Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Endings and Beginnings -- Part 2

As I said in my previous post, my grandmother's death was more painful than I expected. She was a vital woman, in the best sense of that word. She loved life, lived her life with an enthusiastic YES! at almost every opportunity and challenge. She lived a long life as well. She died leaving a large family who loved her. Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren were at her funeral and her life was celebrated as well as mourned.

I decided to miss the visitation the night before the funeral so I could stay in Austin to be with our son who was leaving shortly to fly back to San Francisco. It wasn't an easy decision, but I thought if I could have asked her what she would want, I think she would have said, "Celebrate the living before mourning the dead." So that is what I did.

I also asked my oldest daughter, Amber if she would help me do something. I was a bit embarrassed asking, because it might seem weird what I wanted to do, but I am not going to let hesitation stop me any longer from doing what seems true for me. I needed to find some way to let go of my past. I had done all sort of intellectual work on my childhood. All sorts of psychological work and mental acrobatics to try and understand on my own why people had behaved how they behaved. And yet, there was still a sad curiosity I have never been able to shake. A feeling like I was holding out my empty hands asking for more but never receiving anything of weight.

I think that maybe this was because I have always tried to find a way to explain away their actions. To rationalize it. To justify it. But the bottom, the base reality I never acknowledged at a deep level was that I felt wronged and betrayed by the people I trusted the most. I needed to acknowledge that part of me was angry and hurt and that it was wrong what had been done to six year old me. Then I needed to find a way to really forgive it (since you can't forgive what you don't acknowledge) and then finally, hopefully, move on.

1 comment:

Pelagian Poet said...

It was way wrong. It was a big betrayal. And you deserved more. I hope you were able to express those feelings in an authentic way, honey. The wreath--in the next posting, I read backwards--is absolutely beautiful.