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Epilogue – forgiveness, more healing….

Friday, January 07, 2011

For those who read my last blog, thank you for such wonderful support and comments, it was a very raw experience for me. LOGOULD said it best “I think that these are realizations that we will all have to come to grips with in one way or another, kind of like peeling back layers of an onion.”. This has been what has been happening. As I move forward and peel back one layer after another, things come to the surface. Once dealt with, we are stronger, better, and more empowered to become who we were meant to be.
I actually had the courage to sit down with one of the individuals that has caused me the most pain. I am not really big on tippy toeing around when it is a big issue. My usual line is “ I don’t know how to say this so I’m just gonna say it…” I proceeded to tell him what was on my mind. He seemed surprised and told me he didn’t know that this was a big issue for me. As the conversation continued, I basically told him to forgive me for not being man enough to come to him sooner and that I should have valued his friendship more than that. Ten years is a long time to harbor anger and unforgiveness. There was more discussed than that but that is the important part. The best part of all of it is that I have lost the “legal” right to carry it any longer, I felt at peace with it. No more allowed to grumble or harbor bad feelings. We are now close again, he never really “left” but I did, slowly and over time. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing.
Through all of this, however, I have forgotten one of the greatest lessons I learned up close. Life is too short to waste it on pettiness and pointless drama. One of the most painful events in my life was losing my best friend in a hunting accident. I was told by the DNR officer that what I had done is the only reason he ever made it to the operating table. That would be great if he had made it. Fortunately I don’t have to live with being the one who made the error in handling the firearm. Nothing will prepare you for the stress of doing triage, trying to save someone 7 miles out in the bush and from the nearest paved road, then try to get him to safety. That day put everything into perspective, look death in the face and you are never the same. Some things are simply not worth wasting another moment worrying about. It wasn’t more overtime at work, a bigger house, more money, or man toys he was asking for. He was asking for us to get him somewhere where we could get a signal so he could call home. His family and his relationship with God was all that was on his mind. He died the day before Thanksgiving. I had civilian and military first aid training and all I had that day, I gave to him but it wasn’t enough. I seriously considered becoming an EMT with the thought that if this ever happened again, I would be ready and never have to go through that again.
I love you Jason and maybe if I was a little smarter, faster or stronger you might still be here. Know this, I did the best I could, we all did. Four years and it still seems like yesterday. I enjoyed the times our families got together, we had a lot of fun. I never told you that. When you were a kid, you had such a smart mouth, I wanted to pop you one, but you grew up and became a selfless man who loved his family and worked hard. You changed a lot, you are missed. I never got to say goodbye.

Thank you for allowing me to share this. I never talked about this and I think it’s about time. I wish I could post something about some new woo hoo or the latest mileage goal or whatever. Just a man trying to make peace with himself and find a haven. Sometimes it’s good to cry.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Robert, I am so glad I made the connection with you here on Sparkpages. There is a depth to you that makes me want to reach out and encourage you and others like you. You need these times of healing so you can continue to progress. If you progress you can help more and more people. As a motivational speaker, I often find myself looking for inspiration for my next talk, but you inspire me beyond become better myself! Keep up the great work and always remember to pay it forward.
    1977 days ago
  • v CM_GARDNER78

    I honestly don't know what to say - seems like you are doing well enough for yourself that I don't need to mess it up by something trivial. I am just so happy for you that you are able to start healing through the things in your life that have affected you in this way. Very happy for you!! In my opinion, this in and of itself seems like a pretty big woo hoo moment to me! You encourage me that I can (and will) reach my goals. I always felt like I probably never would, and just flail about trying to get there....but I see that I can reach them. Thank you for your blogs!

    ~ Christa
    1989 days ago
  • v EDWINA172
    You were so brave to type these words, to open up, reveal the raw emotion. Wow. It gives me chills. There is too much we needlessly keep inside. It eats away at us. Thanks for sharing.
    1994 days ago
    Wow. Just wow.

    You learned something that many people do not: if you have something to say, then say it; if you have something to do, then do it, because all we have is this moment. There is no guarantee that the next moment on this side of life will happen. Make the most of what we have here, now.

    So sorry to hear about your friend. Like you, one of my brothers lost a friend in a hunting accident; they were able to get him to the hospital, and like your friend, he didn't survive. That incident haunted my brother for the rest of his days (he himself died several years ago).

