POD #7: Handling Unfinished Business
Here’s the prompt:
Who comes to mind when I think of unresolved grief, hurt, or pain?
To whom do I need to apologize?
With whom do I need to talk over conflict and seek some form of resolution?
To whom do I need to send thanks?
What are the conclusions I’ve made about myself that relate to these situations?
Source: If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path, by Charlotte Kasl.
When I think of unresolved, I immediately think of my grandmother. She lives just down the road, yet I have not seen her in over twenty years and have not had contact with her for about eighteen years. Despite that, her picture sets on the top of my china cabinet displayed in my living room.
Shortly before my father died, I had very angry words with my grandmother. Specifically I yelled at her “I have to sit her and watch my father die, I will be damned if I watch you kill me mother too.”
Of course my father had gotten angry with me over my words. She was his mom. I wrote him a heartfelt letter apologizing and letting him know I was just trying to protect my mom, who was also struggling with my father’s illness. I had convinced my mom to let hospice in, my grandmother had placed a guilt trip on her. My grandmother was making “renovations” to my parents home that impacted everyone who visited.
I was twenty years old, watching my father slowly fade as cancer spread throughout his body. The radiation failed and he was dying. Of course my heart was broken. I was angry. I was frustrated. I was filled with pain. I just lashed out without thinking.
My grandmother refused my apology. When I called a month after my father’s death to let her know of her great-granddaughter’s birth – she said “ok” and hung up on me. For the next two years I would send short letters letting her know I loved and missed her with pictures of my children and family. One day I got the letter back with a note telling me to stop harassing her.
Eventually I had to come to terms with her being unwilling to reconcile with me. I did everything in my power to make things right with her. I have continued to pray for her through the years and for restoration and reconciliation. She is after all my grandmother and she was an important part of my father’s life and my life growing up.
Two weeks ago, I decided to send her pictures again. She has five great-great-grandchildren. I sent my four grandchildren’s pictures. I also sent her pictures of all her great-grandchildren that were taken the day of my mother’s funeral. And a family picture of my crew taken at my son’s wedding. Last Sunday I finally got around to printing and sending the pictures with a card that I was thinking of her.
Even as I typed this, my husband handed me the mail with a letter from her. I admit I was hesitant to open it. My heart paused afraid of what I might read. The note is short. She would like to meet. She is not doing well physically. She included her number.
I am thankful to God for having me step out once more for reconciliation. At ninety-two years old, I really don’t have much time to reach out in love to her. It’s an open door. It is up to me to step through it. I don’t like unfinished business.
This post is prompted by Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders.