Sentimental Sunday: A Goodbye Letter

For Sentimental Sunday, I have chosen to share a letter that my Mom wrote not long after her father died for her brother to read at the funeral.  I believe that this letter gives an insight into my Mom that she chose not to show too often.

As a little background, my Grandfather Doerflinger died January 1st, 1990.  His passing occurred only a few months after I was born.

I’ve typed the letter her exactly as it was written in the letter.  Each misspelling, each grammatical error, and each run-on sentence is of my Mom’s doing.


I have asked Larry to say a few words on my behalf.  I wanted so badly to be with you.  I know that you will rest well, surrounded by your loved ones.  It must be like coming home.

I’m so very happy that Elyse could spend a few precious moments with her grandpa.  I know that you and Mom will be watching over her.  She will grow up knowing you as I do, and a part of you, as well as your name will continue to live through her.

Daddy, I miss you and mom so very much, but I have many cherished memories and they help to fill the void left by your passing.  One of the truly finest days of my life was spent with you and mom in your last visit at the hospital.  I know it was a catharsis for you both, and affirmation of your feelings for one another.  I witnessed love, tenderness and caring for those who have been life mates through the good and bad.  You both knew your time was short, but you gave Mom the peace she needed to begin her journey.  I will never forget that afternoon, each time I think of it I’m filled with such love for my parents.

I know that your family was always first and foremost in your life, but you leave behind so much more.  Your creations – artwork with such reality and expression, – your sharp, wicked sense of humor and your keen sense of fair play (You didn’t play favorites with just one of your kids, we were all your favorites in one aspect or the other), the famous Doerflinger generosity, opening your home and hearts to so many through out the years.  So many lives were enriched by you, and on behalf of those whose paths you have crossed, I want to thank you.

Please rest easy and in peace, watch over those of us who have yet to join you.  Give Mom a kiss for me.

Goodbye Dad,


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11 responses to “Sentimental Sunday: A Goodbye Letter

  1. What a touching letter. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life. They are now all together and watching over you.
    .-= Amy Coffin´s last blog ..Fun With Search Terms =-.

    • Reading this letter is what makes me know that she is in peace with her parents. It is what makes going on without her a lot easier.

  2. Elyse, that brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful letter. I’m sure you will treasure it always.
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..Tombstone Tuesday =-.

    • I will definitely always treasure it always. I have seen the letter before but now seeing it after my Mom’s passing, it has a lot more importance. I feel like I understand it and her mentality at the moment much more than I ever have before. I really understand how much my grandpa meant to my mom and how difficult it must of been for her to take care of him in the last two years of her life – especially since her life was going in so many new directions with having a baby and all. In retrospect I can see how her life and mine have some parallels and similarities in that respect.

  3. Elyse, what a beautiful letter. I was in tears through it all, as right now my own Dad is in the hospital and ill. We are cherishing each moment we have with him, and my mother, even more. What an awesome treasure you have in this, your mother’s reflection and love for her father. What comfort this must give you, as well, knowing they are together now. Thank you so much for sharing this tender insight.
    .-= Cyndi Beane Henry´s last blog ..Fearless Females – 3/28/10 =-.

    • Cyndi – I am so sorry to hear about your dad being ill. Each moment spent with him will definitely carry a lot of importance. One suggestion that someone shared with me when my mom was ill was to record our conversations so I’d have them forever to remember her by and it would be a way for my kids to get to know her since they will never meet her – but it really depends on how ill the person is for it to work.

  4. Elyse, Thank you for sharing such a beautiful letter. I hope it gives you comfort knowing that your Mom is with her parents and looking after you and your future, just as the grandparents looked after you since your birth.

  5. A beautiful letter Elyse. I’m sure that in many ways she was a beautiful person.
    .-= Carol Yates Wilkerson´s last blog ..Sentimental Sunday March 28, 2010 =-.

  6. Heather McGivern

    Your mom, although she had so many defensive, figurative walls established, was such a deeply intelligent and emotional woman. I wish we could have seen many more letters of her during more happier times as her own daughter got older-married, and with her own children.
    This letter is such a gift for you. I still have, and will always cherrish, the ones from grandma.
    I know it’s weird for me to cross over into your genealogy world, but I just had to for this one.

  7. Elyse, that is a beautiful letter, thank you for sharing.

  8. Elyse, once again you’ve shared a very personal and touching part of your life with us. I’m sure you must feel comfort in knowing that your mom is reunited with her parents, and that they are all watching over you, together.

    .-= Renate´s last blog ..Sentimental Sunday – Riding with Mom =-.

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