I fear I am beginning to cross a line… from life affirming personal journey to socially awkward obsession.
The most recent cancer blow to hit us has my new-found knowledge veering from interesting and helpful cocktail conversation to the potential for brow beating. I’m having a very hard time stepping back from watching decisions other people make, knowing the potential consequences.
Smoking is a good example. At a dinner the other night I watched a number of colleagues leave the building for a cigarette break. With a few glasses of wine under my belt it was all I could do not to leap over the tables and bar the door… didn’t they know the harm they were doing?
I’m not sure what to do with this. I have no desire to alienate friends and colleagues but watching other people make choices that could result in the kind of pain my family has been consumed with for a seemingly endless amount of time is becoming increasingly difficult. I wanted to snatch the oven cleaner out of a stranger’s hand in the grocery store today.
I even had to stifle the urge to lecture the local elementary school for serving hot dogs and pop at the annual spring fair… the same school the Big Dude will be starting next year. Wouldn’t they love to see me coming in September after a public dust up over hot dogs?
I think some of the clarity I gained over Lent has dissipated after this latest cancer death. I’m not sure how to get it back. I am digging out my 12 little rocks and I am turning back to find solace in gratitude but I’m not sure where to put this anger.
… and I do think anger is probably the heart of my current problem. I am angry at this world we live in. The priest at the funeral, when talking about the breast cancer that took my Godmother, made reference to this polluted world we live in. It’s a statement that has been echoing in my head ever since. No matter what decisions I make to create a healthier atmosphere for my family, the decisions of other people in the increasingly irresponsible society will affect them. I can feed them the healthiest foods and use non-toxic products but that doesn’t escape second-hand smoke and pesticides blowing onto my lawn and being tracked into the house by the kids. I keep saying I don’t want to tell other people how to live their lives… but maybe I do.
They say anger is part of the process of grieving… perhaps I’m just stalled at this stage for a while… but, just in case, perhaps it’s not a good idea to offer my kid a hot dog or leave your car idling in my presence for a while… I may not be responsible for my actions.