How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes
It’s been a rather long couple of days, and I suppose the situation has me feeling a little more introspective than usual. I don’t like to put a whole lot of thought into how I’m feeling at any given moment. If you have to think about it, it usually means that something’s not right. I’m not what anyone could consider or label a ‘Touchy Feely’ kind of person, and I’m definitely not a ‘Suzy Fucking Sunshine’ type of person either. Yeah, I’m one of those people who others want to tell to smile.
Anyway, I’ve been estranged from my grandmother for a number of years, I don’t really need to go into details here with the ‘why’s and how’s’ that’s just how it is. I found out a month ago that she was dying of cancer. Her health has declined rather rapidly from the time that we found out she was sick til now, and a constant argument or struggle within the family has been their need for me to speak to her. This was something that I was not ready to do, as I’d made a vow, years ago stating that I didn’t have anything left to say to her.
Maybe that makes me cold, maybe I’m a defective model. I don’t know, but I wasn’t ready to go back on my word, regardless of if she was sick or not.
I stuck to my guns. It’s not that I was trying to stay cold, or emotionless. Yeah, she’s my grandmother, yes we used to have a pretty good relationship, but we haven’t spoken for YEARS. As it was, even in the last few years that we had had some contact, it wasn’t the good, warm fuzzy kind. So, maybe I was still holding onto some resentments, maybe I was holding on to past hurts, heartaches and wrongs. Maybe a lot of things, but, those who know me know I’m stubborn, and I’m a stick to your guns kind of person. Stubborn to a fault.
In the last few days, the rapid decline of her health steadily increased. A few nights ago my sister called to tell me just how bad the situation was and she pleaded with me to call our Mother in WA, and talk to my Grandmother, who at this point was unresponsive, and in a semi-comatose state. Yeah, I suppose you could say that my sister guilted me into finally calling.
I called, I spoke to my mother, and she took the phone into my grandmother’s room, and I talked to her, and said what I had to say. Yes, I was nice about it. No, I really don’t need to post what I said to her. I’m not sure if at this point I’d forgiven or not, only that I’d fulfilled a family obligation by doing what everyone had asked me to do.
Today I called to see if there had been any change, and surprise, Grandma is awake. Now she’s still struggling to breathe, she can’t speak, we’re not sure what it is that is keeping her here. Perhaps that stubborn streak runs in the family.
My mom tell’s me that I should talk to her again, that she doesn’t remember that I’d called before. So, I talked to her again. Let’s say that it was an unsettling experience.
I’m not sure how I feel at this point. I realized that I’m not really MAD at her anymore, and perhaps I’ve started to forgive her for some of the things that went wrong, time will tell I suppose. I don’t feel guilty about sticking to my word about not speaking to her until now, perhaps it’s terrible that I feel that way, then again maybe I’m a terrible person.
I don’t think that I’m very upset that she’s going to pass, I know that she’s in a lot of pain, I don’t like that she has to suffer. I don’t like the fact that we had to come to a point where we were estranged, but, shit happens. I don’t know if I’m completely over the past, only that I’m trying to move forward, and let go of the resentments that came with it, and I’m hoping that she can let go of her earthly ties before she suffers much more. (As I pointed out earlier, there is a chance that I am emotionally defective.)
I extended the invitation to her soul to come and visit from the other side. If she has any desire to work though our issues from there, maybe it’s something that can be done. (See above for mental defect explanation)
I’m still not sure how I feel at this point, I suppose that I’m in some sort of emotional limbo, in the middle forgiving and letting go. I know I’m sorry for the situation, for the estrangement, for the circumstances, for her illness. No one deserves to have that kind of physical pain, or the mental anxiety of being afraid to let go, of not being able to speak, or breathe.
I know that she’s in a place of fear right now. Fear about so many things, of what happens next, of letting go, fear brought on by lack of faith. I don’t know if there’s any comfort for her at this point, that her stubborn ass granddaughter finally gave in and called her. Again, I suppose if there’s more there, she knows where to find me. If she decides that it wasn’t enough, she’s welcome to haunt me, though I do hope she springs for the poltergeist option and isn’t a boring kind of ghost. (It’s a joke people, come on.)
I don’t think it’s a mortality thing that’s getting to me, I think it’s more of one of those empathic episodes, that just hit a little too hard and leave you upside down and backwards. I do want to comfort her, I do wish I could help, of course there is the distinct possibility that I was wrong, and that I held onto old shit for too long and it’s just too little too late. Again, I suppose we’ll find that one out sooner or later as well.
I’ve rambled on and on long enough for this one. Suppose it’s time to bring it to a close.