Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Journey toward Forgiveness

It was 11:30am when I got the call. 

I was snuggled up with my coffee and the paper foolishly thinking that I had a moment to relax, when my mom called in need.

"Your grandfather is in the hospital.  It appears as though he's had a heart attack.  I know how busy you are with the kids.  I've called your sister...maybe you could call your brother and your other sister...I'm just."  I could tell, this wasn't easy.  I needed to be with her.

My grandfather is my last surviving grandparent and he and I have not had the easiest of relationships.  I've not been extraordinarily close to him, but I knew that going to the hospital and being with my mother was important and so, I went.

I didn't know what to expect when I arrived, I just knew that I needed to be strong.  What I saw was a 90-year old man who was weak and tired.  We spent hours together...some of it talking about his prognosis...congestive heart failure...some of it talking about his professional career, his military stint in WWI and his family.  I cried.  I laughed. I remembered. And, I knew in that moment, that this will be probably be some of the last memories created together.

I find it ironic that my graduate degree is in Conflict Resolution.  I've always been good with other people's differences, but not so good with my own.  The ability to forgive another especially when they've wounded you indelibly is not an easy thing.  But forgiveness is really the ultimate gift for the wounded because it restores trust, peace and a sense of love.  That gift isn't given by another, it's something that we give to ourselves.

And so, as I sat there with him, I knew that room was exactly where I was supposed to be.  Even if it was hard, even if it wasn't my plan for the marked the beginning of my journey toward forgiveness, as it was marking the end of his life.


  1. I'm trying desperately to write something here, and am having such a hard time articulating it. There's someone in my life that I may have a similar experience with someday... and I'm dreading the finality of it. And the finality of living my life without the wound anymore. Forgiveness requires a certain amount of bravery I don't feel I possess at this point. I'm proud of your bravery, friend.

  2. Hi there, friend...Thank you so much for your kind words. I don't feel courageous, I actually just feel lighter. When and if the time comes for you, just know that it's not as hard as it appears in your least, that was my experience. Hugs to you!


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