I’ve had a brief absence in posting the last week and a half but for good reason. Last week, I received a phone call from my Mom telling me my grandfather was dying; he was given 48 hours to live. Without getting into too much detail, I’ve spent the better part of six years having a somewhat estranged relationship with him. I honestly could not remember the last time I talked to him or saw him since I left for college. Despite that, it didn’t take any time for me to pack up my car and head for the nursing home. For every person I love that has been taken away from this world, death had been sudden and no goodbyes were said. I felt blessed to have the chance to say goodbye and to make peace with him.
It was a good visit – I spent the day reminiscing and going through old photos with my aunt, talking to him, loving him, letting him know everything was okay and that he could let go. It was sad and rough and freeing all at the same time. When the day was over, I set out on my three hour drive home and I kept thinking about that list of values and goals I created the week before. I kept thinking about how the one thing I valued most was my relationships with family and friends. Moreover, my goal was to deepen those relationships and build strong connections. The more I thought about this, the more guilty I felt about giving up on the relationship with my grandfather – basically not trying to connect with him at all. I know that connecting with others is about developing patience, empathy and understanding. I didn’t do any of that with him and for the relationships I have now, I want – no, I need – to nurture them.
That being said, my goal for March is to connect with others and deepen the relationships I currently have, to reconnect with ones that I have lost, and to forge one new, meaningful relationship.
I’ve been thinking about some of the things I can do and I remembered a colleague of mine telling me she once sat down and wrote old-fashioned hand-written letters to people who had influenced her in some way. Piggy-backing off of that, I plan on writing one letter a week to family or friends in hopes of deepening relationships and making them more meaningful. Letting them know how they’ve impacted my life, the things I admire about them and strive to achieve or be like. I also plan to forge one new friendship during March with someone I don’t know very well; someone I can have life chats with and learn from.
My last goal is to try to reconnect with a friend who has deeply hurt me. Key word is try but in thinking about my goal for March, connecting with others, I feel I need to put to practice the things I think are important in building relationships: empathy, understanding, and forgiveness. When you’re hurt, it’s hard to put those words to action. I know that perhaps I may not succeed in being able to rekindle this friendship, but I feel it is important to try. At the end of the day, I will have no regrets having tried. Ultimately, I want peace and balance in life – I feel like doing all of this will get me closer to that. And, more importantly, it will make me be the best person I can be.