Friday, March 23, 2012

Mixed up about death

"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones."  -Shakespeare

My grandmother died sometime on Wednesday, and I don't know how to feel.  Our relationship wasn't close for a variety of reasons, and the relationship between her and my mother was strained at best.  I'm sitting here struggling to understand, to be patient, to identify what, exactly, I feel.

What strikes me most at this moment is the knowledge that I was let go from her hurt decades ago by virtue of being too different, like my mother, but more extreme. I sought learning and understanding and compassion and justice, not only for myself, but for trees, animals, people I don't know, my mother.  The complexity of my family's rather sordid history cannot be untangles and understood, because several of the key players will never admit to knowing what they knew or having done what they did.  The pain and anger felt by my mother will not ever be addressed now.

I think all I can do, right now, is say good-bye to a person who was human and flawed, who never loved me as I loved her, who never once tried to understand me or my mother, and then, I need to let go of all of it.  I choose to stop letting the past anger or hurt me. I choose to look forward to not recreating these patterns of behavior.  I choose to not regret or fear or indulge in blame.  I may always wonder about the choices my grandmother made, but I don't have to let the fire of anger dwell here.

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