Before my dad got sick, I was pretty close to most of my extended family. We spent every Christmas at my aunt and uncle's house, and I visited my cousins and their kids frequently. When my dad got sick, my uncle (his brother) visited often. He insisted on being the co-executor of my dad's estate (along with a bank) and on going over everything that my dad wanted to happen with his properties, etc., after he passed away. Knowing that my uncle was there was an incredible source of relief for me, and I appreciated his support. It was something that I looked for and needed during my dad's illness and especially when he passed away. I felt that even though I was losing my dad, that I would have my uncle. I was wrong.
After my dad passed away, I was shocked and unbelievably hurt when it seemed my uncle just pushed aside everything my dad told him he wanted to have done. He seemed to just forget what my dad told him he wanted to have happen...and even told my mom and others that he had no idea what I was talking about when I said that he knew what my dad wanted. I had sat with him as he wrote down exactly what my dad wanted. I was devastated that he was lying and I had no idea why. Not only that, but he called me "childish" for not wanting to go through my dad's paperwork a few weeks after he passed away, and pushed me to go through my dad's things before I was ready. When I didn't go through these things, I was termed "difficult" amongst other things.
The farm was probably the biggest disagreement we had. He knew my dad's wishes and went against them. He never thought I'd be able to run it and rather then support me, he made things harder for me and told everyone I'd never succeed. At a time in my life when I really needed support, he let me down, and I was incredibly hurt. I stopped talking to him and stopped going to family functions where he would be present. It was too painful and I didn't know what to say to him. It hurt even more when my mom told me he had no idea why I was so upset.
Through it all though, all I wanted was an apology. I wanted him to admit the truth and that he had not listened to my dad's wishes. I wanted him to tell me he was sorry for treating me so badly when I was grieving. But he never did.
It has been almost 5 years since we have really talked. B has tried to talk to me about it numerous times and encouraged me to be the bigger and stronger person...to be the one who breaks the ice and forgives him. If my uncle were to pass away, I know I would be sad if we were still fighting. But I've had a very hard time trying to figure out how to be the bigger person. I'm not one to take a chance of forgiving and putting myself out there so that I can be hurt again...as that sort of thing has happened in the past.
The more I have thought about it though, the more I realize that carrying around this anger and sadness is bad for me. It festers and is something that is always below the surface in my day to day activities. I believe it contributes to some of the general unhappiness I feel with life at times. And I know that forgiving him would take a huge load off my chest. I know I want to forgive him, I just don't know how. I don't know how to put aside my pride and stubbornness, and break the ice. I don't know how to forget something that hurt me so badly. I don't know how to forgive something that was so awful. Some way it has to be done though, and I'm hopeful I can be the bigger person and take the first step. I just don't know how?