Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Burying the Past

Have you ever heard some of these sayings or versions of the same theme?
  • Time heals all wounds 
  • Leave the past behind and move on
  • That was then, this is now
  • Bury the past or bury the hatchet
  • Get a grip
  • Pull yourself up by your bootstraps
  • Don't let the past steal your future
  • Suck it up cupcake
There is truth in all of these. But I think how to; heal, leave it behind, get a grip and move on to enjoy the present and future is open to interpretation. How to do this and how long it takes will be different for everyone.

Do you think there is a difference between leave the past vs bury the past?

Noah Webster's revised unabridged dictionary 1828 and 1913 editions offer various definitions:

Leave 1913
  1. To withdraw one's self from; to go away from; to depart from; as, to leave the house.
  2. To let remain unremoved or undone; to let stay or continue, in distinction from what is removed or changed.
  3. To cease from; to desist from; to abstain from.
  4. To desert; to abandon; to forsake; hence, to give up; to relinquish.
  5. To let be or do without interference; as, I left him to his reflections; I leave my hearers to judge.
Bury 1828
  1. To deposit a deceased person in the grave; to inter a corpse; to entomb.
  2. To cover with earth, as seed sown.
  3. To hide; to conceal; to overwhelm; to cover with any thing; as, to bury any one in the ruins of a city.
  4. To withdraw or conceal in retirement; as, to bury one''s self in a monastery or in solitude.
  5. To commit to the water; to deposit in the ocean; as dead bodies buried in the deep.
  6. To place one thing within another.
  7. To forget and forgive; to hide in oblivion; as, to bury an injury.
In summary and context to this topic, my answer would be:
  • leaving - means ignoring something I don't want to deal with
  • burying - means taking action to finish dealing with something I no longer want to bury me
In case you haven't read my page Meet Tammy Sue or listened to my Audio Clip, let me back fill for you. My relationship with my Dad was, to say the least, estranged. My Dad had a hard life growing up so in turn he shared that with me and my family. As time went on, his attitude grew harder, defensive and turned bitter and angry as he turned to alcohol which didn't agree with his pain medication nor the betterment of our family structure. Our home was fraught with tension, verbal and physical abuse.
  • June 1986 was the last time I spoke with Dad. Alcohol took over his priorities.
  • March 1992 Dad died.
  • July 1992 I learned he died (4 months after the fact), that there'd be a service of sorts, but never heard another word.
  • September 2011 I learned my dad had never been buried. 
  • July 2012 I obtained his ashes -
    • 20 years after he died
    • 26 years after the last time I talked to him
  • October 27, 2012 I buried him
When a crazy thing happens like getting ashes I didn't know existed, and then having the opportunity to bury them 20 years later, it gives a whole new perspective on: put it behind you, move on, and bury the past. 

funeral, alcoholic, abuse, ashes, closure, leave, Tammy Sue Willey, Domestic Violence, testimony
My Shadow, Dad and me age 8 or 9
Another crazy thing happened. The Pastor of our church at that time, asked me to share my story of Domestic Violence to our congregation on October 28, 2012. This would be a first and new experience for me. Well, the dad thing was also new to me! 

I agreed to speak at church several weeks before a burial date was considered.  After coordinating family schedules with the cemetery schedule, the available date for all involved was -
October 27.  

October 27 - I buried Dad.
October 28 - I shared my abuse testimony.

At this stage of my life, why was I willing to share my story or bother to bury my abuser? Because it seemed Divine intervention was at hand to make sure I was going to deal with my past in full throttle. Holding my breath and operating on emotional fumes, all I could do was laugh. 

This was so crazy, crazy, crazy, how could I ignore the choices put in front of me?! 

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses, now choose life ... " 
I now saw this as an opportunity, not only for me but my family, 
to try and move on and not remain stuck. 

funeral, alcoholic, abuse, ashes, closure, leave, Tammy Sue Willey, Domestic Violence, testimony
Burying the Past October 27, 2012
All my life I’d been searching to fill the void and fix the hole that only a little girl’s daddy can fill, but he blew it. Now I was about to put in a hole the person who left a big hole in my heart. Emotions are a funny thing. They can laugh, cry and rejoice all at the same time. 

You can imagine, there is more to this story, but I'll share, this was a gift that offered closure when it seemed there was nothing left in me to be closed. A person dies for real once, but apparently, I was given more than one opportunity for closure. It became my choice to either scoff at it, or accept it.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds ..."  
Do you have something from your past that you thought was buried but then it reappeared, forcing you to face "it" again and try to bury "it" again?

Do you have something from your past that needs to be buried? 

Or do you think it's better to leave the past alone?


Linda Loegel said...

Well said, Tammy Sue, well said. As to your first question, yes, something I thought was buried resurfaced and I had to deal with it again. Thanks to you, we got through it and I've been able to move on. I owe you a lot, Sweetheart. Thank you.

Tammy Sue Willey said...

Thank you Mom for your willingness to dig with me while both of us get our fingernails dirty. Because of that, we are both getting through it. Thank you!