    Hugs to you and your journey of healing. You are doing an awesome job with becoming a healthier person, physically and emotionally. Way to go!
    1994 days ago
    Way to confront this, emotional baggage is our worst sabotage. Forgiveness can be one of the most empowering tools!
    1995 days ago
    Robert, It sounds like you are confronting a lot of issues that you have been holding onto for years! That's not only a brave thing, but a good thing too! May you come to peace with all things in your life.
    You are a very caring human being. You at least gave your friend a chance and did your best. It's just hard to lose someone when they are so young. it just doesn't make sense in our minds. We are suppose to grow old. I'm sorry you lost such a dear friend.
    Thank you for sharing this. It helped me as, my oldest daughter really hurt me with her words on Thanksgiving weekend, and I've been angry, and harboring some unforgiveness myself. You're absolutely right, life's too short, and it goes way too fast!!!
    God bless you,
    1995 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/8/2011 9:37:55 PM
    Robert - Your blog touched my heart. You are a remarkable human being and someone very special. Just as you were helping Jason then, I wonder if his angel isn't on your shoulder helping you now.
    1995 days ago
    Honesty is a beautiful gift, thank you for sharing it with us. May each step in your journey lead you to a happier, healthier life. emoticon
    1995 days ago
    I am very moved by your progress to the "Within".

    I have had situations where there was discourse with a friend, and swallowed it whole. The bitter bile stayed with me, becoming greater and greater. It really is healing to sit down with the person and work it out.

    I have also had folks do the same with me. I appreciate it when I learn from them how my words and actions (or INactions) affected them because then I can become aware of my effect on others. I can clean up my act and be more sensitive.

    I admire your heroic efforts to keep your friend alive, and getting him out of the wilderness so he could get medical treatment. Sometimes we do all we possibly can, and more, but the results are not what we want. Some things just need to be left to God.

    Continue your journey, my friend. You are an inspiration.

    Your friend, Sandy
    1996 days ago
  • v JASI27
    You never really know what people are going to take out of what you write down! For me, this is just what I needed to hear today because I too am peeling away the onion layers and am facing some difficult decisions in my life! You opening up about yours has put me in a better prospective about mine and will help me deal with it better as a result!
    I am so sorry for the tragedy you faced with your friend Jason! I can not imagine just how painful that must have been, but I am sure he knows how hard you tried, how much you love him, and how your heart aches for his loses!
    Thanks so much for sharing your story!
    1996 days ago
    Robert - you are facing some very painful experiences, but will come out for the better for doing so. Your courage is inspirational, and you are helping far more people than you know. Thank you for setting such a great example!
    1996 days ago
    First, as others have said, this seems like a woo hoo moment...change is always worthy of woo hoos. Secondly, the courage to sit and speak openly about your pain with your friend can only reinforce your journey. If it's one thing that is clear to me, if I carry resentments, they will eat at me, and I in turn will eat over them.
    And last, I'm sorry for the pain you experienced when feeling helpless when your friend died a tragic death. But I have come to believe that your friend knew you did all you could do, and that like the book says "Bad Things Happen to Good People", and our strength sometimes comes from how we move through those times. Your friendship with Jason sounds like a special gift in your life. Your friend was fortunate to have you in his life, we your fellow sparkers are fortunate that you share yourself with us.Grace go with you.
    1996 days ago
    Robert ~ you are right that talking about it helps the healing. Your friend had a chance because of you, that's what you need to remember. You are a brave and courageous man.
    1996 days ago
    I would consider this a woohoo moment, because learning about yourself and overcoming obstacles is all a part of this journey. Some of us have huge obstacles beyond just weight loss. It takes tremendous courage to share what you just have and I appreciate you sharing it. I believe you have made a great stride in reaching peace and forgiveness of yourself. Ourselves are the hardest person to forgive...way to go. I am sorry you had to go through that, but you are definitely a stronger individual.
    1996 days ago
    emoticon never dwell on "what if" it sounds as if nothing would have have saved your friend, but the help you gave him mmeant he had a chance to make peace. He will be with you for ever.

