A transgender male grieves his brother by embarking on the Ride to Conquer Cancer, and seeks ways to let go of his family grievances
“Ask a Guru” matches your needs and questions with one of the professional practitioners in the Soul’s Code community:
BY CHASE CAMERON — On November 27th, 2009, 3:50 p.m., at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, Gerald Wayne Mori died of leukemia. He was 45 years old and he was my younger brother and only sibling.
During the last several years of his life we had grown so close, and I came to know him as more than just the successful family favorite. I came to know Jerry as a big man with a huge heart, a wicked sense of humor and a deep love for his friends.
He knew I was going to participate in The 2010 Toronto Ride to Conquer Cancer (to Niagara Falls, ON), and do the 200 miles in a weekend version, not the 100 kilometers. He said he wouldn’t miss it for the world. I watched his home and cat Petrina for five weeks in May/June 2009 while he was at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
I do not drive, and the friend of his who was to take me to see him never did. Key family members did all they could, emotionally and physically, to keep me from my brother, and I didn’t see him until the day before he died.
By this time a “friend” had completely taken over legally in all matters concerning Jerry. I was made nothing. Again. On the day before he died Jerry and I had a great four hours together. He said that he was sorry for giving me a hard time about becoming his brother when I’d been his sister for 43 years first (I’ve been a trans-gender male for the past three years).
He loved me. I was able to make peace with him. No one took me to the hospital the next day and he died then, with people who didn’t care. I was not told where he was buried, and was not allowed to speak at his funeral. I found out his resting place from a complete stranger three months after the burial.
The Ride to Conquer Cancer means everything to me. My family and friends aren’t donating to the ride. If I don’t make a certain minimum ($2,500 and I set an extra $500 for Jerry, for a total of $3,000,) I will not be able to ride, to keep my promise.
It feels like family and friends are doing all they can to hurt me, but really they are punishing cancer victims and spitting on Jerry’s grave.
I’ve spent money printing cards and donation forms and people won’t take them. I approached my church. Nothing. Family. No. Knocked on doors.
I was chased off a mall lot as a panhandler! I was merely handing out the cards and forms, not taking money. I am doing YouTube videos under MrChaseCameron. I’m still a thousand short of minimum. . .$1,450 short of my real goal.
I need to know this; I’m learning to detach and let go, but how do I REALLY do this. I’m faking it right now but in order to heal and move on, aside from doing this cancer ride, I need to let go. It hurts and I need advice. I WILL listen.
Soul’s Code guru David Rickey responds:
It is clear you are in a lot of pain because your family does not accept you as you are. The question back is: “Do you really need their acceptance?” By holding on to the need for their acceptance, you are giving away your power to them. That power is what is, among other things, enabling you to do this marathon ride in Jerry’s honor and memory.
You have had the power to make an important decision for yourself, to recreate your body to conform to your inner sense of who you are, despite the social and familial disapproval you have certainly faced. That is great strength. I believe that if you truly shift your focus toward riding to conquer cancer, rather then spending much of your energy resenting the rejection you have experienced, you will be much more likely to succeed.
You cannot make others love or accept you. You clearly had a good and warm connection with your brother. And that counts for a lot. Your family suffers because they do not have the privilege of knowing the compassionate person that you are. Pray for them and hold them with love in your heart. It may not change them, but it will detoxify the emotions in you that weakens you.
Although “revenge” isn’t a real option, I like the expression “Living well is the best revenge.” Your continuing to move forward with your life, not being determined by whether your family accepts you, or even whether the “world” provides you with the means to make this ride, — that will be your best contribution to the evolution of the planet, and indeed, the conquering of disease.
Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see.” Fully accept who you are, and live boldly in that acceptance. Your family will either benefit from your bold self-affirmation, or they won’t. That’s their work. But you will radiate a much more vital energy to the world around you when you live from within your deepest core of truth regardless of how the world treats you.
Blessings on your journey!
Father David Rickey is rector at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in San Francisco.
Please note that the advice in this column does not replace accessing on-going, face-to-face counseling services from a licensed healthcare practitioner.
Readers can submit a problem or concern which will be answered by one of the practitioners affiliated with Soul’s Code. Submit your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your submission to a maximum of 350 words. Submissions may be edited for length.
If this spoke to you, here are five similar articles.
- Breathing Room: How do you find it after a little child has died?
- Priceless is what remains after a loved one dies
- In relationships, besides love, here is the one necessary trait you need to make it last
- Write your own Love Scroll
- Is happiness the default state of we humans?