Dearly Departing One:
I've been waiting a long time for this opportunity to thank you. If it hadn't been for your tough love, I might not have discovered my own courage and fortitude. You tested the limits of my family's endurance and resilience; you gave, and took away; you hid your face from us.
My children, after being catapulted into self-reliance, are better equipped to handle life's iniquities. Your cruel actions have granted them the opportunity to recognize that authority is often misguided, and that power can cause harm; this education was tuition-free. People can and do change sometimes. I remember when you were a kind and supportive friend. In that sense, I suppose you departed long ago.
My family learned a form of self-defense; writing. For example, I watched my husband return to the living as he began putting down words, sharing thoughts and experiences. Ilkka's literary talent in foreign tongue came as a surprise to me; but you provided the motivational force.
As for me, I am just beginning to discover my own voice; another blessing.
Dearly Departing, you have brought us many gifts: if you had merely extended an invitation to Seattle for our family, Dayenu (it would have been enough).