Sunday, May 26, 2013

More complicated thoughts on estranged "family" death

I am very sad when people die.   It very much affects me.  I am also compassionate for the families of their relatives who are now gone.  

Strangers die, people I have watched on TV die, acquaintances die, people I have seen around town die, co workers die....and some of those people (not all but some) I have had a closer relationship than my own FOO.   Should I die, I do not want someone showing up at my funeral that I have chosen not to speak to for years---sometimes more than a decade even if we might share a gene or two.   I will be grateful for their mourning, but please do not desecrate me if you were not in my life with your pressence in my death.

In the same way, I have chosen to honor my cousin without pretending our relationship was something that it was not.   People closest to her that chose to keep their relationship real and alive with her should surround her at her funeral (assuming that was her wish). 

If this was myself (which it is notand I know that), I want a cremation and very private perhaps non existent memorial.   I do believe that my cousin who passed was not in spirit itching for me to rush down to be with her body and a bunch of people who have not bothered to reach out to me until a death in the family (typical by the way). Trust me, if she had not talked to me for years (and we had no falling out, I believe it was an organic growth of our dysfunctional family state), at no point would her big concern after death be whether I was there or not at her funeral.

 I guarantee you, my spirit will not be zoning for people I have not talked to for a decade or more when I go (but maybe that is just me, and just because I have dealt with that already).  Just scatter me with my pets around the beach or the yard by someone who truly loved me, and was with me through the happy, the sad, the bad, the good, the sickness, the health, the poor times, the rich times, through work, through play, and on and on.   Do not come to me after I die to say how much you blah blah blah.  You did not even know me.   I did not know my cousin that well, only superficially.  I did like and respect her.   I think I knew something of what she might of felt about our family.   Then again maybe not.   I have not talked to her for a very very very long time.   Before then, we may have talked once to three times a year, even when we were little.   We never corresponded on Facebook or anything like that.   Never shared a really deep thought.

I feel for her, and I feel for her family.   Got a call from my Uncle, which I did not return, after about seven years of him not bothering to contact me even after I reached out long ago.   This is not a punishment to him, he is just not in my life.   I worked very hard to purge myself of the virtual strangers that can take and can demand, but can never give or empathize in return.  And I do empathize with them, but they don't need me.   I don't need them to use me as their proof that I will come running, and after all we are a close family.   We ARE NOT FAMILY EXCEPT IN THE MOST STRICT BIOLOGICAL SENSE.

I know the cashier at the grocery store better, and I like her more.  (A bit harsh but I speak the truth here)   So while I feel sorry for them, they are going to need to turn to the people they have kept in their lives.   I grieve for my cousin on my own terms.  I certainly do not want that poison to surround me in my time of grief---that is really about lost opportunities for her.


mulderfan said...

Well said! Funerals are for the living. A time to mutually love and support on another not put on some false display of grief. Unless you're a narc, in which case, funerals are a time to hog the spotlight and pretend to care.

One of my fears is getting seriously ill and having my estranged family members crawl out from under their rocks to show up at my bedside. I've actually had nightmares about being bedridden while they put on a show of finally giving a shit. For this reason, should I get sick, I've asked my daughter not to inform the NFOO. Not only for myself but to protect her from becoming their next victim. You can bet your ass they would take advantage of her during a difficult time.

Winterskiprincess said...

I have to tell you, I have a bit of hostility towards my aunt (her mother) and how she treated her own daughter in public.

It makes me sad that perhaps noone loved her as her, a human being with flaws that did not make up her identity. The family has decided they will not talk about what they found when going through her apartment.

As if they should talk...pisses me off. If I went to the funeral, I do not know how I could sincerely hug my aunt. I feel bad she is going through this, but I can't help but think...all that public critisism and they are still not done with their judgement and critisim.

Sickening sick family I come from.

Winterskiprincess said...

They are supposedly huge Roman Catholics (which I am definately not), but isn't there a little blurb "judge not lest you be judged". It just makes me furious that they would judge my cousin. I am so sad for my cousin that she may have felt what I feel without the facing it head on before she left this world.

Those little shits.

Tundra Woman said...

IMO, your thoughts and feelings re: Death, Funerals etc. are very respectful toward the living and the dead aren't "there" anyway. Families such as we are discussing use *any* event, particularly major life events (Weddings, Births, Illness, Death) as a nasty platform to increase their "tactics," to publicly announce how damn important they *think* they are because every last thing is most fundamentally, all about "MEEEE!" and that's never gonna change.
It is very sad your cousin never "made it out." Think about all it took to get you "out," all the pain, the time etc. and you made it: Pretty impressive is quite the understatement, eh? ;)
I have so much hope-maybe too much?-that with the advent of all this technology, no AC will ever be left to fend for themselves alone. WSP, one of my most ardent "Bucket List" dreams is you and all the other ACs who Blog find your words and experiences will resonate with some lost AC out there and they'll realize there IS hope, all kinds of hope to truly have a Life, not a Life Sentence.
Have I said "Thank You?" No? Well, a huge thanks to you (and your fellow Bloggers) for caring enough about others to put it out here, in all it's personal pain and ugliness not only because it benefits you, but equally as importantly, it DOES help others.
IMO, I can not imagine a finer Legacy for any AC: The Selflessness inherent in Blogging is touching lives all over this Planet whether or not you realize that.
Thanks again and yeah, your cousin? Very sad.

Winterskiprincess said...

TW very kind things for you to say. I do hope that someone feeling so alone and confused in the world may find some reason restored by some of my words.

So that they know not only are they not alone, but they are not crazy either. And that THEY are probably not THE PROBLEM.

I still have a memory every now and again, where I am like how the friggin hell did I not see that then? And realizing I was groomed to repress, resist, and ignore any bad behavior on a few beings part.

It was close, because my husband was assuming I would go, and then I was like "um. why are we going"? Seriously, I can grieve just fine here and with someone that I know and love. Watched some movies we had watched together when we were younger, and drank some wine. Thought a lot about her, and how you just never know when it's your time. Live life well, and be happy.