Letting Go, part I.February 7, 2011 at 8:51 am | Posted in Heartbreak | 9 Comments
In order to get out of this Stuck Place, I’ve been thinking a lot about pain and grief lately.
Mostly how I’ve approached loss over the course of my life.
Because, even 17 years after my cousin died, it still hurts my soul to think about the events leading up to her death. Because I didn’t even TRY to help, even with the letters and phone calls where it was obvious she needed my help.*
And with her death, I truly thought my link to that side of the family was gone.
Except then I started to call my aunt, and visit her in NJ. And then I started to make regular visits with she and my uncle on the Cape. And spent more and more time with Aunt Judy, and forged a NEW relationship, a different one, with the family.
It was never enough time, I’m realizing. But I thought I had all the time in the world to spend with them. I never thought she’d be gone so soon.
But now that she’s gone, I have to figure out how to create a new relationship with my uncle and cousins.
It’s exhausting to think about. Because I’m not OKAY with the idea that I won’t see Judy ever again.
I mean, really. I’m just BARELY okay with Amy being gone. And you know, being okay is really just a product of seventeen years of adjusting to the reality that she’s no longer alive – not any sort of active processing I put into place.
I just stuck all of my grief into a corner closet somewhere until it didn’t hurt as much.
So I’m realizing. I’m really bad at letting go. I do denial REALLY well. If I don’t talk with my uncle, I can pretend she’s not gone. I can see her name in my cell phone directory and think that I should call her instead. (I haven’t, even though I want to hear her voice. I just can’t – because I’m afraid maybe they’ve turned her service off and I’ll get someone else. That would be even worse than hearing her voice on the phone, I think.)
So there’s this part of me who is beating myself up for not being a better niece to my uncle. Because I love him and want to HELP. I should help. I should call him and visit and help him and show him I love him and be a part of HIS life.
But I can’t.
Because reaching out HURTS.
It means I have to let go and accept that she’s gone.
And I can’t.
*And yes, I KNOW that there was likely nothing I could do. I know that. But I didn’t even try. I didn’t reach out. Instead, I rolled my eyes and went to some frat party or something.
Knowing that I couldn’t have done anything does NOT abdicate me from the fact that I didn’t even try.