My grandfather died this fall. Even typing those words feels surreal--a physical acknowledgment that he, the most important male in my life, is no longer here, biking around town, laughing with his family, eating brownies, playing with his great-grandchildren, fixing things for his children and grandchildren, and wielding his "patriarchal authority" so gently that it only steadied, never condemned.
I already know that I will miss him for the rest of my life.
The funeral was a little brutal. My family is all Mormon, and for the first time since I split with the church, I found myself a little jealous of their faith. How nice it would have been to, once again, have the barricade of "eternal life" and "sealed forever" to hold up against the crushing waves of grief. How much I missed believing that, as my aunt said, "He has so many people waiting for him on the other side." But amidst all the conflicting emotions I had during several conversations with and about Mormonism and faith, one emotion was noticeably absent: anger.
As anyone who has read my blog knows, (and thank you for reading, btw), anger has been a rather dominant note in my emotional chord for the past several years. A second emotion has been fear, especially the fear that because I left, my friends and family would reject me. And, in the clarity of hindsight, I've been trying to protect myself by rejecting them first. Perhaps it was necessary to gain the distance I needed to make a full break from the church, but finally I am strong and steady enough to make a U-turn and reach out again.
I'm beginning by coming out to my roommates, both about my sexuality and about my book. I lied to them throughout college about my relationship with C. (our roommate, who I was sleeping with) and it's time to come clean. I've been coming clean to my family, one sibling at a time, then a cousin, making tighter circles toward my mother. Still nervous about that one.
Anyway, yeah...less anger. Thanks for listening. Here's to moving in a more positive emotional direction for a while (and still acknowledging that "bad" feelings are legitimate, too...but nice to let go of.)