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“My grandmother died on Mother’s Day about 20 years ago from a long bout with cancer. I was shocked and devastated because I kept thinking she was going to pull through and be okay.

Over time it has been a painful road. We had a difficult relationship although we loved each other very much. I went through very difficult times as an adolescent and young adult, and she worried, disapproved, and was disappointed in me. A couple of years after her death, I got clean and sober and began a journey of healing and recovery.

I wished she’d been at my wedding, seen my beautiful daughters. I live with the memories of her disappointment and am left with no chance to make amends and show her how I’ve changed. I like to imagine she sees how I’ve changed, and she has forgiven me and no longer worries and disapproves. Forgiveness and unconditional love are things I try to give myself and to give others. I try to learn from this relationship—what I want to emulate and what I don’t want to do in my relationships in the future. I want to be forgiven so I forgive.”


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