My little sister got married this past weekend and she moved to Texas. My brother got dumped by the girlfriend that he was going to ask to marry him. The ring is sitting on his desk. Our little community has been in emotional upheaval, to say the least.
Here are just a few of the emotions that have been flying around: joy, excitement, nerves, jealousy, sadness anger, fear and pain.
This past week I have watched as my son has run through a gamut of emotions himself. He has no idea what is going on but can feel the emotional tension in the air. He realizes that he has been less of the center of attention than usual and I, his mother, have been much busier lately— maybe a little preoccupied.
As I turn my attention back (or I should say refocus it) on my son these last couple of days, I am watching him express at a more base–or raw– level the same emotions I have been experiencing this past week. To top it off, his daddy had to go out of town for work this week. He is expressing large amounts of fear about that; he doesn’t like me– or his grandmother or occasionally others– to leave his sight; he cries. I am sure at the bottom of this is a fear that we will leave and not come back. He doesn’t know that his aunt will be back for Christmas, that we will see her in a few weeks at her reception, that she has not walked out of his life for good. I realize that I too experienced these emotions. As I watched my beautiful sister-bride walk down the aisle, I cried. I cried when she left. I cried afterward. I could cry now. It isn’t that I am unhappy for her– I know I will see her again soon. I know she has not walked out of my life. Even though my child’s emotions are far more based in the fear of being abandoned, there are some of mine that also stem from that same fear. They also come from letting go.
Have you ever noticed how so many people never seem to really let people go? They don’t ever fully feel their fear, their sadness, their loss; they tell themselves that they “shouldn’t” feel that way, that they “should” feel happy that this it is “better this way”. Some of these answers may be true, but that really doesn’t matter. The fact is you do feel that way, it isn’t better right now, right now it hurts. I know there are many people who will now tell my brother that this really wasn’t meant to be and that he is better off without his girlfriend, that it is better that this happened now instead of later… etc. But the fact is today it isn’t! Today it hurts! There is a process to letting go and as we mature we find more appropriate ways– other than throwing tantrums– to do this. But it will still involve emotion because to really love someone you have to be able to let them go and you have to be able to do it while feeling all of the emotion that goes along with that process. In some ways I had to become more like my son, more childlike and raw in my emotions.
This past weekend I also experienced a fast forward you might say– or a little peek in to the future. I watched as my dad gave my sister away. I watched as my mom held my brother as he cried out his broken heart. I saw my son reflected in my siblings this past week and I realized that the day he was born I began the process of letting him go.