On Loss

I went to a gathering in honor of my maternal grandmother who recently passed away.  I listened to her other grandchildren speak about their loving relationships with her. I felt genuinely happy for them that they had basked in her love, and glad for her that she had people to love, and who loved her back, even after the the alienation that occurred between us when I was a child.

I was so grateful I had reconnected with her in recent years, and also happy to spend some time on this day with other family members who had been torn from my life. They each have their own story of pain and loss and I have the desire to know their stories more deeply.  I don’t know if I will get that chance, but my heart is open to it.

And on the way home I was stung by pangs of grief; the loss of a loving grandmother (and grandfather, and mother and aunts and an uncle…); an inexcusable, senseless loss that changed the trajectory of so many lives, mine included.

Back in my day to day life, I continue editing my memoir, and although I had been struggling to keep thoughts of more loss at bay, I’ve finally decided it is time to face them head on.  The reality is, my book, my essays, the writing of my story will surely lead to more loss.

It is only a matter of time now that my father, the alienating parent, as well as my stepmother and sisters, will likely reject me for exposing my truth. I am fully and painfully aware that my memoir is my father’s worst nightmare, and by extension, theirs too.

But I keep coming back to this:  a love and acceptance that is contingent upon silence, pretending, or denial, in order to keep the status quo, to cloak the dysfunction in its warm, cozy blanket of distorted reality and calculated excuses, is a love and acceptance I am willing to lose.

I cannot choose based upon fear of loss, or fear of wrath. I’ve played that gig already, thank you. The cost is too great.

 

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5 thoughts on “On Loss

  1. Does your mother follow your blog? I was just curious…I often wonder if she knows of the wonderful work you have been doing for alienated parents, children/ in her honor? I’d love to know her reaction-because I am an alienated mother as well. I am your mother-obviously not literally, but I often wonder what my reaction would be if my own child grew to understand this ugly thing for what it truly is. So often people try and console me with statements like “Your son is going to know the truth one day” or ” He is going to know all that you went through to be with him know you never stopped loving him”
    I have mixed emotions about this because I know he will mourn. I never want my son to be in pain and I know the truth is going to cause a feeling of loss- I know he feels it now, but right now he is being conditioned to believe I had the choice to leave or that something must be wrong w me.. But one day.. Just maybe he learn the truth…The loss is so great, but to realize that the loss was caused by a person (parent) you trusted and loved and believed will be soul crushing. I want him to understand and yet I want to protect him too.

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    1. Your words “.. he is being conditioned to believe I had the choice to leave or that something must be wrong w me.. ” ring so true for me. This is what I experienced as a child. And it is clear that you love your child if you are unselfishly concerned for the pain he would know in finding out he was manipulated by his other parent. I believe it is soul crushing to NOT know the truth. I believe the truth is always best, even if painful. It is painful to lose a parent (who is alive) and to be conditioned to believe something in your mind that your spirit knows is false. My mother knows I am writing a memoir. I am not sure if she knows about this blog though and I don’t think she has ever seen it. She currently is not using email, so I assume no blog reading either. The topic is so painful for her, that I only bring it up in very small doses. My sister has not reached out (and possibly never will), so that adds a whole level of continual pain, even as my mother and I are in touch. I hope your son rediscovers his mother’s love. He is missing out as well.

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  2. I too am an erased Mother. I have 4 children
    And I have done everything available to me to
    Counter the lies and treachery that have been perpetrated by my ex husband. I have found my oldest son ( and told him in a very direct but gentle way that we will never get these years back. It has been a decade since we have really spoken. I too know that they will mourn this senseless loss and have done everything to deter more time passing through our fingers like water. It is the most difficult daily exercise in faith.
    I want to encourage you to write with boldness-
    I am writing as well and know that courage begets courage. It’s like wind that fans a flame into a roaring fire. As we each tell our stories
    The truth will prevail. People will hear. Tha light will seep into the dark places and
    Pour brilliant luminescence on untruths –
    We must never be motivated by fear.
    Always choose to move towards the truth.
    Pain is healed as we press on.
    And somehow new pain seems to have less of a hold.
    Healing is incremental but steady.
    I sent your memoir to my daughter.
    Thank you for your transparency.
    When you come to mind please know I will pray for you!

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    1. A belated thank you for your thoughtful words. I truly appreciate them. Despite the terrible situation you are in, you sound healthy in mind and spirit and this will help your children and yourself. I am wondering if your daughter ended up reading my memoir/blog that you sent to her. Thank you again for the reminder to be brave, bold and truthful.

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