Friday, January 18, 2013

What Now?

So, my old/former friend.  The one I wrote about a few days ago.  "Margaret."  Her husband sent me a friend request on Facebook.

What on earth do I do with that?

I don't want to hurt this man.  I don't want to set him straight or in any way disabuse him of his ideas about his wife.  I don't want to grind it home that her "conversion to Christ" was just the last of MANY such "conversions," each coming as part of a plea for aid from this church or that.  I remember her flipping Mormon on numerous occasions to get the ward to help her with her rent or give her food from the Bishop's stores.  I remember her showing up at St. Joe's at ten o'clock at night, banging on the rectory door and begging for food.  I remember Fr. Kaiser and Fr. What-a-Waste clearing their own cupboards to feed her and her son.  For weeks, she went to St. Joe's, oh, so sincerely interested in becoming Catholic.

Until she didn't need the help anymore.

The "Meg" I knew was an atheist.  Flat out, straight up.  From the first day we talked of it in 1980--long before *I* was an atheist.  As recently as a year ago, she was posting online that she was an unbeliever.

I keep hearing that her medical problems really devastated her family, financially.  For her to, once again, "find Jesus" in order to garner help from a church?  Totally believable.

On a related note, I see her mother posted to the online memorial.  "Wish we'd spent more time together."  That makes me want to scream.  That woman did more than her share to make her daughter's life hell.  That woman taught her daughter to never trust, gave her none of the comfort and nurturing a mother should.  If "Margaret" didn't spend any time with her mother, it was to guard what shreds of psychological health she had left.  It was self-preservation.

You may wonder why I'm so "up" on what's going on in the wake of the death of a person I chose to put outside my world and keep at a distance twenty years ago?  The answer is simple--I help run a memorial page for our high school.  I'm the person who finds obits and death notices and posts them for alumni to see.

And because, of course, I knew her.  I knew her in a way almost no one else ever did.  I knew more about her than pretty much anyone on this earth (maybe even a little more than Lynda, and that's saying something).  And I didn't hate her.  People assume that I must have hated her in order to walk away.  Not at all.  I walked away to preserve myself, to protect myself, to finally put a stop to the constant chaos, drama, and flat-out freakiness. Doesn't mean I hated her.

In fact, a part of me loves her still.  And even more of me is sorry she's gone.  If she managed to somehow rise above that morass of mental illness and find true joy?  My heart rejoices at the idea.

But that doesn't help me on the husband front.  I accepted his request, sent him some old pics of his wife.  I've gone back and deleted the blog entry about his wife's death.  Like I said, I'm not looking for a scorched earth thing.  While it is hard to see so many who didn't know her well back in the bad ol' days sing her praises (it feels like a slap, somehow, though I'm not sure why), I'm not going to play the "posthumous slaughter" game.  After all, what earthly purpose would that possibly serve?  Even if I wanted to hurt her, she's gone, she's dead, she's beyond hurting.  So what good would hurting a bunch of people left behind do?

None.  No good at all.

What a sad mess.  

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