Letting Go

“You are my perfect grandson,” my grandmother says. It comes out as a whisper, like everything she’s said in the past few weeks. Gray hair finally starts to show, a delayed indication of her old age. It’s hard for me to hear her, even harder to think about her more visible mortality.

There are different versions of perfection. Mine entails that every action I take has a purpose. Every course I enroll in expands my mind and prepares me for more difficult curriculum. Every interaction I have with my family has to end well, with some civility or a sign of progress. Every word I write has to be perfect, a pillar of my passion for language.

I’m not saying that perfection is a bad thing, or that we shouldn’t strive for perfection. But there comes a point when it’s too much, a point I’ve written about before, but am now just accepting. It’s okay if a course I take turns out not to be as challenging as I had wished. It’s fine if I have a screwed up family with wounds that will take years to mend, if they ever heal at all. I’m still alive if some of my writing gets tossed in the trash, as long as I keep on creating.

Last week, someone at my school committed suicide. Just the act itself, even excluding the horrendous details, made me think. We all have problems. Some of our problems may be bigger than other people’s problems, but everyone has problems. And it’s okay to let go of perfection and just cry or play video games or sit down and stare at the ceiling – if that’s what it takes to give yourself a break from your problems. As long as you don’t stop fighting and striving for more, it’s more than okay.

When my grandmother greets me, she still asks whether or not my mom has hurt me lately. I’ve always say no, so she doesn’t have to worry about her perfect grandson. I’ve accepted the food she’s given me and returned her gifts with white lies.

But, maybe, the next time I see her, I’ll say yes. I’ll tell her the truth, and we’ll talk about it together.

It’s time I let go.



Filed under Personal

29 responses to “Letting Go

  1. Talk to her. Do you know what I miss? Talking more to my sister before she died. It’s crazy because I was only six when she died. We didn’t have anything to talk about, and even if we had she was in the hospital and I was at home. But I would like to have talked to her.

    I sometimes imagine what talking to her would be like. Some people imagine being interviewed by big newspapers. I imagine talking to my dead sister. I’m just weird, I guess.

    Your grandmother isn’t going to be there always. If you think she’s strong enough to handle it, talk to her.

    • I agree with you, nothing is permanent, including the human life. I definitely think she’s strong enough so I will talk to her as soon as possible. Thank you for your words of wisdom, and I’m sorry that your sister passed away when you were so young.

  2. I agree with Colin. Talk. Please.

  3. Yes, let go, because letting go is better than keeping all of the dark memories devouring your soul inside of you. Let go even if it will hurt in the process. Thank you for the inspiring post Thomas. You are so brave.

    I wish you the very best for you and your grandmother, and everything in between,


  4. I think you should talk to her πŸ™‚ You might be surprised about how strong she will be and how she will be able to help you. My grandma is one of my sources of strength πŸ™‚ I wish you luck!

  5. This is so correct…so wonderful and so true. Personally even I have been going through an emotional turmoil and there is stuff that I can’t even share with people…it breaks me, I feel like hurting myself, I feel like giving up but I still go on living because of the people who love me and who would get real upset with my pain. Yet, I still let go…I cry…I voice out my feelings..I yell at people…I get irritated sometimes because I don’t wish to be fake at all times! I exist. I survive and I believe it’s all going to be okay.

    • I’m sorry that you’re experiencing emotional turmoil, but I admire your tenacity and your penchant for perseverance. Life is just one big roller coaster filled with ups and downs; we’ll both survive and make it out okay!

      • Yes, we don’t have a choice. We have to survive..we have to ‘live’. I sometimes feel this life is some game and we are the players. As we cross a level, we reach the next level which has more tribulations and tougher problems…We have to cross this level too to reach the next and so on till we win…till we conquer the whole plan! We are really strong players and that is why we do not fail in between…we keep moving…keep facing more…struggle, cry, fight and somehow move ahead. Yes, we are strong!

  6. Andreas

    It’s another great post, Thomas. Yep, sometimes, it’s better for some people to just keep their problems to themselves, without letting others know that something has happened to them, but most of the time, it hurts and we become even more devastated. It’s time to let go and you definitely need to talk to her, while you still have the chance. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Andreas! Yeah, sometimes we need to keep certain things to only a select few individuals, but it’s never good to entirely bottle problems up without releasing them at all. We can sublimate our emotions through writing, talking with friends, going for a run, etc. And you are correct, I’ll talk to her while I still can.

  7. Maybe I’m in no place to comment because I have never felt you kind of pain but whatever the pain is and whomever may have caused it talking about it always makes things better. Don’t underestimate your grandmother you don’t get to be that old without being a strong person.

    I wish you the best of luck and if I prayed my prayers would be with you, as it is I send all the good wishes I can from here and hop that it will get better for you

    • I don’t think you have to have felt the exact type of pain someone else has felt to sympathize or empathize with them, so thank you for your kind words. My grandmother is one of the strongest people I know; I guess I’ve just been trying to make her life as easy as possible, though she deserves to know what’s going on. Thanks again for your good wishes – they are appreciated.

