The struggle to forgive

Hi, friends.

I hope this post finds you well. My latest serious attempt to process Kim’s death has been an interesting journey, to say the least. (I differentiate between serious attempts to process and what I do most of the time, which is kind of hamster wheel stuff.)

Through everything I think I have come to realise that what I want is to be able to accept what happened completely. There’s a lot of frustration  still there, which can’t be helpful in my continuing attempts to forgive her.

It’s not that I can’t say it. I could say it a thousand times, but actually believing it is another thing entirely. At some future point, I would like to be able to acknowledge her, and think: ‘No, I don’t agree with what happened, but despite that, I accept that it was her path.’

I know that, but believing it and stopping the part of me that responds in that irrational ‘inner five-year-old’  way is another thing entirely. I understand and accept that ‘you can’t save everyone’, but I’d like to step out of this thinking loop guilt-free.

At this precise moment, I don’t feel I can. My knee-jerk reaction is anger. Every time, my first thought for Kim is some permutation of ‘I hate you’ or ‘Why did you do this to me/us?’

I don’t particularly want to think of a person I once admired and valued in that way. I would like to be able to simply be grateful for the time we had, for the support she gave.

The anger and other emotions which remain are still in the way. I hope that I can come to terms with it soon, because on some level I’m tired of the struggle with it. Anybody else would put it down, but I’m not anybody else. I need to feel like I’ve dealt with it, and I don’t right now.

Apologies for the ramble – Sunday’s post will be a little better, hopefully.

Wishing you peace and strength on your journeys,



About Casey Bottono

I am in love with language. I write poetry and fiction in a wide variety of genres. Most recently, I have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities' Pen2Paper contest.
This entry was posted in Grief Loss and Bereavement and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The struggle to forgive

  1. Tara_Windwalker says:

    I think there is a subconscious anger that builds when the feeling of helplessness grows strong. It begins as you try to save the person and then comes to it peak when death occurs.

    Death took them away. You are left to deal with the things that peaked at death. You are left with no way to correct a problem, change a thought process, or stop an injustice.

    “I could have done more.” “I was not a good enough friend.” “Because I couldn’t help, there is something defective in me” “I let her down”. “She should have done this”. “She could have done that.” Angry at her and angry with yourself.

    I was thinking today that after 3 years I am still angry with my Mother for letting my Father get away with things that are considered criminal. She spoke to the Drs and Aides. “It’s ok. Don’t upset him”. Don’t upset him? I contemplate how wonderful my Mother was except in things dealing with my Father. We all kept it a secret. All of my life, I fought her battles for her. “you shouldn’t do that, Dad” “You’re hurting her.” “That’s absolutely sick that you think you can tap your spoon on your glass and think that Mom should jump up immediately and get you dessert. She hasn’t even finished her meal.” “Hello. Yes. Is she badly hurt? I’ll come right away and bring her to my apt.” “Don’t call Mom fat. She isn’t fat.” “She can’t wear high heels and work 16 hours a day.” “Dad, you need to pay Mom a salary. She started this business. This is her business!” “Dad, every car behind us has a cell phone. They are calling the police now and telling them about his crazy man driving too fast between the wrong lines. When the police stops you, I’m going to tell him that you were driving like that because you said “I want to” and never cared that you were scaring us terribly.” “Dad, if you mess up her pill box one more time, I’m calling Adult Protective Services. You’re killing her. Or, is that what you wanted to do?”

    I’m angry with her for letting me down by not being braver. I’m angry with myself for letting her down by not being brave enough to change things in a more drastic but beneficial way. And now there is nothing that can be done. It is final.

    I’m left with sorrow because of unresolved problems. The equation has changed. There will never be an answer.

    I’m left with anger. I feel so bad to have the anger. It is wrong of me.

    • Casey B says:


      In my world, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. ‘You are left to deal with the things that peaked at death’. “Oh, hell!” on those three occasions now becomes “What do I do now?” There’s no definitive answer to that question that can just sweep it under the rug. That’s what I’ve done in the past, and this is where it’s got me. Questioning to the point where third-party help is required, and maybe a little scared to admit the extent of the damage.

      You also wrote ‘I’m left with anger, and I feel so bad to have the anger.’ I’m also in that place, because somebody I once thought a lot of has now become the target of a lot of anger. Then there’s the little craziness of the fact that I also feel anger towards Kim’s mother, or ‘project’ everything that I am feeling on to her, because I always knew more than I needed to know. Anybody else would put it down, but I’m not anybody else.

      If I completely forget about it, I’m leaving aside the fact that there were good moments. Everything that happened with the ending just distorted the experience. So, I want to have the choice to remember in a genuine way, not clouded by that frustration and anger.

      Now I’m wittering, I’d better stop.

      Thank you for your wonderful comment. Take care, my friend.


  2. Forgiveness can be liberating, but oh so hard sometimes! But to hold on to anger can be really destructive…We all have that problem from time to time though. Wishing you peace and healing. ❤

  3. For me, part of the problem with the phrase “holding onto anger” stems from the implication that it is completely one’s choice– that we choose to have, feel, and keep anger associated with a person’s actions. As well, anger is always termed unhealthy.

    It surely is partly choice in many cases; but anger is also a natural and healthy reaction to injustice, abuse, and lack of reasoning on the part of others and ourselves. It’s good to be able to be angry, sometimes– it makes us act to preserve ourselves, our sanity, and others.

    Anger is part of the price we pay for thinking clearly.

I love it when you share your thoughts- so feel free.

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