An Open Letter to …

Photo by Balu00e1zs Benjamin on

There has been so much loss in my life recently, and it is hard to keep my head clear. I find myself overwhelmed to the point of suffocation. Each new offense adds another dark brick atop an already precarious tower, threatening to topple the whole thing down around me. Eager to bury me under the twisted projections of a disconnected generation trying to dictate how I should behave and what is acceptable to feel.

In the past, I would have cowered in the corner, trying desperately to make myself invisible. I was afraid to stand up to those who refused to see what ‘best intentions’ were doing to me. Keeping the peace is pointless when you ignore the pain your “peace of mind” inflicts on those who see past the bullshit.

I thought I knew you all. I suppose it is true when people say you see a person’s true colors when it comes time to divide up the legacy left behind after death. My grandfather would be ashamed. I wish I could say I stayed level-headed through all the drama and rigamarole, but that would be a lie. I am guilty of biting back when my integrity was called into question. I wish I could feel shamed by that, but if you take into account their actions…

“I am only human…” remains my response.

I know that saying goes for everyone. Humans are imperfect, and not all of them are as self-aware as I am. I say this empty of feeling. Another symptom that is neither bad nor good. It just simply is. I accept my limitations and those of others, but if others are allowed to express their displeasure, why should I not be afforded the same right?

Track records speak volumes, and I refuse to hear them through rose-tinting — even if other’s do. I spent too many years trying to mold myself into something others found more palatable. I was trapped in a prison of second-guessing and self-loathing for 30 plus years before I allowed myself to be liberated. Following in the invisible footsteps of an absent mother that I never seemed to shake thoroughly. Eventually, I stopped wanting to try.

Anger is shifty and spreads like wildfire. A single spark is all it takes to set someone’s world ablaze. My grandfather was the fire chief, always ready to put out the flames, no matter who struck the match.

My grandfather’s passing was a smoldering ember; almost everyone refused to address for two years. His refusal of treatment solidified his fate. Setting our tumultuous family on a path of self-destruction and greed. We each made choices, and grandpa’s dying wishes were respected, but at what cost?

Where the choices made for noble reasons or out of obligation? Maybe a mixture of both? Questions I will never have answers to because it’s not for me to know, but I know their consequences.

I made choices of my own. Options best for me, but ones that hurt others. But how do you force someone to grieve acceptably? You don’t. You offer them advice and give them a shoulder. But when grief turns to bitterness and spiteful behavior. What then? I chose to protect myself and live up to my own expectations, not anyone else’s. I chose to face the inevitable with acceptance and not blame.

All I asked for was communication and accountability. Not to have personal violations swept under the rug because getting lawyers involved would slow down the liquidation.

Being called greedy and spoiled as dollar signs twinkle in their eyes. So they preach to me, in righteous emails, while harassing family and friends, accusing them of underhanded behavior, while squirreling away things meant for others. Gaslighting at its finest. It was never about possessions. It is about the inability to be self-aware enough to hold yourself accountable for repeated missteps.

Why would anyone want to put up with that? But, as you say, it’s only stuff, and his memory is still in my heart. So allow me to ask the same questions? How many carloads of his possessions do you need to take home to cherish his memory? Isn’t his memory in your heart enough?

Now let me add a question of my own. While you label me, are you considering your shortcomings, or hiding behind the mask of victimhood, because you refused to heed the warning signs?