Of  Death,  Mortality  and  The  Steam  of  Compassion...

 

Should Huma Abedin forgive her husband, US Representative Anthony Weiner? Last Friday, I heard a young woman say, "She [Huma] should abort the child she is carrying by Weiner." Should Huma do this I could not condemn her. I cannot say what a person should are should not do regarding the betrayal a loved one or friend exacts upon him or her. And yet our ability to move beyond experiences of hurt and emotional injury inflicted by friends, family and even acquaintances whom we hardly know establishes the foundation upon which we will build our healing. And yet there is the anger. Anger indicates a transgression of our boundaries, both physical and particularly emotional. Beneath anger always lies hurt. The steam of compassion can only rise from the flames of anger. And what of forgiveness? When Anna Manning, the protagonist of my novel, The House, learns that her husband of 33 years, Edward, who was also unfaithful, is terminally ill, she halts proceedings for the divorce she requested and takes Edward home to die. Removing furniture from storage, Anna moves back, with Edward, into the house she has fought so vigorously to sell, a sticking point for Edward in his efforts to halt the divorce. She does this not without anger and much regret concerning their marriage. That she and Edward have raised 4 adult children, three of whom are married, does not simplify her decision. Anna's focus rests not so much upon Edward, though she hates to see him dying. Rather she is concerned about doing what is right. Doing what is right for her is also important to Anna. Not a terribly spiritual person, though her father was a minister, Anna holds an uncanny knowing, perhaps more intrinsic, of what she can live with not simply for the moment, the hour, the day or even the year following a decision or action. Anna knows what she must do in making choices such that she can feel at peace in decades to come. The self-knowing guides her in making choices regarding the immediacy of learning that lift has set the person who has hurt her terribly on a course to die.

     

 

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It's never easy making these choices such as Anna's. Make no mistake, she does not turn the other cheek.
When I've been hurt a part of me craves to see the person who has inflicted my emotional wound suffer. I want them to hurt just like they hurt me.

What Anna appears to know is that pain and suffering have no favorites. What she comes to see is that in the end the only person to whom we must answer is ourselves. As with all whom we witness enter death, the approaching end of Edward's life brings into focus Anna's own mortality. And in this Anna, while never denying her anger, finds a map guiding her steps. ______________________________________________________________________________ What guides your steps in dealing with betrayal, infidelity, and the injurious actions of others, most particularly of family and friends--those whom you love? What can you live with regarding your actions towards those who have hurt you? How do you want to die? What must you do to achieve your desires for transitioning from this life into what lies beyond?

For further discussion join me for a Twitter Chat, this Thursday, June 16th, 2011 @ 5pm PDT/6pm MT/7pm CDT/8pm EDT. http://tweetchat.com/room/anjuelledfloyd

 

     

 

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