It is a type of existential death for alienated parents to realise that their adult alienated children, especially in their 30’s, may well be the person they will remain for the rest of their lives, immune from any beneficent influence from them. “Letting go” is especially poignant for these parents because a limited type of relationship may still be available however much it is a shadow of what might have been possible. Yet, continuing in such a relationship simply confronts targeted- alienated parents with the reality that the only possibility of change now rests with shifting responsibility and choice back to their children, making their children reflect upon their emotional choices to reject them.
And so now we understand the nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty. Once broken relationships can never be returned to the pre-broken state. Something new cannot be born until something old dies. And sometimes what is broken is broken, the pieces do not reform into anything we recognise nor into something that has a potential for the future.