Dear Pat

Dear Pat,

I was very sorry to hear of your mother’s passing.  It is such a profound thing, to lose your mother.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re twenty or sixty; it is always hard, always difficult and especially so when you share your home and your lives with each other.  I hope that you are able to move forward through the holidays without too much sadness.

I wanted to reach out to you to also let you know that my son was very saddened by your mother’s passing.  He called to tell me about it after receiving your emails.   It is not often that my son cries, but your mother’s death brought him to tears.  He told me that he was so sad that he didn’t get to know her better and that he wished that there had been more of a relationship between the two of them.  He thought she was very kind and was grateful for the opportunity to have met her several years ago.

We had several very honest (more frank than he has ever been with me) conversations about your family in the days after her passing.  I think that your mother’s passing brought into very sharp focus for him that he does want to know more of your family.  Despite how full his life is and despite the many people who love him, he feels that your family is part of who he is.  And as is I suppose very natural for a young man of his age, he wants to explore all of the facets of who he is.  But I believe he is afraid to ask for any more communication than what he currently has, for fear of losing what he has now, which he values very much.  He does not know I am sending this note and didn’t ask me to do it. I hope you can understand and are not upset; I certainly do not mean to add to your stress right now in any way.

He told me very plainly that he worries that the chances to know your family are slipping away each day.  That the someday he always thought he had to slowly build relationships might be taken away suddenly, without warning.  His sadness was still evident when we travelled to Pittsburgh to share Thanksgiving with him a week ago; even my father and husband noticed that Zachary did not seem himself.  It is heartbreaking to watch, and I just wish things were different for him.

I was truly sorry to hear about your mother, and sorry that you are having to go through the loss of a second parent, especially at this time of year.  I wish you much peace and will keep you and yours in my prayers.

Take care.


*I sent this email in early December, 2010, after finding Z terribly distracted and quiet during our Thanksgiving visit to him at school.  She never responded to me.  I do know she still keeps in touch with my son, but he has not mentioned the possibility of getting to know anyone else in the family.


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