Yesterday, Anne shared with me the news that her brother’s father-in-law, Jackson (his deceased wife’s father) has been transferred to Palliative Care. This is a sudden change in his condition and her brother was taken by surprise.
I remember Anne telling me about the estrangement in that family once before – seems like a very long time ago.
“Yes, Edna, I am sure you remember that my brother felt that Jackson and his family had abandoned him and his daughters. He didn’t understand why his deceased wife’s parents disconnected from their granddaughters.
“I don’t know what happened. While the grandmother was alive there seemed to be a tenuous truce and after she passed away, it was broken completely.
My brother tells me there has been absolutely no contact in ten long years, and it didn’t seem that anyone was willing to make an effort at reconciliation. No one wanted to be the first to apologize.
“It is sad that now there is only a short time in which to resolve and forgive. And, sometimes people are not open at the end of their lives.
“I am glad that Jackson’s family let my brother know and I understand that there is an opportunity to visit him at the hospital. I truly hope that they are able to have a conversation and come away having found the strength to forgive each other. The estrangement has been the cause of emotional pain for my brother and his daughters, and I hope they can find kindness and compassion in their hearts for Jackson, and for the other members of his family who were once participants in a fun and loving family relationship.
“Situations like this are a source of regret and remorse when we don’t get or take the opportunity to forgive. No matter who was at fault, no matter how long ago, I wish everyone the courage to be the first to apologize and the first to forgive - you will be happier!”
I could see that Anne was sad as she turned away and looked out the window. She feels deeply for others; I wish I had arms to wrap around and comfort her too.