Forgiveness…What Grief has to do with It.

I’m re-living this right now!

I listened twice to Brené Brown discussing her book, Rising Strong, on Super Soul Sunday. It was the second time through when I really heard the part about forgiveness.

“In order for forgiveness to happen, something has to die.”  She quoted her pastor as saying. And then she mentioned grief.

What? I’ve never put that together – that there is grief involved with forgiveness.

But, of course! Any interaction that involves enough injury to need forgiveness involves grief. It is the loss of something, whether an item, an idea, a relationship, or a dream. Loss incurs grief. Grief incurs pain. Pain is often avoided. And so forgiveness eludes.

I don’t think of myself as unforgiving. And I’ve probably worked my way through most of the issues of my younger days, but I’m thinking of how long I held on to how my parents SHOULD have been. I’m remembering the advanced age at which I finally saw and accepted my mother as who she was instead of how I dreamed a mother should be. How I sometimes hold my father’s feet to the fire (figuratively, of course, since he is 10 years gone) over what he was incapable of providing.

And what are the little issues in my current relationships that I hold to tenaciously. Not great big things…just little grievances that I revisit when I am feeling gritchy. Or, more probably when I am hit with another loss which brings up any unresolved grief still rotting in my life baggage.

My new goal is to open my mind and heart in order to recognize these things as they come up. If they are important to me, I will put them on my “grief list” of losses to be recognized as such. To be acknowledged and properly mourned.

Life is an interesting journey!


First posted April 24, 2016


  1. I had problems letting go of how my father should have been too but in the end have. What now occupies my attention is totally different from what it was before his death. Things that I did to make his life easy have now come to help me!


  2. I love Brene Brown. I recently finished her book on audio tape. Seeing your post was right on time. I am grieving not being invited to my stepson’s high school graduation. The invite was for one only, my husband who will attend alone. Blended families are hard and it is hurtful that I was not included. Perhaps I should re-listen to the book.


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