Every person has a story to share. Mine is about forgiveness.
Ever since I grew up, I had been living in a shadow and a family taboo - nobody knows why grandpa chose to end his life and everyone has his/her stories. My mother and her siblings had blamed each other for causing the tragedy to happen for years, and nobody has an answer.
I had a very intimate relationship with grandpa. He's the only one who tucked me in bed, told me bedtime stories, took me to school with his bike, and protected me when I got in trouble with my parents. In the eyes of a 7 year old, he was my hero and my best friend. One day after I came back from school, I was told that he had committed suicide, and will never wake up again. At that age, I already understood death. My heart was broken and for the next 20 years, I had ask myself the same question: Why did he choose to end his life? Who is responsible for this?
Over the years, I investigated and ask my mom and some of her siblings questions, hoping to figure out who is the one to blame. They offered different stories and pointed fingers at each other. This became one of the reasons among many that I had a challenging relationship with my mom. I was also resentful toward my uncles (oldest and second), and I felt sympathetic to my youngest uncle and aunt, making up that they are just like me: victims in this tragedy.
It was not until I was sitting with more than a hundred people, taking the second day of Landmark Forum
that an insight revealed itself to me. I was listening to the Landmark Forum leader talking about "Parents". He had all people in the crowd who were in their twenties stand up from their seats. "THEY WERE OUR PARENTS", he said. I looked at them, puzzled, disbelieved and surprised for how young they are. Then I got it! All these years that I thought I was the victim who lost her most beloved grandpa, I forgot the simple fact that at the same moment, my mom had lost her only father, at the age of 30! This insight didn't stop there; it expanded. I suddenly was able to put together all the puzzle pieces and was shocked by my discovery: My biological grandma had died from breast cancer when my mom was 10. This means that my mom had lost both of her parents when she was just a few years older than me (I was 27 when I took the Forum). Tears kept pouring out as I recognized that my uncles and my mother, whom I blamed for years, have all lost their parents, at such a young age. All of my blaming vanished, and was replaced with forgiveness and love. All these years I've been searching for the answer and I've found that I've been looking in the wrong direction all this time. Instead of forgiving and accepting, I was blaming, and suffering from it.
After the Sunday forum finished, I went home and had the best conversation with my mom for four hours. I apologized to her sincerely and shared everything I discovered. I shared how I understand all of them in how my mom and her siblings had lost their parents at the same time. We held each other and I cried with her for the rest of the night. She was very quiet yet emotional after my sharing. After that conversation, I never heard my mom blaming her brothers for my grandpa's death again. I know she has also forgiven.
Every time when someone asks me, "Do you recommend Landmark Forum?", I shared this story. Every time I share, I get re-inspired, present to how powerful letting go and how forgiving can be so magical. I found inner peace and have built a much closer relationship with my mom since then.
I thank my grandpa for teaching me this important lesson. He is truly the greatest doctor in the world. He heals me with his spirit and guidance.
This is my story.