There was once a young man and woman expecting their first child. They were devoted to each other and filled with eager anticipation for their baby.
The pregnancy was difficult, and though their daughter was delivered safety, the wife lost her life in labor.
The man didn’t know how to manage his grief. Over time, he became distant and detached from his daughter, as she reminded him of his unresolved pain. His daughter deeply longed for her father’s love; her heart ached to be accepted.
The daughter got married and had a daughter of her own. From the passage of time, the man was able to resolve his grief, and showered his granddaughter with great affection. His daughter became resentful of this little girl that received the love that she never received.
One day, when the girl was 6, her mother called from across the room, “Come and give your mother a hug.” The daughter came up with a smile and hugged her mother. Then the mother gently let go and said “You only did that because I asked, didn’t you?” Stunned, the girl said nothing. “Go sit back down. I’m very disappointed in you,” said the mother. Tears in her eyes, the girl walked back, hurt and confused. Her mother was lashing out from her own resentment and bitterness.
What will help all of us understand our parents better is to understand their wounds and struggles. What memories still cause them pain? This will help us understand their thinking.