Before it’s too late

Have you ever regretted not asking your grandparents (or your parents) something before they passed away? It’s a tough opening question for a post, I know. But all you regulars should be used to it by now here.

I was reading a beautiful, poignant post by one of my favourite bloggers – Cate from I’ll Think Of A Title Later – and was particularly struck by a reply she made to a commenter.

“Why is it that when we’re finally interested, it’s often too late?”

It’s so true. I don’t know about you, but I know I take for granted my own father, nearing his 70th year – there are things I know I should probably ask… but I don’t know what to ask! It’s not a case of not knowing how, it’s more “what” for me.

But for many of us, relationships aren’t at that level that we feel we can ask.

 

What’s with that?

What would it really take?

 

We all know death is pretty damn final. When all is said and done, a life lived comes to the same end for everyone – we’ve all heard it said (or read), “We all come into this world and leave it exactly the same way.”

So with that in mind, if there is something you need to know – something that will help to complete you or heal you – why not seize the day? Your Soul will find the right words and the right way to ask what you need to of the person you need to ask. If your intention is genuine and correctly placed, you will be taken care of (as will the receiver of your question).

There’s just so much of this “I wish I had asked her/him but we didn’t talk about it, we weren’t allowed”, “Asking question would have caused too much pain”, “I was told never to bring it up” in families. Then the loved one is dead and gone before we know it. Even though sometimes, that loved one has been in our life for 20, 30, 40 years. We still manage to say “I never got to ask…”.

I know as children we learned this way. But we’re not children now. For the sake of our children, or ourselves… would we really let this misguided thinking keep us all in lock-down over things that, if given half the chance, could release a person from their own mental prison?

At this point, let’s not forget the recent Reader’s Story about the family that covered up the loss of their older brother and how that ended, due largely to the bravery and the need of his sister. You can read that story here. It is by no means a one-off. But what a fine illustration of the good that can come of connecting with our relatives before it’s too late to do it “easily”.

How do we really know bringing up a burning question/seeking help to connect the dots in our own personal lives will cause irreparable pain? It won’t. It really won’t. A wound needs air and care so it may then be cauterized.

One of the most memorable times I shared with my grandmother was the night of my beloved Granddad’s funeral. That night, back at her home, she opened up and told me all about the abuse she suffered as a small child at the hands of an older boy (the son of the foster family she had been shipped off to after she tragically lost her mother at the tender age of just 7). I realised then that her great protector, her husband Tom, had been all she needed to keep those memories at bay. Had she ever wanted to tell us before that point? I will never know.

But looking back on her final years, my grandma actually did a LOT of purging. I find that very healthy. For a woman who was generally a closed book, as well as never one for cuddles or any overtly lovey-stuff at all towards us as I grew up, she managed to get out all her very scary, decades-old secrets when the timing was right. Secrets that were kept hidden, out of the light. For good reason. And at the right time, she released them.  I can only thank her for her bravery in trusting her audience. I feel only incredibly lucky and privileged I learned from her what I did (and at the poignant times I did, in hindsight), for I would never have asked. You don’t “do” that.

Or …. do you?

Do we have the power to change how it goes in our families? I know we have the right. When it’s done with love.

 

And now, I will leave you with one final thought that’s as amusing as it is true and deep:

 

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’
who waved off the dessert cart.” 

― Erma Bombeck

 

 

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