Anne Lamott said that writing and reading decreases the feelings of isolation. I have found this to be true. Sometimes reading someone else’s words make you realize, “Hey I’m not so nutty after all!” Or if you are that nutty, at least someone else is right there with you, racing you to the finish line. It is because of this honesty in writing that I desire beyond anything else, to be truthful about what matters, to paint a picture of raw emotion, unfiltered thoughts and to display humanity for all to see. I do this in the hopes that someone will read it and say, “Oh thank God, I’m not the only one.”
This next bit of blog I have stood tipsy-like on the line, teetering between wanting to write it, feeling I should write it but also knowing that it has to be done with grace, a grace that quite honestly I am unsure I possess. The subject that intertwines itself with death, is about people who because of past situations or hurts, make the grieving process a bit harder for you. So you see this blog, is a delicate one indeed, but again as Anne Lamott said, If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better. I will attempt to give my truth with as much love and grace as I can.
A short story to get things going…..
There was a person, one who had shown my family great love through out the years. He helped support my family in a time when others bailed. He was a friend of my Dad’s and at one time a friend of my husbands and mine. Over time we found ourselves working closely professionally with this man. As business so often tends to do friendships, the kinship began to crumble. He began to talk nastily about my husband and I to our customers and in one account to my dad, putting him in a very terrible spot. What a horrible and confusing experience for everyone involved. So the relationship with this man diminished and long story short, he left the business. Since he was my dad’s friend, when my dad died, I called and told him and he was kosher over the phone. We decided to ask him to help seat people and help organize the last rights and salute with the Navy for Dad’s funeral, which He was happy to do and we were thankful for the help. I guess here is the rub, I was hoping that since a person we both loved had gone on, my father, his friend, we would be able to at least offer each other condolences at the funeral, not a water under the bridge scenario, but a human understanding of grieving. I tried to make contact , I reached out my hand for his arm, he not only ignored it but avoided us the entire time. He didn’t say one word or even try to say hello.
I tell you this, not to run this person in the ground, he has his good qualities and we tried to see eye to eye with him but couldn’t. Please don’t think I am taking the high road here, or that I am trying to make myself look good. In all honesty there have been days where all I could think about was the ruin of this man, I was so angry. There are still moments that I want to see him fail. I know it’s not right, I know this anger is something I will continue to fight . I also know I am not the only one to encounter this behavior at the death of a loved one. I write about this to approach a subject I have yet to find talked or written about, relational awkwardness or outright angst in some situations, at a funeral. You would think bygones are bygones when someone dies, that all bets are off and hey, can’t we just love one another, ya dig? But as it turns out, the oddest things come forth, our true nature and our humanity rears their heads, for better or for worse. Whether it is relational difficulties are petty arguments, we all fall victim to the things that aren’t the point. The point being the man we all love who now fits into an eloquently carved shoebox-sized wooden container.
So I write about it. Why? Maybe to get it off my mind and chest. It is a lonely feeling, isolating. As Anne Lamott said, we read so we don’t feel so isolated, perhaps I write for the same reason. As much as I write it to be read, I also write it because I NEED it to be read so I am not kept prisoner with it. The death of a loved one brings about all kinds of feelings that really have nothing to do with that person but because it relates somehow, even vaguely, it digs it’s knife a little deeper and then, it twists. I feel rotten for allowing these feelings and thoughts to be mixed up with the healing process of losing my dad. I think though, this might be a natural part of letting go, and we all have to at some point, let go. That doesn’t mean we forget, but it does mean we have control over what we will allow to influence our life, our anger or our willingness to let go which will allow us to move forward and walk in peace.
As everything goes, it all boils down to choice, what will I allow in my life? For now I’ll say,
|“It’s a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won’t go” Bertrand Russel|
Right now, I choose to move forward and Let go.
And I also choose to have one giant bowl of ice cream.