Everyone has to make their own decisions. I still believe in that. You just have to be able to accept the consequences without complaining. Grace Jones
Often I am struggling with my own decisions. This week it would be a struggle even without the perceived judgment of friends. I am on an extended stay in a foreign country. A week ago I received the news that a friend’s daughter had committed suicide.
Immediately I called my friend and followed up again within a couple of days. Based on those conversations I decided not to return home early. She and her husband were essentially in seclusion except for family. That is what they wanted. They were refusing offered food and visits.
My experience is that family gathers at such times. It is implicit (and in this case vocalized) that the desire is to be with those who most clearly understand the loss.
In talking with my friend, she was clear that her greatest desire was to invite those to the service who had known her daughter in high school, college and early in her career; those who remembered her before her troubled times. Although she wanted the attendance of our close-knit group, she understood that I was away.
There is where my questioning begins. Should I have gone home for the service? Is the celebration of life so important that I should have intuited the necessity of my attendance? My other friends seem to think so.
On one hand I continue to believe that I will be more valuable in the weeks and months to come. My continuing friendship and my attentiveness when the shock wears off and everyone else goes back to their lives will be more important than the two hours I didn’t spend with her at the graveside and the lunch after.
It’s too late to change my mind. This conundrum is only a sort of self-torture that I hope to leave behind me. After all, why spend good time after an irrevocable decision, be it good or bad?
If I can convince myself that my decision was right for me…and, if it wasn’t, then forgive myself; perhaps I will stand easily if I encounter the judgment of others.