I may very well be the only person who has actually written about something like this from… this point of view in all of Google (as I actually took the time to look it up there), or one of very few bloggers or writers. But now that I go back and attempt to Google it again, I do honestly think that I am the only person writing from this vantage point — making the decision not to forgive someone for something not only while they are still alive, but after they have died (although, in my case, it would be a bit ironic if not preposterous since I do not believe in the existence of anything supernatural, so to me, there is no way to forgive someone or something that, to me… does not exist, or no longer exists). I have mentioned this in varying ways on other social networking sites that I use, as have I asked for advice about it, and not only have I been met with a generally positive response regarding my decision, but I’ve also been given a lot of great advice that I have for the most part put to good use which I hope to be able to put to good use writing blog posts about this.
The person in question is my mother, and the incidents (or… cascade of them) began six months before her death from what would be metastatic lung cancer. Some might remark that, in a peculiar way, it’s “funny” — what I am actually refusing to forgive her for is her… treatment of one of my children, starting at that six-month mark and leading (I suppose, for lack of a better way to word it) all the way up to her actual death. Of those who seem to care about whether or not I have “forgiven” her, which I have not and never intend to do, it always seems to be about them, or the people who were close to her while she was still alive. Ironically, it has never been about me, or even my child. Realizing that there was nothing “wrong with me” for making the decision not to forgive her at any point (especially since she made it abundantly clear that she was unwilling to apologize, and was unrepentant for this treatment of said child), and that I would never again actually have positive feelings for her, brought me a lot of peace because that was when I realized that I could move on from her death in that way. I did not have to expect forgiveness, or the desire to forgive, to appear, and I did not have to expect positive feelings for her to return when they were clearly not going to.
A lot of people that say that you should “forgive people for (whatever they did)” before they die, or “forgive people for (whatever they did)” after their death are saying that for themselves or the other person, not for you (or whoever the incident, or incidents, might have happened to). And maybe I might actually be the first to say that it is okay, and that it is healthy, if this does not happen. You do not “have something wrong with you” if you can not, or do not, forgive this person, even if you never forgive this person for the rest of your life.
For me, it is a passive thing. The incidents are just things that I can not forgive, and so obviously do not.