Journaling to Heal – Writing About My Father at Thanksgiving

The Sunday before Thanksgiving is a significant day for me. In 1996, it was the last day I saw my father alive and well. And in 2008, the Sunday before Thanksgiving was the day my father died.

I first wrote about my relationship with my father while journaling privately on and off over the years. A while after I had started blogging, I published this article on my personal blog. At that time, I was still being a bit reserved in sharing personal details, especially emotions. Still, the process of writing and sharing was healing for me.

The intro of that article referenced my Uncle Phil. Reading it two years later, I can see that I was unclear. My great uncle Phil was a man just 5 years older than my father. Uncle Phil was estranged from his family, as was my father. As best as I could tell, both were the result of their own choosing. When my Uncle Phile died in late November 2013, I attended the services and the meal afterward where I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with his descendants, my second cousins and their families.

Our conversations about Phil’s parenting and how he treated me reminded me so much of my father, and the Thanksgiving timing was another huge factor. I was inspired to write about my father, resulting in the post on my blog.

This year, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I was thinking of my father yet again. Having published several articles in online magazines over this last year, I wanted to share more about the forgiveness and more details about my experience before I forget them. The result was published this morning in the online magazine The Good Men Project.


I want to take a moment here to acknowledge that the finished product, my published essay, was edited by a woman I am delighted to have as my new editor, Barbara Moss Abramson.  Barb polished what I wrote in a manner sensitive to my message and voice and made the post flow better for the reader. I’m so grateful to her, especially on this heavy subject for healing my life.

Please read the new essay/post on GMP here and comment there as well. Feel free to share with anyone who may benefit from my experience. Thank you.