It’s not just *snap* do it like that, and it’s over with.  It might take you days. It might take you weeks. It might take you months. When that burden is lifted, then you are free. It doesn’t matter if the other person knows if you’ve forgiven them or not. We are able to do that because of what God has done for us and forgiven us as individuals.   

CW:  It’s interesting that you use letter writing in that process of grieving and forgiving.  What would you say to a man who comes across this article or your book if he has this realization that he’s been an absent father.  What steps could he take to reconcile with his daughter?   

HNW:  Encourage the daughter to talk to him -- which might be difficult -- or to put it in a letter.  When a letter comes or [he hears] whatever the daughter says, the only thing he can say in response is, “Thank you for letting me know.” 

This is going to be hard for a man. We as men tend to be defensive, and we want to give the reasons and justify what we did. What daughters need is for you to just accept and just listen. At Promise Keepers, one of the things they teach the men to say are 9 words – “I was wrong, you were right, I am sorry.”  Those are so, so important … Listen and just take it in, because men try to fix it. You fix it by listening. 

Speaking of letters, sometimes we have daughters who have lost a father in death write letters to help complete the thoughts and the feelings that they have. That’s a very healthy way to do it.   

CW:  Ultimately, what is your hope for this book?   

HNW:  The hope would be that there would be help and healing for women who have struggled with their father and, in some cases, that there would be a restoration. There is a section in there where we talk about what not to say to your father, but how to share your desires, how to share your complaints [in context of] the future.  “Here’s what I would appreciate you doing.” Not, “You never did such and such” because, boy, that just pushes a button in him. 

“Here is what I would appreciate from you, Dad, and I would like you to think about it for a while.” That’s so important -- I would like you to think about it -- because men need that time to process it and make it their own and to come to the place where they say, “Yeah, there’s validity in that.” 

CW: Thanks so much for sharing with our readers.

To learn more or to purchase Healing for the Father Wound, visit H. Norman Wright's website here.