My blog reeks of regret and longing for the past: golden age thinking gone viral. My grandmother was one of the most significant people in my life; a second mother to me, and the only other human being whom I placed so much of my fragile trust. She died of cancer. I’ve never been the same. How does one let go and reveal themselves without shame?
You’re blessed to have had such a relationship with your grandmother. I never had such a close or comfortable relationship with mine, although there was a lot of love between us.
The only time you can reveal yourself without shame is if you’re not ashamed of who you are. Regret and longing for past events is often a defence to justify our unwillingness to look to the future optimistically. The cliched response in all this would be to ask you to think about how your grandmother would have wanted you to look at life and live it that way. But it’s rarely that easy.
I don’t think it’s a matter of letting go, but more a matter of acceptance. Accepting the good that you experienced and will always have with you from your relationship with her, and also accepting that if you were indeed shameful, or lacking, it would not have been possible for you to have such a relationship with her.
So rather than focusing on the loss, consider how much richer your outlook on life is compared to someone who never had the benefit of sharing such affection and wisdom with their grandparents. Reminiscing about the past is good as long as it keeps us grounded. The moment it becomes a means of burying our optimism for the future, then we’re using it as a crutch rather than a learning experience.
Take the beautiful experiences you had with your grandmother and use it to inform what you share with others. Remember, right now, you’re preparing to to become such a role model for the generation that follows you. If you’re going to be caught up in the past, you’ll grow old being bitter and lacking in any real experiences of your own to share with your children or grandchildren.
It’s not always easy, but it’s always important to remember what made the people we admire so much into the people that we know, or knew them to be. Would love to know which blog is yours. 🙂