It’s been a rough go for some members of my family lately.
My sister is facing some health issues. I have a young cousin who was visiting from Minnesota and caught double pneumonia, was medically sedated for a couple weeks and we are blessed to see her coming around again. Visiting with her Tuesday night, she seemed like her normal playful self again.
Another cousin my age also caught pneumonia and has congestive heart failure. We believe she will be ok too but she definitely needs to make some lifestyle changes that we hope she adheres to.
While visiting both cousins who are at the same hospital, I learned yet another cousin’s father died over the weekend. I am not terribly close to this cousin and I never even met his father. But what came rushing back to me when I heard the news after the initial feelings of, “I’m sorry to hear that.” was the memory of this cousin’s words after my own father died a little over 10 years ago.
When my dad passed on, this cousin said that he would not go to the funeral because, “I don’t want to go somewhere and hear a bunch of lies.” – for those who may not be clear, he felt that it would be one of those funerals where everyone said great things about a terrible guy.
Well for one, my dad definitely had his faults as we all do but he was not a terrible guy. Second, he was a minister and as such we didn’t even have a typical funeral that spent all of the service talking about how great he was. To the contrary we celebrated his life and talked about his faith and how he had it when it counted most upon making the decision to have the heart surgery that would bring on his demise a week later.
This same cousin lost his mother to a horrible bout with lung cancer. We all stuck together and supported he and his brother as well as my mom and other aunt. When my turn came to grieve, he basically spit on my father’s memory and said some things I wonder if I will ever forget.
Now here is the thing. It’s not like I think about this every day. I can’t remember the last time I did think of it until I heard the news of his father. I have seen the guy a few times since and most of the time it still didn’t cross my mind. But the other night it did. It stung again and I was resentful. I wonder if I will ever let it go, since I didn’t know it was still there to begin with.
I’m not interested in holding this thing in my heart. Perhaps I never really dealt with it. Perhaps it’s my way of protecting myself by not allowing this person to be close to me and take a chance that he would say or do something else that would violate my confidence. I don’t know. I wish I did.
In spite of my ill feelings, I will call him to offer him my support.
I guess the best thing for me is knowing that the hurt was still there. And I will have a chance to explore myself and resolve it.
People say dumb stuff all the time. Sometimes they even wish they didn’t say it. Unless he’s totally insensitive he probably wishes he had chosen his words better. Blame it on his head and not his heart.