“It’s so hard”, the father shook his head, ” to let go of a beloved child”. “He’s grown up now and we don’t seem to matter as much as my wife and I did, when he was younger.” We’re all faced with letting go at some time in our lives.
We let go of loved ones who have passed on, we let go of children on the threshold of independence, we let go of someone with whom we have a short or long relationship, someone close, who makes us feel warm, wanted, valued, needed…someone we had fun with in a whirlwind romance…but ultimately we have to let go. It happens more than once to each one of us, as we get older.
It was a time in my life when choices had to be made. A time of pain. It’s hard letting go of someone you feel or think you could live with forever. A time, when things have to be weighed up and evaluated. It wasn’t just the person who mattered so much, it was the expectations, implications and consequences of letting him into my life. On long and deep reflection – we are so different. We make different choices. There would be conflicts of interests, principles and the psychology of how each of us operates and what we expect of the other. Yet, how do you tell someone whom you would like so much to be with that it won’t work out? Perhaps, letting go was the best thing to do. I decided to let it die a ‘natural death’. Perhaps, he would forget me. An excruciatingly painful thought but may be better for both of us.
He would be free to fly, to his aspirations and ambitions for the greater good of the world; and I would fly to my quiet and peaceful way to meet the challenges of my life. It is a challenge forgetting those heady, rose-colored days. I remind myself that we’re both getting older and it was so long ago, it’s become a dream, an old memory. Life must go on.
I’ve faced bereavement more than once. The earliest was the death of a close school friend who died in a traffic accident at 22. Several years later, that of my beloved grandma. A very sweet and feisty little old lady snatched away by age and Alzheimer’s. Within the same year, my beloved husband succumbed to cancer, my uncle and another cousin of ours. It was a year of having to let go of our loved ones. Some unexpectedly.
Letting go changes life, we have to get used to it. My father left us for heaven’s meadows 4 years ago. My life is now changed, I still feel thrown out of orbit. It hasn’t made sense for a long time. I lost focus, I stopped writing. I’m now a care-giver for his aged widow, my mother. I can’t figure her out, she makes no sense to me. I wasn’t her favorite child. It seems the same for her, I’m the odd child who wasn’t expected to make much of myself.
I felt trapped when I was young. Longing to give expression to life’s exuberance felt then, but was put into the strait jacket of old fashioned “obedience”, having silence imposed as a result of being a good, obedient child. Being different was frowned on by the adults who expected their word to be law. Their aims and motives to take priority over the dreams of children. They chartered our lives, they presumed to know what was best for their children without question.
I need to forgive them, to let go of those nightmares that haunted my childhood. I must let go with compassion and forgiveness, for what they thought was right. They did their best and succeeded in making most of the family a success, as they saw and intended it to be.
Can freedom be found in this circumstantial captivity, through acceptance of it? I am ME, not anyone else…