May we make peace to honor those we love

Dear President Trump,

This morning we did some de-cluttering. Laura says she just wants to do it now and again because it needs to be done (which is true), but I think she really enjoys it (which is fine). The stacks of books and papers on the dining room table are now smaller and more organized than they were. The window ledges and their keepsakes are all dusted and same for the mantel. Inevitably things end up rearranged when we do this sort of cleanse and somehow the “F*CK Jar” (a ceramic piece that’s entire surface is covered with the word “F*CK in black letters on a celadon green background) migrated from the far left hand side of the mantel to front and center. I don’t think Laura consciously gave it such a pronounced spot, but it certainly feels consonant with how things are feeling to me – messed up to the point of being f*cked up.

One of the messed up things that has surfaced in the aftermath of our brother-in-law’s (BIL) death are old family tensions. There is a long-standing feud between one of BIL’s brothers and the remaining siblings except for BIL, who was able to remain connected to everyone and navigate the riptides successfully. Laura’s brother plans to invite BIL’s entire family to the memorial service, including the person who is the focus of the feud. Unfortunately, one of BIL’s siblings emailed to say he doesn’t want that brother present because he’ll feel tense and on guard. Laura’s brother called us to talk over how to respond, ultimately deciding to let the requester know his request was upsetting and would not be honored. We talked about how different the situation would have been if BIL wouldn’t have wanted this brother there (much like John McCain made it clear he didn’t want you at his memorial service), but as this is patently not the case it would be cruel to exclude this brother. The really awful part, though, and why I’ve felt close to tears all day, is that the requester thought it was ok to burden Laura’s brother with this old family drama. Everyone is hurting in this situation and likely no one is at their best, but I sure wish self-interest and self-protectionism could be parked for the time being. Maybe you could see about setting such an example. And maybe pigs can fly.

May we be safe from our own worst impulses.
May we be happy to be inclusive, especially when it’s hard.
May we step up and find healthy ways to cope with old wounds.
May we make peace to honor those we love.

Tracy Simpson

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