Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Today, I'm talkin about....

Time waits for no one!

Today is April 6 and everyone who knows me well, knows that not only is tomorrow my birthday, but my little brother was buried today, 41 years ago. I have talked about my brother's death a lot because I was holding on to pain and sadness, of his loss. Holding on so much that I didn't realize how much the grief was holding me back from really living my life. 

I didn't let go of him and I mourned his loss by myself. Not that everyone in my family didn't grieve, it's just that we all did it separately. My parents didn't realize how much his death affected me. I think it's because I was only seven (who thinks a seven year-old would grieve), and they were trying to deal with their own pain and a way to keep living, without my little brother. Now that I'm older, with children of my own, I can't even imagine how hard it would be, to try to go on with life, after losing a child. But as a seven year-old, all I knew was that no one talked to me about how I felt, or even if I understood what had happened and why. 

 One day my grief hit a new level of hurt, a hurt that became a permanent fixture in my life. I came home from school and all of his toys, clothes and bedding, were gone from the room we shared. I didn't get to keep anything of his that reminded me of him. I couldn't look over at his bed and pretend he was there so we could talk when we were supposed to be sleeping. I felt like he was taken from me all over again and I blamed my mother. I couldn't blame my father because by that time he had left us. So my  mom was to blame for all my pain and that blame stayed with us for more than 30 years. 

It was easy to blame her, and I blamed my little sister too, who was seven months old. People were always saying that God blessed us with her because He knew He was going to take my brother back. My seven year-old mind resented her for being there and for taking his place. No matter how hard I prayed and asked God to take her back, it never happened. But blame and pain  came between us, and became a part of our family.

I'm not going to go into all of the drama that unfolded for over 30 years, just know that it was a lot. A lot of pain and anger and grief, and it tore my family apart. My point in writing this today is that holding on to all of that pain, anger and grief was unnecessary. Unnecessary because we should have been able to go through this hard time together, and then picked ourselves up and gone on with life. 

Holding on to all of that crap has only kept me away from the goals and the life I should have had. Yes, my story is sad, but a lot of people come from sad situations in life and yet they go on and are successful in life. My life was literally put on hold until I was able to accept that what had happened was awful, but that there was a lot more life to live and I wasted so much of my life with blame and anger. Blame and anger were my best friends, they were my family. I was holding myself back and it ruined any relationship that my mother and I could have had as mother and daughter. And the friends we were when we used to bake peanut butter cookies, while singing songs and pretending we were Diana Ross or Cher. These are memories my mother doesn't have anymore but I held on to them hoping that that relationship would come back. When we couldn't have that relationship back, we went on hurting each other because that was all that we knew.

Life goes on and you have to let go of pain, mistakes, grief, unhappiness. Time is not going to wait around for you to let go of whatever it is that's holding you back. Time goes on when you're sitting at home crying because you have no family to be with on a holiday. Time goes on when you're trying to medicate your pain and trick yourself in to believing that you're living. Time goes on even though your hurt is real. 

Forgiveness is the key. Forgiving yourself once you realize that you've held yourself back from so much. Forgiving your family who weren't there for you when you felt you needed them the most. Forgiving your friends who weren't there to hold you when they could see you were sad. 

We all have free-will! Free-will to wallow in pain, to sherk away from guilt, regognizing or not recognizing the mistakes that have been made. No matter what you choose to do, time is going to go on. You're going to live and you're going to get older until the day you die! Wouldn't it be better to live that life free of all those things that hold you back from the real life you're supposed to live? 

We all make mistakes, just learn from them and keep on going!!!

Peace and Love.

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