Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so good
No one could be, so gentle and so lovable
Oh, my pa-pa, he always understood.
And with a smile he’d change my tears to laughter
There are splinters in my heart now.
Shiny glass splinters that reflect what has passed and what is lost.
I know some of you think – shouldn’t you be over it all by now?
I guess I am not as strong as some of you.
Imagine if you will
That you have a family – parents,
Siblings, a spouse,
Children, perhaps grandchildren
It’s a family like any other family.
There is love, there are arguments.
There are joyous occasions,
There are trying circumstances.
All in all, a typical family.
And, further imagine, that one by one
They all disappear
Whether by death, distance, dementia, or choice
Everyone is gone.
So you have spent your life
Building and loving this family
And, poof, it is gone.
It has happened to a lot of us.
What do you do at that point?
When it is just you and an empty house?
How do you pretend that you are delirious with happiness?
How do you deal with parent shaming?
How do you contend with children who call you a narcissist because you are sad and lonely?
You’re too old too join a circus
Or have another family
So, what do you do?
Learn to knit and wear shapeless clothes?
Go polka dancing?
What if you don’t want to do any of those things?
Go for walks, go to the movies,
Go out to dinner, go to plays,
Museums, social get togethers?
All well and good
But what do you do at the end of the evening
When the heartbreak returns?
When the walls and rooms and memories in your home mock you?
See where you are now.
And you deserve it because you have been judged and convicted without even a trial of your peers.
How do these people feel justified in ripping your soul out?
Any parent who ridicules and shames their child and makes them feel like dirt
Are judged harshly, as well they should be
But what about the children who do this to their parents without justification?
What about the alternate realities they make up?
What about the lies and misconceptions they tell themselves and others until it is believed to be fact?
What is their motivation?
What is their gain?
What closes their hearts to irrevocably hurting people who love them so dearly?
You can never make peace with someone who will not see you or talk to you.
When all avenues of communication are closed to you.
You can’t work through anything when you can’t look them in the eyes and honestly admit your faults, as they admit theirs.
You can’t ask for or give reciprocal forgiveness without being allowed to speak to them.
You have no idea what to do because everything you have tried to do or say has been twisted into something bad.
If you inquire about how they are, you are accused of having ulterior motives.
If you don’t, you are accused of not caring.
If you try to contact them because of something important and can’t reach them, you are accused of not trying hard enough.
If you do manage to contact them, you are accused of intruding into their lives.
In short, you can not win for losing.
They have effectively murdered you out of their lives and they stand together in
righteousness touting how wonderful they all are to do this.
How does it feel to be murdered while still alive? I think you can only imagine part of it.
I don’t believe that anyone who hasn’t lived this can possibly understand it.
The natural inclination is that we must have been monsters to our children.
So how do you rectify that in your mind?
When all those years you felt nothing but love for your children and did everything you could to teach them and care for them and be their biggest fan and support them and then you are told
That’s not the right way to love.
I wish I knew the secret of these adult children, who will no doubt raise their children perfectly with nary a mistake, even while teaching them that hating you is a good thing.
I have no anger anymore. I have remorse, sorrow, and a never-ending physical pain in my heart.
You don’t have to remind me of the old, but recurring adage – you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends.
And let’s not forget that you didn’t ask to be born.
Let me ask you, did we ask to be born?
Did we deserve our screwed up parents?
Did they deserve their screwed up parents?
If you spend your life recounting that everything wrong in your life is traceable back to your parents, how far back are you willing to take this?
How many generations of imperfect parents raised children?
Until you guys, there have been no perfect parents.
If you concede that, perhaps you will see that you aren’t perfect either.
Why will you not afford your parents the same leniency you afford yourself?
I am truly curious.