Home #startwhereyouare Dear Dad by Heather Holland

Dear Dad by Heather Holland


A special friend and Life Booker shared this letter to her father that I had to share. I wont lie- I cried when she read it on her instagram LIVE and asked if I could share it with you guys.

This letter is sacred, personal, vulnerable as fuck. I resonate with it on so many levels and appreciate Heather for allowing me to share this big step of her healing process. I hope that others follow in her path and feel the strength to write their own “Letter to Dad”.


I forgive you.

I forgive you for not knowing any better.

I forgive you for not knowing HOW to love our family, because you never had a loving father in yours.

I understand growth/breaking cycles is uncomfortable. I understand it is hard to change your living to be different from what you’re used to, or what you were taught. I understand growing up in the church/school did its toll on you.

I just hope one day you will be able to forgive yourself — forgive yourself for not always having enough money, forgive yourself for spending so much tie away and alone, because you didn’t know how to be a father.

I forgive you for taking your anger out on us physically, because you weren’t taught how to handle your feelings.

I am not making excuses for you, I am just letting this go for ME.
I need you to know that I am breaking cycles and doing the hard things for MY son so he knows a parents’ love differently than I did.


I forgive you for being drunk most of my life.
I forgive you for putting my life, my brother’s life, my mom’s life, and your own life in danger.
I forgive you for not getting help.
I forgive you for not being brave enough to grow. I forgive you for being selfish .
I forgive you for calling me fat. I know I am beautiful and was never FAT. I was only malnourished because of the shit food we always had available.
I forgive you for leaving.
I forgive you for going to have a life AFTER your divorce.
I forgive you for not showing up the HAND-FULLS of times you didn’t, when you said you would be there.
I forgive you for you lack of parenting skills.
I forgive you for not always calling me on my birthday, even if I am your first child.
I forgive you for being closed-minded, racist, and an egotistical, insecure man.


Thank you for giving me life.
Thank you for saving my brother’s life.
Thank you for helping me move into my dorm.
Thank you for being with Mom when I couldn’t.
Thank you for trying with Jonathan.
I forgive you for being a liar, and a drug addict.
I forgive you for spending more time with Chrystal because she had drugs.
Thank you for showing me the kind of parent I wanted to be.
I forgive you for going to jail on my birthday because you were driving drunk.
I forgive you for valuing your belongings more than your children.
I’m still sad, but I forgive you.
Thank you for all of your shortcomings because now I know how to fly.
I’ve learned so much trying to “get over this”, and it sucks that my son only HEARS about my dad, and has no relationship with him.
I won’t apologize for not answering when you call or not making my way to find you.
I forgive you for letting me find myself.

– Heather Holland


If you have a letter you’ve written to heal and would like to submit it for other to read and have the opportunity to relate, please submit your letter here.

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