Today’s Lesson: Roll the windows up all the way when leaving Sophie in the car… Man can that girl whine and howl!
Today’s Gratitude: I am grateful for my memories, I am grateful for my life, my intellect
Have been thinking about what becomes of our “secrets” when we die? Not that I have any, what you see is what you get, but watching ID Channel (I know, I know…again, again) it seems that there are people who live double lives, only to have it turn criminal to keep their “secret”. A national newscaster was murdered. It ended up being a Craigslist sex solicitation. Well, now he and how and why he died is on the television for all to see. It’s non of my business what people do, just as it’s nobody’s business what I do.
One day Jim (former fiancée) and I took an online psychological test. I was always finding some for us to take. Anyway, one of the questions on this one particular test was “Would you like to be remembered when you die, even if the only thing remembered reflects bad on you?” I said no, Jim said yes. I have thought too much about this over the years. Jim’s life, living with Jim was a rollercoaster. An alcoholic, he seemed to live life by the seat of his pants, addiction. As his alcoholism progressed, he seemed to be leaving a whirlwind of burning bridges behind him. I can only imagine how this progressed as his life was coming to close. He felt bad about some things he had done, he was remorseful for some. He was a decent man, addiction just had hold of him. I remember a conversation I had with his parents the day after I learned of his passing, which was 4months after. His father, blatantly angry, disgusted, having nothing nice to say about him called him a liar, worthless. How could he be so different from his well respected brother? That in itself was a problem he had. He didn’t feel worthy, he felt like and referred to himself as “the bad child”. Sometimes joking, other times seriously. I said to his father “his lying wasn’t with harmful intent, he lied to protect his disease. The disease of addiction will take us to some very bad places, manipulating to get the next fix. I sat there feeling the need to defend Jim. I certainly hope that his father is past the anger stage of grief now, I hope he can remember all the positive traits and things Jim had done in his life. Anyway, I think at times Jim felt like there was no going back to sobriety because there was such a path of self destruction prior he could never come out of it. Sad. I have been affected by the disease of alcoholism. I am grateful I am not afflicted. I, however, have my own issues with addictive personality, thus addiction. Last year for a full 6 months, if not more, I was binge eating. I mean bingeing. I couldn’t stop. It wreaked havoc with my life, my body, my self esteem and worth. I remember the day my therapist said “Donna, we are talking about addiction now”…. yep, we were. I have an eating disorder, have since I was 15, but last year was the absolute worst for me with this. But I digress…
In a scene of the Golden Girls Sophia gave herself a wake (pretend) because she wanted to hear the good others had to say about her. I must admit, I have thought about that myself.
Last year a friend died of cancer. I spent quite a bit of time with him the past few weeks of his life. He was gay, though he was very private about it. One night sitting with him we were discussing this. I asked him if he wanted me to share with his family that he was gay. He responded “they’ll know soon enough”. Evidence in his apartment of such. I know he wasn’t comfortable with this. We did, however, have an excellent conversation, family meeting in which he told his siblings he was gay, and it went very well. But what stayed with me was the breaking open of “the secret”. Something that is very personal. As he was coming to accept his forthcoming passing, he had concern, he thought about what others would think. He did get over that, which I was glad. There is so much to be processed when you know you are soon leaving this world.
Medical records… HIPPA…. when we die are they open to the world? What will be said about us? We really don’t have any control over that. I would hope that people had good things to say about me but no doubt there will be some who don’t and that is okay. I need not waste time while alive, worrying or thinking about what others will say about me or are saying about me. This has come with age.
I’ve heard friends say “I don’t believe in saying nice things about someone just because they died”… hmmm. My view is, but isn’t or wasn’t their good things that you could focus on? That isn’t about the person you didn’t like, or like their behavior, but about your own thinking. Oh how I am learning so much about this. I become a victim of myself, others only if I allow it. Powerful stuff. I am not suggesting that if a person harmed you, violated you that you implore upon the world that he’s an emperor. You know, you have every right to expose, to share what was done to you…I believe this.
So, what legacy will I leave when I die? I think about musicians who leave behind proof of their talent. As an artist who both self publishes but publishes in magazines I suppose I will leave some proof of my existence. I guess that’s really what I’m looking at. What will I leave behind, or has been my life, my existence been positive? As I grow deeper and deeper into introversion, wanting to be alone, or not so much all alone, but certainly no desire to be in crowds, I wonder if I will be called a recluse! I can hear it now… Even Mother Teresa had her naysayers!
It seems that for every good thing that is public about someone, there are three people there to try to squash the positive, to put a dark shadow over them to counter the good. Am I the only one who sees this? It’s almost as if there can no longer be heroes because their humanness, mistakes, errs, will be made prominent by others. Still, with that said, it doesn’t matter what we think of another or what they think of us. We all are here for different purposes, and my approval seeking is only important with my maker, creator. I want to clarify that I am not speaking about evil souls, people like Charles Manson, I could go on and on. I am talking about drudging up something from their past to overshadow what good they are doing. We see this in politics all the time, but I won’t go there.
I have been told on numerous occasions “You really look at the good in others”. Yes, yes I do. I really do. If a person is an asshole but has a good sense of humor I will focus on their sense of humor. There are times, however, when this outlook can get me into trouble. Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me. Self preservation.
So there you have it, today’s dominant thoughts. I am having a painting/designing block at the moment and it’s really bugging the crap out of me…but that is also part of my creativity. Procrastination is as motivating for me as it is detrimental to my health.
What will be my epithet? What will yours be? I think back on some of the things that Jim did that infuriated me, but now I can laugh at them. I am not putting him on a pedestal because he’s gone. I am, however, looking at the good, and there was so much. He really was a great guy with a bad disease. I miss him and I hold my good memories close.
Off to go to pick up the pencil and sketchbook. Probably need to switch from television to music, my muse.
Hope you are having a great day!
Today’s Artwork: “Glazed Crocks”