Alicia — First of all, I want you to feel my arms around you as you go through this heartbreaking time. I feel your pain so keenly, and I cried for you when I read your response. Please know that across the miles, I am by your side, holding your hand, giving you courage.

Secondly, I want you to know that your decision to let your daughter go on into the world without you is a brave and courageous thing to do, and will be one of the hardest things you will ever do. But it is the thing that will set you free, and give you your life back, little by little. Always remember, she may go out into the world without you, as my daughter has, but you will always be her mother. You will always be tied together by the invisible cord that connects all mothers and their daughters. You may have no active role in mothering, but that is ok. Letting our children go is one of the noblest acts of motherhood.

I want to remind you of your intrinsic worth. You are not your mistakes. You feel broken right now, and that is understandable. I have been there, too. It hurts so much! But none of it is true. You are worthy. You are worthy. You are worthy. Note the period after each of those statements. It is time to forgive yourself, and in time, you will be able to forgive your daughter, too. Right now, take care of yourself. Focus on doing the same thing you are letting your daughter do — go on into the world without her. You will find joy again. I promise.

I celebrate your decision, and I will be thinking about you tomorrow and sending you love and support. I want to share with you the words of a plaque I bought once for my daughter. I intended to send it to her, but I felt certain that she would just throw it away, so I hung it in my kitchen instead. It says this: “I sit here now and pray for you a safe harbor where your can come in from the cold and the storm. So set your sails and see what is out there for you. Go with all your heart. Study the silver stars to keep you on course. Dream your deepest dreams into the honest light of day. Hang on and ride out the storms. Keep the sun inside your heart. Be kind to all living things. When it’s time to come in, no matter where you are, look for the harbor lights and I’ll be there.”

As mothers, that is all we can offer our children. It is enough.
Warmest of hugs to you, dear Alicia.

Human learning to be human. Writing in hopes of getting there.

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