Tree Fitzpatrick I never, ever considered I would lose my child as I have, not to death but her shunning me. But when this happens to a person, you learn it happens to others. I have met several people, and I don't talk about Katie much at all, who have shared with me that they have a child, so far always daughters, but sometimes the shunned parent was a father, who has been shunned. The first person to tell me about his daughter loss had a daughter who had not spoken to him in 30 years, although his sons never stopped talking to him. He told me, and this was only a couple years in when I was still very raw, that accepting my daughter was gone for good was the only way to cope. This friend told me that he also had absolutely no understanding why his daughter cut him off.

It happens. parents happily raising children, enjoying their adult children, just don't realize it happens.

I became aware, as her departure grew imminent, that she was planning to do it -- my instinct told me. So I tried to talk to her. I remember saying "You know what you are like, once you cut me off you won't be able to come back, even if you want to, please don't do this" but she was already gone, I see now. She only put up with me as long as she needed college money. Once she had that need met, poof, she was gone.

And, come to think of it, I have a brother who shunned our mother from around the time he was 18 until she died a few years ago.

I keep expecting my grief to ebb, my pain to diminish. It doesn't get worse. It just stays the same, fresh, raw grief.
Tree Fitzpatrick
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