We Do Not See the World as It Is. We See the World as We Are.


The title of this post might have come from the Talmud or Anaïs Nin or perhaps another source… I’ve never seen it in any original text, so I’ll just thank the one who revealed such truth and move on. I’m sharing it now because yesterday, someone told me, “Your problem, Magaly, is that you lack conviction. You can’t see truth because you don’t understand it.” The words made me roar with laughter, which might have a tad weird as I was standing in front of a funeral home after having dropped off the clothes my little brother will wear during his viewing.  

The above statement was prompted after I told the person, “I believe you knew exactly who my brother was, to you. I trust that my sister-in-law knew exactly who my brother was, to her. I assure you that my father knew exactly who my brother was, to him. I know exactly who my brother was, to me. Everyone who knew my little brother knew their real Pabelo. And you know what? Your truth and my truth are not more or less important than theirs, or more special, or less real. You saw him through your experiences; that’s all. So no, we won’t have your [religious leader] come and direct services at my brother’s funeral. Even if you, in your heart of hearts, always knew that my little brother wanted to join [insert religious path of person in question] like you.”

My family subscribes to many different religions: we have Catholics, Baptist, Seventh-day Adventists, Pentecostals, Mormons, Evangelists, Nature Lovers, non-religious people, and I, of course, who might be the last openly witchy soul in the bunch… we have a bit of everything, my Wicked Luvs. And I think it’s wonderful; especially, in the case of the few of us who can sit down and discuss the commonalities and differences of our beliefs in non-theological ways. I wish that can become true when it comes to our personal feelings of my brother. I want that each of us can accept that our Pabelo was as real as the next person’s. IrelandBrady explains my reasons best:

People are very complex creatures. Each person sees something different in the same person. Therefore, one is a different person to each of the different people in one’s life. When one leaves this life they leave behind all these different personas of who they are. The individuals left behind feel they each knew what was best for the “person” they knew and that they knew that person in a way in which no other person did. Which is true.

Therein lies the seeds of conflict. Once people shake off the fog that blinds them to the feelings of others who have also lost this person, understand the person was known and loved by many in a multitude of personas; then the conflicts lessen, comforting each other ensues, healing begins.

Your brother’s love lives on through all who loved him.

I’ve never believed that the “The truth shall set you free.” For, like J. K. Rowling puts it on The Casual Vacancy, “It frighten[s] people when you [are] honest; it shock[s] them.” However, our personal truths—the way we see the world—when shared, explained, combined and accepted can turn us into a huge happy family.

I started Pabelón, a blog where I intended to share bits about my brother’s life, because I wanted his truths to be separate from mine. I wanted my story about him to be as free from my influence as it was manageable, but that is impossible. I’m sharing my brother as I remember him. I’m writing his truths after they are filtered by my love for him. So, I guess, they are our truths; not his.

I’m sure you’ve already noticed that I brought the two posts I wrote at Pabelón to Pagan Culture. I will celebrate my brother as I remember him—bright, playful, a bit irresponsible at times, totally lovable all the time, real—I hope others can do the same. Pabelo and his daughter deserve that much.
Pabelo at our big brother’s birthday dinner

Pabelo and I. He was upset because I was going to cut my hair.

Papi, my big brother (Miguelo), and Pabelo eating my pineapple upside down cake.

Pabelo, my brother Fernando and I—I hadn’t told Pabelo about the haircut yet.

Nicole, my brother’s daughter, feeding her daddy ;-)



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30 comments:

  1. A very calm and beautiful post. I continue to send you and your family blessings of love at this trying time <3 XXX

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    1. Thanks for the love, my Gina, it keeps us going.

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  2. Reading your words and feelings, it makes me wonder how my trip to the otherside will be handled by those outside of my home. I am, as are we all, viewed differently by different people as they filter through their own mind. A time like this is very difficult on so many levels and having worked in the funeral business, I saw and overheard so many arguments based on family members wanted to be soothed in different ways. Tug of war seems inappropriate as hell at a time like this but please know....it is more the norm than not. Just thought I'd give you that insight.
    I saw people actually come to blows over flowers and services. And more angry tears than mourning ones. The well that all of this comes out of in the human heart is very very murky and deep.
    Let it flow by you my darling and keep your powder dry. Oma Linda

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    1. When I went to drop off my brother's clothes, I had to wait for a while; another family was making arrangements with the funeral clerk. Two of the family members were outside fighting over the deceased's car. It's sad, very sad.

      I'm letting it flow...

