A friend of mine, whose family of origin experience is frightfully similar, has just learned, second-hand, of her mother’s passing. Her mother, throughout her life, consistently NOT chose her… In a state of No Contact with her mother for most of her adult life, her mother’s will nominates her as the executor. Fortunately, the document states that a nominee may decline for any reason at all–which she has. The attorney, whom her mother selected, is intent on carrying out HER MOTHER’S WILL. It seems truly her mother’s will to manipulate and shame her daughter, even from the grave. The attorney asserted a moral obligation to serve as executor. WTF? You do not shame a person who has lost their mother, for the last time, into serving in this capacity. His job would be easier if she would accept. But it is not unreasonable to ask: “if I am not needed or wanted in her life, why am I needed upon her passing? Let someone she was close to handle her affairs and belongings with the love and respect they hold for her” For the record, my friend had been notified years ago of her removal from the will. Bittersweet, and a lie.
I often wake to scenarios of what deaths of people in my family of origin will call from me. Since memorial services are intended for mourners to celebrate, recall, and commune, it makes sense that I honor the purpose–hence: that gathering is not for me. I cannot contribute in those ways. To attend any gathering of those whom have elected to live as if I don’t exist, matter, count, belong —would, literally, be for what purpose? By going, who/what am I serving—the illusion that we were/are ______??? There is no WE, here.
People concerned with perception management may feel strongly that I MUST GO unless I am a complete asshole. BUT, Why? So, I can be retruamatized by heart breaking disconnection some more? So people can awkwardly tell me they are sorry for my loss or how wonderful the person who discarded me was? If I am not a part of your life, it makes no sense to be a part of your death. My showing up or not showing up is a reflection of only my experience and my responsibility to choose people, places, and things to which I belong and am connected by a higher and loving purpose.
Managing these scenarios with consideration for my sons, will be delicate. What lessons will they learn from my choice?? I will do nothing to place them in the midst of conflict and sickness, which has nothing to do with them. Their serenity and innocence top of the list of things to consider. Getting hugged or cried on by people with whom they have no real connection and who diminished and disposed of their mother is not appearing as a sane or wholesome choice. Maybe tomorrow it will look different. Good news is I don’t need to know today how I might handle tomorrow.
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