As always, the 3rd is for hate

I hear you there in the dark spaces, screaming of what you would do if let out of the carefully compartmentalized corners I have placed you in. You raged loose at the world threatening that if you could not have all things beautiful than no one could, oh the hateful things I have heard you whisper for hours upon  days as l forced you away from those that you might hurt with your bile and fury and self-immolation the anti-phoenix consuming yourself in a thing of horror; perpetual death.

Every year, the hate/grief surges forward. Logic and culture dictate that you should be resolved, completed, distastefully acknowledged and then swept away.  “Move on, just move on”, is the well-intentioned mantra. “Forgive and Forget.”

Forget? If I could but disentangle all the living horror wrapped around the pure memories of love/grief I would. I would swallow bottles of pills and undergo surgery if I could forget.

Forgive? FORGIVE? Forgive the self-centric and narcissistic? Forgive the incompetent and idiots? The blind-siding hatemongers?

  • student doctors, so proud that they can rhyme off 9 possible reasons why there are white smudges on the xrays, but can’t look at a medication chart to properly adjust a bowel management program;
  • screaming nurse yelling at a heavily sedated dying man, that he can’t talk to her like that, because she called his husband a fag;
  • ‘friends’ who shopped for a suitable knick-knack, while visiting both before and after death, claiming that they had given it to him, so they should get it back, including gifts that he and I had given each other;
  • RBC – the bank from hell that drained as much as they could from his account before I finally needed a lawyer to pit the CRA against them to do what should have been done in the first place.  Not to mention that the money in the account was actually mine, since that was the account we paid bill out of so I just topped it up.  That didn’t piss me off as much as keeping from being able to mourn properly with everyone else at the same time, so I could close off the estate;
  • Ashes. His brother screaming for the ashes before the cremation has taken place. Nagging, hounding, even after I said not until spring, and then bitching about his lost work time that he was holding. Telling me how I was hurting his father.  What a rotten person I was. Then when I send the overflow ashes to his dad, AS PER HIS REQUEST, it still wasn’t good enough, because he wanted it planned so he could be thered.
  • The sister-in-law who spent most of her last visit with us bitching about being a PSW and how she hated working with sick people. We were talking about the bad PSW we had in to help Jaymz, and had to get rid off. Then she hugged him tight, after we told them to barely touch him, as the cancer was in his bones and in the back. He started to cry from the pain, and she thought it grief, so she squeezed him harder and rubbed his back until I yelled at her.  But I was the asshole.
  • Shamma. Mother of his godson and did not even call for almost a year, after he told his godson he couldn’t cut hair anymore. Then she tries to come down the day I was forced to place him. Then she played nice-nice at a luncheon, until he went to the bathroom, and tried to read my beads for keeping her from him, as this was “her time” to spend with her son’s godfather.  Then she tried to show up the day he died and put pictures of her and her child up in my house.
  • Susie mother-fucking Goulding.  You righteous bitch. Bursting into tears at your last haircut, not being able to take the pain of knowing Jaymz had cancer.  Carrying on to the point that I simply had to leave as it was easier for he and I. Arriving at the palliative ward, demanding entrance.  I asked her kindly to wait so I could get an update from the doctor, see how Jaymz was, and then maybe have her up.  (She had driven in after being told not to come until she had spoken with me, but she called from her car when she was almost in the city.)She was already calling up to the room to speak to the doctor, as I was riding up the elevator. With all the commotion, I missed speaking to the doctor myself that last night. Knowing his wishes that if he was ever unconcious that he didn’t want people to see him, I went down and tried gently to say “no, he’s in a coma. No, don’t go up.”  Then so angered I could deny her access to her BEST FRIEND, she handed me the receipts for all the gifts she had brought.  And I didn’t punch her out when I handed it back and said “get yourself a refund”.  Then still not respecting anything, called for an update, found out he was dead, and called and left a cheery message that she would give us her staff discount at her flower shop for funeral arrangements.  Sweetie, darling… all his friends knew there was no funeral.  None of them had heard of you before.  You were a client. Your only redeeming feature was that you had a baby, and he wanted to hold a baby before he died.  The sound of your name still brings me to full rage.
  • I hated the consoling nurse who tried to shush me as I wailed hanging on to his cooling hand, as I tried to feel any sign of life beneath the crisp linen.
  • I hated the funeral home for neatly combing his hair into a part, and for lying him in the chapel with comforting music.

