Saturday, July 30, 2016

Review - Powerscourt Gardens, Dublin Ireland

Powerscourt Tower Garden - 2016
One a recent trip to Europe I had the opportunity for a day trip from Dublin to visit Powerscourt Estate and GardensIt has been dubbed one of the most beautiful gardens in Ireland and at some points in history - perhaps the world.  The gardens were designed in the 1700's  with rose gardens, reflecting ponds, tree plantations, long vistas and even a pet cemetery. As you can imagine over 300 years - there could be lots of pets :(

Top-line - an enjoyable visit and nice to get out of the city. I would not say it compares in quality for gardens in other parts of the world..

  • Pros - a great historic site and good long vistas over the formal garden, very nice cafe
  • Cons - a bit of a distance, trails beyond the core garden are not well maintained, on the bus route so can get crowded, pricey.
One the way back into Dublin we took the coast road and spent time at the James Joyce Museum which was quaint and  very interesting. 

Entrance to Powerscourt Estate and Garden 2016
Please read on for some photos of the day. Also see my other reviews of Ireland sites and adventures.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Writing a Eulogy for an Abusive Parent - Honest and Respectful Approach

Every day there are millions of people who lose loved ones. Some portion of those people, like me, may have lost an abusive or less-than loving parent and be wondering: Should I go to the funeral of my abusive parent?, How do you have a funeral for a bad parent?,  How do I give a Eulogy for my abusive parent?  I struggled for many weeks with this dilemma.  I'm one of 5 kids and all of them kept saying "someone needs to say something." Yet nobody was raising a hand. As one of the children planning the funeral, it seemed like it would fall to me. It seemed like they all assumed I would handle it. I'm one of the strong ones, albeit a tad of an outsider within the family... 

How could I attend the funeral for a woman that physically and mentally abused me, a bad mother, a grandmother who was critical and difficult with my children, an alcoholic and prescription drug abusing woman who had fits of rage, a woman who I believe sexually abused my older brother. a mother that put family members in the hospital with injuries she inflicted? This woman, my mom has just passed away - I was numb. I didn't want to be around my siblings. I didn't want to go anywhere let alone the funeral. I couldn't decide how to be respectful yet honest. There was no way I was going to stand up saying she was the best mother ever. Yet I didn't want to write a scathing eulogy. I wanted to be honest about her poor treatment and how I felt - that was mixed emotions. 

After much deliberation about what my mother had done to me and for me - I choose a road with subtle sign posts to the informed listener of the story of my mother's treatment of her children. It's here in between the lines, in the words said or not said. Here is how I wrote a eulogy for my bad-mom who didn't really love me or her other kids. Here is how my grieving and healing began.

I'm posting a portion of my eulogy here - so perhaps others might have a bit of a guide to how one person approached their own difficult situation.  This is a long long blog...