That’s the way life goes sometimes…

A letter written by a 14 year old girl and her experience which illustrates the same emotions millions of children feel when they hear the earth shattering words, “Honey, your mother and I are getting a divorce.”

When I was ten my parents got a divorce. Naturally, my father told me about it, because he was my favorite. [Notice that Vicky did not say, ” I was his favorite.”]

“Honey, I know it’s been kind of bad for you these past few days, and I don’t want to make it worse. But there’s something I have to tell you. Honey, your mother and I got a divorce.”

“But Daddy—”

“I know you don’t want this, but it has to be done. Your mother and I just don’t get along like we used to. I’m already packed and my plane is leaving in half and hour.”

“But Daddy, why do you have to leave.”

“Well, honey, your mother and I can’t live together anymore.”

“I know that, but I mean why do you have to leave out of town?”

“Oh. Well. I got someone waiting for me in New Jersey.”

“But, Daddy, will I ever see you again?”

“Sure you will, honey. We’ll work something out.”

“But what? I mean, you’ll be living in New Jersey, and I’ll be living here in Washington.”

“Maybe your mother will agree to you spending two weeks in the summer and two in the winter with me.”

“Why not more often?”

“I don’t think she’ll agree to two weeks in the summer and two weeks in the winter, much less more.”

“Well it can’t hurt to try.”

“I know, honey, but we’ll have to work it out later. My plane leaves in twenty minutes and I’ve got to get to the airport. Now I’m going to get my luggagew, and I want you to go to your room so you don’t have to watch me. And no long good-byes either.”

“Okay, Daddy. Good-bye. Don’t forget to write.”

“I won’t. Good-bye. Now go to your room.”

“Okay. Daddy, I don’t want you to go!”

“I know, honey. But I have to.”


“You wouldn’t understand, honey.”

“Yes, I would.”

“No, you wouldn’t.”

“Oh well. Good-bye.”

“Good-bye. Now you to your room. Hurry up.”

“Okay. Well, I guess that’s the way life goes sometimes.”

“Yes honey. That’s the way life goes sometimes.”

After my father walked out that door, I never heard from him again.

**Adapted from Dr. James Dobson, Straight Talk With Men

Many children are affected by the loss of a parent post divorce. The situations leading up to the seperation of a family unit are most devastating to children when the relationship between them and a parent disintegrates. There are many reasons why parents would disengage from their children’s lives. Several studies of divorced fathers who have disengaged from their children have linked their disengagement to their feelings of anger, rejection and distress following their divorce.

One thing is certain…A parent can never be replaced. God has given you a child and no matter what may come your way, it is no excuse for abandoning your children. It is important that parents make every effort to work together for the sake of their children. The story above illustrates the trauma associated with abandonment. This has become an epidemic and so many people, children and adults alike, are walking around with so much hurt and rejection. Our children look to us for guidance, nurture and love. The little girl in this example is a stark reminder of the importance of a father. She is a rejected daddy’s girl…How tragic.

~Cary Sanchez, LCSW