And cancer.  I fucking hate cancer.  I hate that I did my best and it simply wasn’t good enough; I hate there was no miracle drug or standard treatment worth taking; I hated that it took my love away quicker than I had found him.


Futile Forgiveness & the Death of Hope

When it comes to emotion, I’m usually all in:  I laugh loud; love hard; and bring the phrase “seething with rage” to a comparison of the sun’s surface being a nice place to get a tan.

I come by the last trait honestly, and probably genetically.

My mother is a redhead, and like all stereotypical redheads has flash fire anger that comes out and is over, with the occasional spew of lava.  The trick was to be out of arm’s reach, or to be able to try and redirect the bull with a flick of the cape to a convenient sibling.

Father on the other hand has a long fuse:  it takes a LOT to get him angry; however, when that fuse hits, he becomes a cold fusion reactor.  His eyes seem to change color, and by some Jedi mind trick, he could mentally lock you in place; then move simultaneously in slow motion, yet instantaneously traverse from his location to yours, and fill your personal space with the totality of his quietly, raging presence.  It wasn’t that he would hit – though I remember each rare swat from him in detail – it was the  PROMISE of SOMETHING vague but unpleasant that would happen, up to and including the elimination of your entire existence in the universe, down to the last teddy bear.

Lucky me has both types of temper.

Anger can be a good thing, giving you a quick burst to try and move past a situation; some survival skill, to give rage/strength to climb obstacles and kill sabertooth tigers and shit.  The problem is, when you can’t release it properly, it ends up getting banked down:  embers and coals hidden beneath ash.

There are those landmark moments, the epiphanies from God; from your spirit; your higher power – whatever you call it.  Most people hear them during a halcyon moment of calm and peace, perhaps having a coffee alone on the dock while at the cottage, or holding a newborn, or after kissing The Right Person.  There is sudden clarity of thought, and an inspiration of purpose, making life all together right again.

In addition to my parents’ anger, I’ve got a third setting that a lot of people in my life have sensed, but few have witnessed:  righteous fury.  It’s a major driving force that allows me to do my work day in and day out: the ability be so angry about an unjust situation, that I will try to simply melt through obstacles & traps that are causing others to gnaw their own limbs off, or lie down and die over.

It’s the cold polite rage I can use on an incompetent professional from another agency, because I know how the system works, and can use this ability to imply “if you don’t fucking cut my client some slack, I will not only bump this up to your supervisor, I will make it my personal vendetta to have your ass fired, and if you are a unionized entitled prick, I will ensure that the union steward knows that you are the type of entitled prick that the public absolutely hates, and gives the face of unions a bad rap and lack of sympathy, because FUCK YOU you won’t stop filing your goddamn nails long enough to type in the case number, and realize that a dying person is showing up on your screen, and I will make you suffer because of it” while still being recorded for quality assurances purposes as having been politely professional.  It’s a gift.

A moment of that level anger has been applied only once within: a self-cleaning oven turned on for the first time, to clear away then 35 years of build-up.

Like a reversed rainbow through the prism, all the different excuses I had told myself and false hopes I had had were suddenly turned to the pure light of truth, and I could hear the voice of clarity for myself.  The voice whispered, “This is wrong, and it will never change.  It’s DONE.”

My mother crossed The Line when she told me after Jaymz died that he was in hell, by virtue of him in being gay.  Well, she didn’t say it:  GOD said it…it’s written down…she was just passing the message along.

My mother – the person who is supposed to love you unconditionally – cast her stone, in the name of her god against my dead mate – the only person I instinctively knew did love me unconditionally – and in doing so, let me know that there was absolutely no use in trying ever to reconcile who I am, with her world view.

I have wasted so much time in worry; I have wasted potential family relationships, by avoiding my own; and I have wasted energy on a false hope that one day that there would be this beautiful made for TV special reconciliation.  Stupid me, what was I thinking?

I have forgiven, and forgiven, and forgiven…but I have not been able to forget in the past, and that last time I never will let go of.  And crossing The Line – not a line, The Line – is a one-way trip: as straight down drop off the cliff, with me not hesitating to step on any desperately clinging fingers in order for it to be a smooth transition…

I am sure I still love my mother.  In a way, I feel sad that she will never grow past the tiny piece of where she always was, but it is no longer my problem.  I will be polite and cordial and even seemingly friendly with her, just as I would when trapped by a boring friend of a friend at a cocktail party.

After all, I still have hope of having a great relationship with my father.