    Also well done and dealing with your other friend. Now you can move on to the next layer!
    1996 days ago
    I told you that you are an inspiration! That took alot of courage to sit down and talk to our friend. Shows what an awesome, true man you are.
    I am also sorry for the loss of your friend.. God bless you. emoticon
    1996 days ago
    I am sorry for your pain and the loss of your friend. I appreciate you opening up and putting things in perspective for me. He was blessed to have you as a friend and you being there to fight so hard for him. I can see you are a great guy.
    1996 days ago
  • v BETSY430
    Thank you for your blog. I hope others who read it are also able to set aside pettiness and unforgiveness and move forward in their lives because of you. Woohoo!
    1996 days ago

    Doing your best to work through the things that are eating you up inside is certainly Woo Hoo worthy.

    It takes a ton of courage to be up front with those who have hurt you. This is a huge step in your ultimate healing. I am proud of you for taking the initiative.

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, Jason. I cannot even fathom what that must have been like for you to experience. Some life events mark us forever. Whether you use that mark to change your life for the better is up to you. I pray you find the peace you are seeking.

    Your SparkFriend
    1996 days ago
  • v ANGELJAM22
    Thank you for your honesty and willingness to share. Isn't this really what life is about. the plastic world and superficiality slip away and its really just about heart. emoticon
    1996 days ago
    Feels good doesn't it?!?! I admire your strength and your courage to be able to forgive , love and move on..... emoticon
    1996 days ago
    I was SO touched by your honesty and the story of your dear friend dying. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for being so very open! You have a lovely family, btw! emoticon
    1996 days ago
    WOW! This is a GREAT WooHoo!! A WooHoo for you to be able to have peace...move on...

    You have just given us all a great lesson on forgiveness...and unselfishness!!!

    Blessings to you :)
    1996 days ago
    {{{May the deepest, comfort of True Peace now envelope you and hold you.}}}

    emoticon From my heart to yours...
    1996 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/7/2011 7:44:10 PM

    That's quite a blog and lesson.

    God Bless - Paul
    1996 days ago
    You are a wonderful human being and a wonderful example of what we all should strive for. Caring, comapssionate, able to feel emotion and able to express your pain. I wish i could make it easier for you, take the pain away. Dealing with it is the hardest. You are facing some really tough things, and i commend you for how you are handling it. I'm here--I care. Big hugs to you...
    1996 days ago
  • v RIGBY31
    This is your "mileage goal"... the next step forward in your journey. Mighty powerful stuff, friend.
    1996 days ago
  • v DARLENEK04
    I believe you did everything possible to save your friend,
    and I understand your grief, I think you should cherish
    the good times you had, knowing you did everything you could.

    You are growing as a person right in front of us, while you
    are losing weight and gaining so much confidence.
    I am so sorry you lost your friend, Robert.


    1996 days ago
    Wow it goes to show that excess weight equals the materialisation of issues. So when we decide to work towards our health as in getting our bodies & minds back on track all the stuff we've harboured over the years goes & leaves the real, positive us in it's place. Well done for your efforts in all respects, facing people that takes real courage. But I think the most courage comes with facing ourselves. This journey we're on is a wonderful learning curve.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1996 days ago
    You are really leading by example by sharing. We all have things we should acknowledge and work through. Something for me to think about.

    You are smart and so very strong to be facing these topics... as I said leading by example.

    1996 days ago
    Your blog is very powerful. I have been thinking about the people in my life who have caused me a great deal of harm and how to finally heal myself from that pain. Your blog is very helpful. I wish you the best this coming year with all your goals and keep up the great work you are doing and in inspiring us to do the same.
    Chelsea in FL emoticon
    Leader of "Sparking with MS" emoticon
    1996 days ago
    Your blog just left me speechless, but nothing really needs to be said. You were a good friend and did more than most of us could do. Voicing the experience may help you to get over the hurt and cherish the good times you had together.
    1996 days ago
  • v AMOHAME2
    Wow, this was a really eye-opening blog, thank you for sharing it! You're right, life is WAY too short to hold grudges or harbour negative feelings.
    1996 days ago
  • v KLEENH
    Robert, Another incredibly moving blog... In sharing yourself, you allow us to relate and I'm stronger for it. Thank you.
    1996 days ago
  • v COOPSM
    1996 days ago
  • v PIXIEMOM13
    1996 days ago
    1996 days ago
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