When I think about the title of this post, Boys To Men’s song, It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye comes to mind. (You can listen to it here.)
Earlier this year, a cousin of mines had passed away. I didn’t found out until after they had a memorial service for him. He was missing for weeks before his body was found. Though I was over 14 years older than him, we know of each other, just not that well. And we weren’t raised up around each other either. Still, it is sad to know he had died the way he did. And he was so young.
This past Monday, another cousin of mines passed away. She was an elderly woman. I didn’t even know she was so sick and constantly hospitalized.
That side of the family, several of them, I don’t talk to because of what happened in my past because of them. So, though I had forgiven them for my own sake so I can heal and move on, I don’t have to go around them nor communicate.
When I was told this Monday evening about her passing, I was shocked, and I didn’t know how I feel about it. I still don’t.
When I was a teenager, my life was in chaos, and though I won’t go into details about all the things I was put through (and my siblings), I want to let known that it is difficult when someone who caused you great pain, turmoil, and abuse turned out to be sick for so long and then passed away. I always wanted to sit down and talk with her when I became an adult, but I also wanted to stay clear of her. She was the reason for a lot of things going wrong in my youth. I wanted to know why she took us in and was supposed to care for us but treated us the way she did. And allow others to do it too.
Like, on many occasions, no matter how many times my dad (who died back in 2003) fought hard for his children to get us back, she and other members lied and schemed and did what they could to keep him away or else. It was so devastating, and I grew up with hatred in my heart for EVERYthing that happened under her watch for not only to me but also to my siblings.
I just wanted to get that out of my system in words. Sometimes, you look for the good amidst the bad, but the bad is overcrowding the good. Things happened for reasons unknown at times, and it can be frustrating trying to find out the whys, what-ifs, and hows to a situation when you are a teenager going through life changes. And dealing with people who are mean and so…
Okay…I told myself not to get into these things, but as of now, I find myself taking my days as I usually would upon hearing about her death. That brush, or more like an ambush of memories, came and is slowly fading. A few years ago, I had to do a ritual to let go of the past. It’s okay to think about things sometimes, to look back at how far you have come, but it is not good to dwell on the things that are negative and toxic. I had learned to let go and work on my mental health and not associate myself with certain people. And to do better in life for me, but also for my child.
That ritual I did, I had written pages of everything and everyone who had done something to me, and what happened to me. I went back to when I was a little girl and stopped at the age I was when I started the ritual. It took me the entire weekend to write what had seemed to be eight pages. I poured out every emotion. All the hurt, pain, anger, you named it and wrote it all down. Every single thing and every person, I wrote it down. I ended it with myself for being hard on myself and putting myself down. For allowing myself to go through the things, I took myself through and allowing those things to happen that shouldn’t, and not allowing myself to speak up when needed. Finally, I walked somewhere and burned the pages and said, “I release everything and everyone that had ever treated me and done me wrong. Every bad, cruel, and evilness. I release them from my mind, heart, and spirit.”
With people, our past selves, and whatever else, can one truly say goodbye? Sometimes with some people, like my dad, it took over a decade for me to come to terms with his passing. And to realize he’s really not coming back, at least not in the flesh. So, I feel like a person can say goodbye to someone who had passed on, in their own time, because everyone is different. I supposed it also depends on the person’s relationship with the person who had passed on when they were alive. And also, whether or not it was on good terms if that person wants to say goodbye. Perhaps some people want closure.
My cousin who passed this week, I am not sure when that is, and as I mentioned above, I won’t go into the details but, I had to get that out of my system and write whatever else I may be feeling on a sheet of paper, or whenever that “feeling” may come and write it and burn it.
I don’t want to be numb.
The candles burning in the video is my way of virtually burning candles for someone who had a loved one who had passed away. Emotions are real, and so is grief. And I wish you nothing but strength, love, and healing.