Sunday, May 26, 2013
More complicated thoughts on estranged "family" death
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.