By Kim Bare
“Forgiveness is when one makes a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or a group who has harmed them. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing one offense.”
How have you forgiven?
I have forgiven myself. My husband of eight years, Terry, passed away unexpectedly 16 months ago now. I went through various emotions as you do with grief, but anger with myself really torn me up deep inside. Terry was 52 years old, and we had just been on a hike the previous weekend. I traveled for work periodically and had a trip the week he got sick. He was fine when he dropped me off at the airport, and we had plans for the weekend.
During the week, he had come down with the flu. He just said he needed to rest. On Thursday, he responded in the morning but nothing the rest of the day. My sister found him lethargic and confused. I got the next flight out of Boston. His flu went to sepsis, to brain bleed that was inoperable. Even though, we were able to have him at home with family and friends his passing left me with one emotion leading to being angry at myself for not being there. Not only angry at myself but at the life we missed out on sharing. Being angry at myself for not being there, for a smile or crying, and our life really ate me up emotionally that first year.
During that first year, as with anyone dealing with grief the emotions are a rollercoaster ride. And, everyone deals with grief in their own way and time. I knew one emotion I needed to deal with was the anger and forgiving myself. Please don’t get me wrong I did not decide this overnight, it took time and there are days still I need to remind myself to forgive. I knew the anxiety, tears were not helping.
I started to seek and surround myself with positive similar minded individuals. These were people that had had loss but were living life. Along with the new experiences and new friends, they taught me to forgive myself. That our 8 years together were blessed with love and at those last moments he was at home with his family and friends. The words I treasure every day from him, was the day before he passed: with his hand on my check he said, “I Love you beautiful”.