In a recent article by Sally Brampton in the Sunday Times, a woman whom I will refer to as Joan, writes about her father who left the family home after 30 years of marriage some seven years ago. Joan talks about the effect his departure has had on her, her mother and her family. A link to the abbreviated letter can be found here (update, the article was never published for some reason). In brief, she writes about how his departure had a devastating effect on her mother and her sisters. He didn’t talk to the children about it. Instead, he wrote to her and her sisters “a very cold and factual letter”. He has made an effort to apologise and Joan and her father have tried to get their relationship back on track again. However, Joan finds that “she is extremely closed down and can’t forget her feelings of abandonment or disappointment in him”. She states that he asked to see his newborn second grandchild but Joan refused as she finds his visits so awkward and sad. Joan realises that she needs to get past her feelings but she doesn’t know how to do that at the moment. Her father has now asked her whether it is time for them to go their separate ways. She wonders if it is their only option. Joan says that she is desperate to reconcile this situation.