Friday, August 21, 2009

Grudges, Guilt and Forgiveness

Once a upon a time in a land...oh screw it my life is no fairytale...Back in my early 20's, Jonny and I had a couple of good friends...hell they were our best friends, more like family. A day did not go by without spending time or speaking to these friends. Haley and Brian were not a couple, although spent some time being a couple, but they were always with Jonny and I. We didn't think of it as weird, strange, it was just us. Brian had dinner with Jonny and I every night, when Jonny did not want to go out with me (dancing, drinking, whatever) Brian would go with me. Haley was my best girl friend, she knew and knows my deepest darkest secrets (as did Brian).

What does all this warm and fuzzy crap have to do with grudges, guilt and forgiveness? Well, just before Jonny and I got married (Brian and Haley were to be in our wedding) the four of us had a falling out. I can't even remember exactly how it started but I remember thinking Haley was too hard to be friends with, and Brian did not want me to try to run his life.

We held this grudge for a long time...I gave birth to Ryan and Haley had Alexis and moved to California. Brian was around town we just never took the step to contact him. Flash forward...Haley called and wanted to get together...I took a deep breath and told her sure come on over. We forgave each other for whatever happened in the past and renewed our friendship. For the rest of the next few years we remained friends but none of us contacted Brian...

Then the unthinkable happens...Brian is in a fatal snowmobile accident...Jonny, Haley and I are shocked to the core...tears flow...guilt is too late for forgiveness...

We attend the wake and funeral, cry with all of his family and friends. I kneel at his casket and look at what was once one of my best friends...and ask through a water fall of tears for his forgiveness. That was 3 years ago...I (Jonny too) carry guilt of not calling Brian before it was too late. The guilt eats at us and still makes me cry at times. Praying helps a little...I pray a lot over this...the Brian I once knew would have forgiven me long ago...he may have before his death but I will never know.
Why am I going on with this sad story? Because I want others to be spared the guilt of holding never know when it will be too late for forgiveness.
Jonny has been making me proud in that department. He has been calling his former friends asking that the grudges be laid to rest. Sometimes asking for forgiveness for being an ass and other times just a "hey I have been thinking about you" type of call. He has learned from Brians never know when it will be too late. I too have learned...Haley and I have had rifts but we spent the last couple of days catching up...I forgave a young women from my past that I feel has wronged me. And I try to let go of grudges...before the unthinkable happens again and the guilt eats me up.

We miss you Brian!


  1. A wonderful post Dawn. You are a great writer and always full of good advice. The people close to you can be gone in a second so we need to enjoy every moment we get with them.

  2. I really enjoyed knowing Brian, he was one of a kind! Love G