Saturday, June 12, 2010

Caring is about Them

It's been 5 days since Skip passed away.

I was talking to Mom yesterday afternoon when she got distracted. "There's the school bus going by," she murmured. "I guess life goes on whether you want it to or not." I agreed and made a little joke just to lighten her mood, and before long she was chuckling over some other thing.

I spoke to her this morning too, to see how she passed the night. At one point she talked about how she handled things when Dad passed away in 1993, how she was hurting so much but she couldn't let us see how much because we were missing him too. She didn't allow herself to cry in front of us, but rather when she was alone and it wouldn't upset us.

It dawned on me this morning after we spoke, that while it hurts to lose someone we love, others are suffering just as much, perhaps more. And when I talk to them, my grief doesn't matter to them as much as their own does. It's a rather obvious thing of course. And I did tell Mom that she was allowed to grieve, had just as much right to grieve as we did. I used to be bothered by her crying (the cardinal rule in our house was, "Whatever you do, DON'T make Mom cry...") but there came a time when I realized what the tears were, for her. They were like a pressure relief valve that allowed her to bear up under the weight of something that otherwise would be too much for her to handle.

So when she cries in front of me, and almost immediately apologizes, I tell her that it's allowed, that she has every right. We're human. We were created with emotions and they serve a purpose, fleeting though they are. They were intended as a vehicle to bring us before God who is a friend who sticks closer...than a brother.

I sure wish Skip was here in the flesh right now so I could talk to him, but I don't think he does. I think he's enjoying himself way too much to want to return to this existence.

I remember saying to my honey this morning that as I meditated on our eternal nature, the words of Yoda (as he pinched his forearm with his bony fingers) came to me once more: "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." My hubby reminded me that Skip loved the original Star Wars trilogy, believed it to be highly spiritual, with lessons to teach us about how to live, how to believe. That's one area on which we saw eye to eye.

I can't do a whole lot of things. I can't change circumstances, my personality, or other people. I can't make people stop doing this or that, or start doing something else. I don't even have control over whether or not I take the next breath. Why would I fret, then, about the future? Why would I let the past rob the present of whatever enjoyment there is in the moment?

No, there's not a whole lot I can do. But with the enabling of God's Spirit, I can let people be who they are, and love them just that way. I can care about them, let them feel safe enough to be themselves by being myself and not being afraid of strong emotions: theirs OR mine. I can (though it is hard for me because I want to fix things - which ALWAYS backfires) let them learn from their own mistakes and bear the consequences of their own decisions. I can relate to them as equals, not as their superior, not as their inferior, but on the same playing field called humanity.

In August, Mom will be turning 80. I should call Sandy this week, perhaps next week, and get started on planning her surprise party. It'll be good for her to focus again (as usual) on someone else. I could learn a thing or two from her.

No comments:

Post a Comment