I got this image from here
In-laws. (My husband’s parents)
I have not spoken to them in 1 yr and 10 months.
Until three months ago, I had not corresponded with them for the same amount of time.
Have not seen my youngest since he was 7. He’s now 9.
When I tell people the story of how I was treated by them, they are the subject of much head shaking and “OMG! They did what?” by all.
Lets just say …. We’ve gotten along, umm, better when Art was alive.
My little “widow” secret is 9 months after Art died, my relationship died with them died.
For months over a year, I have wanted to write about them but ... first there was the rage to get through, then the shame, then the rage again. And it all felt taboo. I mean, they lost too. I do not know what it’s like to loose a child. How can I possibly pass judgment on their behavior?
That's what I told myself when they were cruel to me. “Grief does wacky things to people.” I said. And so I let them treat me poorly, giving them the space to blame me or the city or his life out here or anything they wanted to for his death because I know, accepting a death is not done gracefully.
In a perfect world, when death hits, a family pulls, together. They round up their wagons, support and love each other right into healing. In a perfect world.
Instead, they didn’t like my wagon, couldn’t understand why I would drive it and why I would not return with their wagons to where they were.
I felt shame … bad widow. You are not the only one who has lost.
Hurt … how could they not help? How could they say no to his kids?
Rejected – they never liked me or the different way my kids "look."
I had quite a few pity parties.
All of that I carried around with me like a purse of gold coins, valuable to my worth by really frickin' heavy. Ashamed to write about any of it, because somewhere I believed that I was not good enough for them.
Until I got tired of telling the story and listening to the righteous indignation of others at my in-laws behavior, until I accepted they never understood the life Art and I built so far away from them, until I realized it was not my problem but theirs, until I just got tired of being so mad.
So I let go and suddenly I forgave them. I do not, nor will I ever, know why they did what they did. (I suspect they don’t know either.)
I didn’t send them a note announcing “I have now forgiven you!” I didn’t call them either. I just started emailing little tidbits about the kid’s lives and how the weather was.
And now I don’t hate them, I don’t worry about what they think of me cause, for the first time, I don’t care.
Death (and time) have freed me.
I don't think we will ever be friends. And the days of staying in their home are very limited if not over. But...they lost a son. God willing, I will never know what that's like. They did what they did. I will never forget that. But I have forgiven them, finally. And it feels good.