"I know now that it wasn't anybody's fault." In writing a letter to his late mother, Dan shares the everyday struggles and personal dreams of his childhood.
This is the letter I never wrote. The conversation we never had.
Everyone gets hurt ... it's a given ... but why did you cave in?
Why did you let anger and resentment ruin your life instead moving on? And why did you savage those who loved you.
You're gone, but I'm still shuffling around like the victim of a bomb - emotionally disfigured, a stranger to my family and the merest hint of love I treat like an unexploded device.
I used to be bitter, I still could be in truth, but I'm not, because I know now that it wasn't anybody's fault.
We fell prey to ways of coping that ultimately killed you and nearly did for me, but here I am, five years too late, forgiving us both for dealing with a desperate situation in a bad way.
It's time for me to let the resentment and anger go ... it serves no purpose and there is room in my heart for better things.
Like love, relief, happiness and knowing that you did your best."
An interview with the author
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm 37 years old; Aquarian; itinerant wanderer; adventurer; artist. I'm renovating a property in France at the moment. My previous jobs include artist, chef, teacher, builder, carpenter/boat fitter, deck hand, narrow boat skipper. I aspire to be a writer of successful radio, TV drama and comedy.
What is your story about?
It takes the form of an apology to my late mother who suffered terrible misfortune throughout her life. She passed away before we had the opportunity to put the memory of unhappy events behind us.
Why did you choose this particular story?
I read somewhere that you shouldn't chew on anything that chews you back.
What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
Meeting all the participants and the team. I'm especially grateful to Gilly - the story circle facilitator - for her remarkable support in dealing with a very emotionally draining subject.