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  3. Rather arrogant, to state, unequivocally, that you, Person B, knows what Magalys' brother wanted. Even more important to dictate, in legal form, how we want our body, our funeral, dealt with.

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    1. One of the only "good" things that have come out of this occurrence is that many have said that perhaps it would be best to set their wishes in writing. Sad, sad, sad...

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  4. I am just astounded that people are trying to tell you how your brother's funeral should be. It's not their decision to make!

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    1. At was surprised at first, now I'm just keeping my guard up to keep the blow from breaking my face.

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  5. And how rude of that person to judge you, tell you you can't see the truth because you don't understand it? How arrogant!

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    1. Arrogance can be quite blinding.

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  6. A very important post. It really resonated with me because you are so right. And the funny thing is time can be factored into it as well. Thinking of the parent/child relationship and how it changes. Anyway, take care Magaly. Thinking about you.

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    1. Your words are always typed wisdom. I've always wondered why parents act a certain way as teenagers and then yell at their own teenage kids when they do exactly the same. It's not hypocritical behavior, it's just seeing the world how they are and trying to do what they feel is best for their children. That might be the reason why although behavior like the one described on this posts annoys me, but it doesn't make me angry. I know that deep behind the arrogance, this person believes that this is best for everyone.

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  7. The nerve of some people never fails to astonish me. I would n't have been able to laugh. Those things are beyond my control. I might have been able not to punch him..perhaps..not likely. How dare he?
    Anyway, thank you for sharing this pictures with us. I hope peace will fill your heart!

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    1. Sometimes I laugh to keep my brain busy with the sound and to use the adrenaline from fueling my arms into motion.

      Thanks for the peace ;-)

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  8. Why do boundaries fly out the window at funerals and weddings? Everybody wants to muscle in and take over!

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    1. I never thought it could get this bad. No wonder I've always disliked traditional weddings...

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  9. Sending you and your family love and strength. You will all be in my thoughts today.

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    1. *Receiving it with open hearts*

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  10. I think this post is thoughtful and well put, I also was very impressed with Karen Anne's (IrelandBrady) comment when I read it on your post, very wise, very true... and you dear Magaly are handling/organising people/decisions as best as you can and not always in a supportive environment, I have a feeling your brother would be very proud of you xoxo

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    1. It is one of the things I love most about sharing my experiences. When things get really, really, really tough, there is always a soul that has better answers than I do or who completes the ones I'm working on.

      I'm hoping my brother is happy. And shaking his head at the silliness, but still smiling ;-)

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  11. I completely agree with you, we definitely see people in our own way. Like put me and one of my oldest friends together and I bet his husband wouldn't recognized him, cause we've been told we act different when together.

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    1. No one can describe the world to our hearts. We must see it through our own love ;-)

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  12. I was reading this beautiful post to your brother when I surprised, and very honored, to see that you had included one of my posts. I look forward to your sharing more about your brother as time goes on from your loving and unique perspective, your recent posts have seemed to bring him to life in my imagination and the love you have for him just seems to spill over on each of us. Thank you so much for sharing your brother with all of us. Much love to you and your family.

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    1. Thanks for the love and for your wisdom. Your thoughts kept me true to myself at a moment when things could have gotten really ugly. You are a lovely witchy woman.

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  13. Magaly, I don't know why people say or do what they do, all I know, is that this is a beautiful post! A post that shows your beautiful family and all the love within! Karen Anne's comment is very wise! Hugs and much love to you and your family!

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    1. Thanks for the hugs and the love. Regardless of how much we get of those two, more is always better.

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  14. I guess I've never thought of it that way, but it makes sense. Especially in certain cases. I'm sure I see certain people in ways that even people on the outside do not. We all have our own relationships with them, which don't mirror anyone else's.

    I'll be with you today, and everyday for that matter, in spirit. I'm sending love and strength to you and your family and friends today.

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    1. I think it's hard to see the world through another's eyes, especially when we are too worried with our lives (which we usually are) and when what others want go against everything that we are. I've been telling myself those words. A LOT. Particularly when certain people's behavior make me see red. It's hard, hard, hard...

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  15. isabel3/11/2013

    hola magaly me gustaria que pongas una aplicacion para poder tradurcir la pagina. me gustaria leerlo...

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    1. Hola, Isabel. La quité sin querer, pero acabo de añedirla otra vez. Google no es a mejor traductor del mundo, y alguna veces cambia palabras claves y termina por cambiar lo que uno quiere decir, así que sientete libre de hacer preguntas si algo suena confuso (o un poquito loco).

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