When we were estranged from the person who has died, there is an extra layer of grief. See, as long as they were alive, we held out the perhaps slim chance for a reconciliation. Now, they are gone. So is the chance to hear or to say, “I’m sorry.” The chance to hear or say, “I forgive you.” The chance to hear or say, “I love you.” Some find comfort in writing a letter to the person, expressing whatever was left unsaid. It might lay out all of our hurts, all of our desire for reconciliation, all the love of which we somehow could never speak. Some keep that letter as a sign of attempted reconciliation. Others burn that letter, destroying the hurt contained in it. Either way, it often helps to commit the hurt, the love, and the need to paper as a way to release it and its power. It is ok to be conflicted about this loss. To wonder why we should grieve one with whom we were estranged and yet to grieve their loss deeply. Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Blessings on the journey.

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