Do You Actually Forgive Someone When They Die?

Last night, my husband and I while having our own glasses of alcohol, had a sudden nonchalant discussion about a topic that I choose not to disclose. Towards the end he came up with a conclusion “maybe because they are angry.” I pressume that with that bit of alcohol running through my veins, I became brave enough to argue “when people die you just learn to forgive them, I know because I’ve been there.” My husband responded “no, you cannot fully forgive someone even if they die.”

So, per this post’s title – do you actually forgive someone when they die? More than anything else, that conversation somehow reflected the kind of person that we are. My husband is the begrudging type while I was the compassionate type lols – although not always.

I remember around 1995 – which I would say the start of the second darkest time of our lives – my father was at the peak of his infidelity. He’d seldom go home and give money to my mother causing her to have a pile of debt and trust anyone who would promise her help.

There’s this woman whom I don’t know where she met but would always promise to lend her money. Until now I can still vividly recall all the fraud she did to us but to make the story short, she made a fool of my mother – no money lent, only jewelries lost along with some if not all of our home appliances. It was so painful seeing my mother – a strong and kind woman – being fooled by someone. I promised myself that if ever I see that monster again I would beat her up with a metal pan not to the point of dying, but just enough beating to render her useless for a month, hah! This was also the time I became very pessimistic (but not emo) with life. I was 11.

I never heard of her again until one day, when I was in college I saw her talking to my mother. I was speechless to say the least. It’s as if all the long-gone pain has suddenly resurrected to inflict more and deeper pain. I am generally a forgive and forget person but when it comes to this woman, I am a no retreat no surrender warrior. Will I ever forgive her? Never, not in a million years. Not even until her carbon footprints vanish onto the oblivion.

It is but a different story for my father. I was a daddy’s girl until life happened and I chose to be that daughter no parent ever wished to have. But despite all the sorrow brought upon by broken promises and sudden no-shows, when the news of his passing reached me that fateful night of september 20, I just want to be transported to even just 5 minutes before he permanently left. I would tell him that we’re good, im sorry and goodbye. Have I forgiven him? Yes. Have I forgetten everything? Obviously not, but maybe I can pick out and throw away the bitter memories in exchange of him being here right now.

So to answer my question and I just realized this as I am finishing this post, that there is no definitive answer but the thing is, we set different standards for different people. And somewhere in that standard, there is this thing called love not just for the one who passed but to the people they leave behind. We just choose what’s best for our situation, our pride and our sanity.

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