Lessons of his Last Full Moon
My Grandfather's death has caused a deep personal awakening for me.
I remember that last night, as I rested with him him in his room, that full moon shone down on us through the his hospital window. I also very clearly remember that morning the sun coming up and the red tinge to the sky. I didn't know I had just shared the last night of my Grandfathers life with him. That night, I relived my childhood experience that sense of being safe and cared for by being near him, knowing it might be the last time I would have that experience.
The full moon that night triggered many memories for me. It was early one morning when I was filled with apprehension about life after divorce, looking out with at a brilliant full moon through my kitchen window when suddenly I was struck with the knowledge that one day I would be gazing at that same view and this farm would be all mine. That was followed by another premonition on another occasion that one day I would gaze up accompanied by my intended true love.
During that night I had thoughts, or perhaps realizations, that my Grandfather might never leave that bed, or that room. As I watched him sleeping in his bed, illuminated by the moonlight. Suddenly things that previously had been so important, became meaningless. What matters in life suddenly became clear to me. I spent time remembering the comfort of his home, knowing my Grandparents were just downstairs, that safe feeling. I was faced with the fact that those experiences will now only be memories. We do not have forever. There is no point in wasting time on meaningless connections. One day it will be my turn, I will be facing the end of my life. Am I going to waste my short time on this earth worrying about what other people do or think? In the end, none of that will even register, and all that time will be lost. The people I truly love will be robbed of my time and energy. I cannot allow that to continue to happen.
My Grandparents were the epitome of stability for me. I was extremely lucky to have them. I left sandals at their home once, and when I returned more than a year later, my Grandmother reminded me not to forget them this time. There they were, on the mat by the door, exactly where I left them. Year after year, I could count on them, they were always there, rock steady. I cannot emphasize enough how important this was for me, it was the only true stability I really knew, without them my life would no doubt have taken a far different turn.
After my Grandmother died, it my Grandfather was my connection to those times and those feelings. That last night, watching my grandfather lying in that bed, drove home for me that nothing lasts forever, not even Grandpa. But the love I was given was given so completely and unconditionally will live on, that is where I need to direct my focus.
In those last few hours with my Grandfather he gave me a final gift. In death, I learned some important lessons about love and life. I have love in my life, I had my Grandparents, I have friends, I have my children. Yet somehow I had allowed my perception of what love is, and what I would accept become skewed. If I compared the love that I experienced from my Grandparents with that of my former husband, there simply is no comparison at all. There was NO love whatsoever in my marriage. I had lost track of what love means. Someone that will treat you that way does not love you. They say that fathers teach their daughters what love is, and what they should expect. My father didn't do a good job of that, and I did follow that example right into my marriage. But my Grandfather, showed me something better. He has made me realize, I need to up the bar, and I cannot settle for less, I deserve better. I need to have respect and care for myself that is in line with what he had for me.
In those moments, it occurred to me that the relationship with my former husband is over, completely totally over in all forms. We are not, nor will we ever be friends. I had always thought we would always be able to be cordial and considerate of each other. I suddenly have become aware, that I have a completely different future in front of me, in that future he has no role. There is nothing left to discuss or to prove. It's time to let go in all ways. I don't have to prove to him that he was wrong about me, or that I had value. We were not the life partners that it seemed we were. It was a relationship of control, manipulation and domination, not love. Now that it has ended I can move on to a true meaningful relationship. I have spent my adult life, hoping he would see that all the things he said about me were wrong. That perhaps he would apologize and acknowledge that I am actually a good caring loving person. I was always trying to prove that to him. My need to get approval and recognition was weaponized against me as a means to exert control. Somehow, after our separation I felt I needed him to see that in order for me to feel like I could be vindicated and move on. Wanting that validation was still a form of connection that holds you back from really living your life with meaning and purpose.
What he thinks or does, is of no importance to my self worth or being. Whether he is successful, or if he falls on his face is of no consequence in my life. Seeing my grandfather in that bed made me realize, will I be thinking of my former husband, or any of the things he did to me when that day comes? the answer is no. So I need to direct my energy to those I will be thinking about the people that deserve my time and energy.
What matters is that I AM a good caring and loving person. That is who I am, and I know it. I will never again let anyone tell me differently. What someone else thinks has no bearing on the reality of who I am. Most importantly, and this lesson hit deep, its not about just finding someone to share my life with. Its about finding the right person. Grandpa was always consistent in providing unconditional love and acceptance towards me, I just didn't pick up on it before. It finally has broken though. I have confidence the right person is out there, and I will find that right relationship, but I need to take my time. Not accept just what is offered. It's really important not to grab someone out of loneliness, or because you feel like you need to partner up for an image. I made that mistake, I will never make it again. I will not let Grandpa's final lesson be diminished by time. March 19, 2022 marks a fundamental and profound life change for me.
I hope my Grandpa knew how much he meant to me. I think he did. But it still feels like I didn't do enough to show him. I will commit myself, and the rest of my life to showing the people in my life that I love them, and never again submit myself or waste any of my life energy with anyone that does not respect or value me. You spend a life time preparing for your death bed, you do not want to die with regrets. I think the only thing I would regret is not loving with all my heart, the rest of life is just icing on the cake. In the end, only love matters. I will make sure every person close to me gets all the love I have to give, everyday. Starting now. Thank you Grandpa for that last gift. I will always honour it.