Brand, Lee and others,
The discussion on life transitions also spoke to me, Brand. I have been fortunate during my journey to have good groups to support my transitions, especially during college, seminary and entering into the ministry workforce. My professional associations were very valuable in that regard. When I resigned from all of those and starting my consulting business, I missed the support as I transitioned into a new work.
One thing I was struck with throughout the reading was how hard it is for congregations and their pastors to provide intentional support to persons through the different transitions. Even in my small congregation, there are many moving parts, many lives moving through different transitions.
A current situation speaks to this. One of my longest serving couples just lost their only daughter at age 60. She had a kidney transplant from each of her parents, the first being when she was 14 years old. She graduated high school and worked for a number of years but because of her ongoing health challenges, she never left home. For the past few years, their total attention has been on taking care of her. Tough times ahead. As their pastor, I haven’t known how to help other than listening and being supportive.
Lee, I feel your pain for the lack of forgiveness from your daughters. While I can see both of your points of view and the related feelings, it sounds like a third party might be needed to help you all talk through. I suspect, there is more to it than you or maybe even they know in terms of feelings.
It has helped me to remember that forgiveness is not an event but always a process.