  8. You have to talk to her, Thomas. It will never be easy, but of course, the things worth doing tend not to be. I wish I was as close to my grandparents are you are, but I am not. I rarely see them, and one of my grandfathers developed dementia before I could get to know him. You might not act but time constantly will. You’re close to your grandmother, and it is quite likely that she knows about the white lies. There may even be irony in that she also says nothing to keep you from worrying. You are 100% right; it is time that you let go. And whatever the outcome, you’ve got all of us for support too.

    • “You might not act but time constantly will.” Eloquent and truthful statement. You raise a few convincing points, especially possible irony. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, I’ll talk to her as soon as possible!

  9. Sometimes we feel it necessary to keep things to ourselves but there’s only so much we can lock away before the we get blown up by the sheer pressure. Talk to your grandma, from what I’ve read she’s a strong woman and I think it’ll mean a lot to her if you confided in her. It always feels good after talking, you know that you’re not alone, that you’re understood and it gives you strength to move on.
    One sit-down has the potential to change the course of your life, so do it before you miss the chance, we both know she won’t be around forever. I think about this and remember my own gran, it makes me wonder about all what I want to tell her … All the best, Thomas πŸ™‚

    • Yeah you’re right, she might be the strongest woman I know. As someone who loves empathizing people and talking and gaining new insight, I shouldn’t shy away from communicating with someone I hold so close to me. Thanks for your words of wisdom Devina!

  10. It’s ALWAYS better to let go. But I think the way you share your feelings with us, that’s one way because you don’t have to keep it inside you, if you do, no matter how strong you are, it will eat you up. You wouldn’t even realize it is doing exactly that until someone asks you why you’re acting weird.
    Good Luck! πŸ™‚ I hope that someday you’ll truly be able to let all of it go. (I sound a bit cheesy but I mean it)

    • Thanks Rashika! You’re right, people can act strangely when they’re bottling things up, and this blog does serve as a superb way for me to sublimate my emotions. You don’t sound cheesy at all to me, just heartfelt, and I appreciate that.

  11. Perfection, like you write, can be a good thing, It does make us strive to attain high levels in terms of achievements. But, as you must be finding out, it can be a burden, and it can come to a point that it makes you dislike, even hate things you enjoyed doing. It will make you shut yourself down from others, and while you think at that moment that you are doing the right thing, sometimes it is better to let go of that search for perfection, take a deep breath and look at life from a slightly different perspective. What you choose to do next time you see her is completely your choice. Just wanted to tell you that some people are worth the risk, of showing them your flawed self… And do keep writing…

    • I agree with you, it’s better to take a break or realize it’s okay to mess up occasionally rather than constantly craving for perfection no matter what. You’re right that whatever I do next is my choice and that my grandmother and I are already close, so we know how each other feels about this issue – I’ll confide in her, definitely. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

  12. Hmm, perfection is a good motivator but it can also open you up to serious pain if you’reto hard on yourself. As for your grandmother, you should definitely talk with her. I lost my dad last Spring. I did talk to him at the end but he couldn’t talk back because he lost his voice. I was sorry I didn’t talk with him when we could have a conversation. I let our differences get in the way – he was a very conservative Seventh-Day Adventist minister/preacher and I am a Queer, Agnostic, Secular Humanist. It would seem there is no such gulf between you and your grandmother so chat while you still can.

    • I’m sorry you lost your dad last Spring, even if you were able to talk to him a bit before he departed. You’re right that my grandmother and I don’t have many differences so I should talk to her while I can. Thank you for sharing a personal anecdote to show me the path I should take next – and thank you as always for your thoughts!

  13. I’m sure she’d still think you’re her perfect grandson =)

  14. You’re awesome. I’ve always admired how you’d balance things, and keep it perfect. Like, on how you wrote, and on how you manage being that perfect student and son. But you really need to loosen up sometime. Think of it as a way to keep you strong. You’ll still be that awesome, smart, and lovely person that we know.

    Look, we may not have seen each other in real life, but we’ve been blogging buds for some years now, I think. I would have wanted to hang out and to share some heart to heart talks with you, and perhaps just do my best to be a good friend. Darn the distance, right. But anyway, I’m extending my warmest e-hug for such a great WP friend. *hugs*

    Keep strong.

    • Being able to balance things and maintain my ambition has always been one of my strong points… which hopefully doesn’t sound egotistical. I just love setting high expectations for myself and working hard to achieve them. You’re right that loosening up is a requirement at times.

      I feel the same way about you; we’ve developed such a strong friendship through our blogs! Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts, and even do I dislike physical contact, I will return your e-hug. *hugs back* (:

      I’ll stay strong and I hope you will too!

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