If you could forgive one person today who would that be?

Today was the funeral of my cousin. He was 1 1/2 years younger than me.  As children, we did everything together. He was my best friend and with all the little prats we played we used to drive my Grandma crazy. He was the first boy I kissed 🙂

But over the years we grew apart and developed in totally different ways.

My family and I escaped from Communist Germany when I was 8 and I learned the ways of the west. My cousin stayed in the village he was born in and married a childhood friend.

I traveled the world. He stayed at home, enlarged the house and lived there with his wife and son, his parents, and his sister.

We lived very different lives and while he complaint most of the time about how unfortunate he was, I learned to take responsibility and saw the positive in most situations. We were not of the same mind anymore. His behavior towards me changed. There seemed to be envy and anger. After the death of my Mom, he and the rest of my mother’s family totally cut contact with me – no reason given. I tried several times to re-establish contact but… I believe that we do not have to agree on everything to love and respect each other. Anyway, my attempts failed and I hurt. I hurt so much that I had to do a lot of work on myself to let go of the pain and forgive – myself and “them”.

Just after my cousin passed on I could feel him in my home on two consecutive evenings. A lamp shade moved, I could feel a cold breeze and I knew he was there…

Some of you know I live in the woods by myself and it was a creepy feeling. You feel the presence but… On the first night, I welcomed him into my home but asked him not to scare me. I told him that I love him and that I was glad he had come to say good-by. On the second night, I told him what I had felt about the whole situation we had been in since my Mom’s passing. I said I had forgiven us for our shortcomings and that there were no hard feelings; that I wish him only the best and that it was now time for him to move on and unite again with his lovely wife (who had passed 4 years before him). I burned a candle and said my good-bys and he left. I could feel I was alone again and felt very much at peace.

Life really is too short to hold grudges or feel bad about what other’s might or might not be or do. That is their issue – not yours. You are responsible for your behavior and your response. Do not hold grudges. Forgive and make sure your behavior is according to your values. Be true to yourself. Don’t hurt anyone intentionally but don’t bend your values to fit the expectations of others. It will only make you unhappy and you can never live up to everyone’s expectations – they are theirs, not yours.

Live your life to the best of your abilities and make the best of every single moment. You never know when will be your last.

R.I.P Eberhard