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Letter: “My son has a grudge”

Dearest Katie;

My 28 yr old son, the one with the brain tumor, is breaking me down. He has a grudge and he’s going to make me listen. Recently he had a series of seizures and resulting brain swelling that left him weakened on his right side and unable to find words to complete his sentences. His tumor is progressing with its own life and growing and impacting him more all the time. So last week he wrote a letter for me to read. He says it explains everything, about how I’ve never listened to him, and that I’ve lied to him, and refused to believe him, and smothered him, and made him look like a fool. He is going to make me read his letter. Even though he requires 24-hour care now and has come to stay with me since last Monday, he says he will leave and find someone else to live with, if I don’t read his letter, and if I don’t change. I can find it all, Katie. I listened to him today and I was able to say “Thank you.” He told me, “You’re not always right.” And I said, “Thank you” and I meant it. And he said he felt better and calmer because he was able to tell me all this today.

I don’t know if this was anything like what you went through with your children. I remember you saying that after you found The Work, they came and told you all the awful things you had done to them. I’m not sure how to stand this, but I’m trying. Thank you for The Work.

My son is a gift. He’s going to give me my life. Last Monday, I mentioned that I’d get him his hair clippers from his house and bring them to him. He looked at me and said, “How do you know where they are?” I said, “Wow, you’re really suspicious.” And I proceeded to tell him I’d seen them when I had picked up some of his things the day before. And right then I saw it all, Katie. He never said a word, and suddenly I understood that he was just asking a question, to get an answer. And that I was the one with the story. I had no business judging that he asked the question because he was suspicious. And it isn’t my business if he is. I’ve been thinking about that several times a day since. I’ve been doing this to him, and to everyone I’ve ever cared about or just been around, all my life. How did these people stand me like this, the way I have been? Finally I am beginning to get it when you say something like “until you look forward to criticism, your Work isn’t done.” I’m looking forward to noticing the next thing, when I feel the criticism, so I can see if it really is criticism.

My son is a gift; I know that, because he’s going to give me peace. But he still causes me pain, when he talks to me the way he did today. I feel the pain coming and I notice it can fall away. I’m not there yet, but I have no choice but to listen to him, and try to remember it’s not personal. Thank you for The Work.


Dearest Jane,

You are very brave, sweetheart. My eyes are welling up with love, gratitude, and admiration as I read your e-mail. Yes, I love that you do a Worksheet on your son each day and witness love expand and continue to experience the gift of your son as he continues to grow you. Continue until your heart bursts open with love and your eyes can’t stop filling with gratitude.

In deepest gratitude for your courage and love in this world,
Byron Katie

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