wanted to let go and release the burgeon from my heart; allowing myself to remain open to love again.

    Again, thank you so much for sharing your insight on this post, I really appreciate it!

    And yes, I will go back into your archives and read the post you shared, so thanks for sharing the link!

    Have a great rest of your week, my friend!

    X

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  23. Rob LenihanJuly 30, 2018

    Ron, this is such a beautiful post. I can't thank you enough for sharing this story.

    It's wonderful that you're making peace with your past. You went through an incredibly wrenching experience, which left some scars, but you're clearly willing and able to move on and find the love you so richly deserve.

    You've run away from love long enough. Come to the Big Apple and let the magic happen!

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  24. Hey there Rob!

    Thank you SO MUCH for your kind, sweet and supportive words.

    It's time. This move to New York represents so much more than just a physical move. It represent a letting go and moving forward from my past. And I'm ready. I am sooooo ready.

    "You've run away from love long enough. Come to the Big Apple and let the magic happen!"

    You are soooooooo right!

    Have a fantastic week, buddy!

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  25. Rob LenihanJuly 31, 2018

    Btw, buddy, I love the photos of your parents and your mom with those adorable kids!

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  26. A beautiful, honest post! Ron, I do remember some of what you shared regarding family. (HUG) Some simply cannot forgive past hurts, and things people say/do but it is so freeing to be able to do that, release what we can't change, and things we fear. Sounds as if you've really done all you can to move forward with a renewed sense of self and openness to this new chapter of life and all the amazing possibilities. Ooh la la, do a bit of kiss and tell when you find that love connection...for us nosier readers, okay!?

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  27. Thank you for your sweet words, Mary :) Yes, you and I have been blogging for a long while now, so I know you've read several posts regarding my family. I'm grateful for my past because it's taught me so much in the present.

    " Ooh la la, do a bit of kiss and tell when you find that love connection...for us nosier readers, okay!?"

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, will do! :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!
    X

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