Do you have any tips for working on forgiving someone who is no longer here? My father was emotionally abusive when I was a child, and I would like to forgive him, but he died many years ago so I cannot ask him why he did it, or ask him to apologize.

It is possible to forgive your father even though he no longer is on this earth. You can do the work of seeing his inherent worth, not because of what he did, but in spite of that. You can work on reducing resentment. You can talk—in a realistic fashion—about his good points to other family members (when you are ready) so that you help him to leave a legacy in the family that is not all bad. All of this is part of forgiveness.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness


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