I have said before, the pen is mightier than the sword, because it can wound from a distance. I have also said, I refrain from bringing family into my blogs, besides picking at my own little group. However, the time , sadly, has come, that I feel the urge to stab with my pen (keyboard). This doesn't come easily, I had to sit down and consider the ramifications. I have to realize that some of what I spew, may hurt people who do not deserve to be damaged in the line of fire. For this, I apologize before hand. I hope that those of you who read this, understand, sometimes when you are placed in a corner, and you have no choice but to put up a fight.
Death of a close family member is never easy. First you have that sense of instant loss, a empty space occurs so quickly, you can lose your breath. It is a physical loss, and emotional. I expect most everyone has felt this, at one time or another, if you haven't you are very lucky, myself, I have had the wind knocked out of me,more than once.
When a family group loses a member, the natural thing to do, is to bond together,because somehow, to share the hurt, makes it a tiny less painful. However, sometimes, the opposite happens, and when this occurs, the empty space gets bigger, with every blow that comes at a person. That is what happens when sides are pushed farther and farther away from each other. The initial loss grows, and surrounds every moment of one's day, and takes the ability to sleep away, it chews any scab of healing away, making the wound raw, with no way to dull the pain.
When you have a family that perhaps has no connection. One that was added after children were grown, and one that resides far enough away, that they never met, and have no clue about who each other is. There is absolutely no history, and no urge on either side to be a part of each others lives, you have potential for disaster.
We are living this disaster right now. These other people, who have lost someone who came into their lives 14 or so years ago, seem to think that those who had this person for their lifetime, somehow, don't matter as much as they do. They seem to think that the past 14 years is all that matters. They lay blame for lack of visitation on those who were made to feel like intruders when they did attempt to visit. Not by the family member, but by this new family, who did not want anyone else in their world.
But, what they don't know, is , the family member who left, never cut the ties with those who started their lives with him. They don't know that although these two people did not often sit across from each other, they would visit a couple of times a month. They don't know that during these visits, everything from finances, to dreams, to final wishes were spoken of. The conversations would go on for long periods, two people, who loved each other dearly, would find their space, and share their lives with each other.
The one left to mourn, did not brag about his "visits", but, he was condemned for not visiting, by one who felt they were superior, and knew everything about the departed. He was insulted, and hit blow after blow, on top of the initial loss.
This superior person, has no clue. They were not there almost 50 years ago, they were not there through struggles, births, losses. They arrived near the end, when things had settled, and were calm. When responsibilities were fewer, and stress was not a constant. They enjoyed the peaceful times, and got the quality time, that comes with age, and wisdom. They got to have the time that those with the lifetime history, would have loved to have, but, got a taste of, with their phone conversations, that came from the heart.
Those conversations were not shared with the others, so although they may think they know everything, they do not!! They do not realize that although they never knew us, we got to know something about them. They may not like to think way back to when they were known, and maybe they think some things are forgotten, they are wrong. People do change, so perhaps they have changed some, our part of the family certainly has.
We have learned through our losses that it is better to try and remember the positives, we have learned that a hurt like this, is far better shared, to help make things less painful. We hoped that this would be a time of mutual understanding, a time when we supported each other. Instead, it became a time of bitterness, and cruelty. A time when walls were put up, to stop anyone else in. A time when assumptions ran haywire. A time when questions were refused, communications were cut, and impossible challenges set to be allowed to take part in saying good-bye.
They obviously have no concept of the hurt they are perpetrating. This is a time that will stay with those left, forever. They will relive this constantly, and for this, there is no forgiveness. They feel they are the only ones who deserve compassion, and sympathy. Well, I have this to say, they claim they knew the person that was part of their lives for 14 years. If they think that he stopped loving those who began their lives with him, they never knew him at all!!!
I heard the words Love you too, Dad, spoken at the end of every "visit" before the phone was hung up. I heard these words during the conversations. I know the bond of a father and son, never left with the addition of this new group of people. I know this bond became stronger, because they had their visits, when it was just the two of them, and those others, were not a part of this.
The pain of loss has been dulled a little by anger, the need to walk away from what should be a time to support each other, and separate into different groups, is unnatural, and this, in itself, will continue to fester. To accept that others were a part of this person's life,is apparently impossible. To assume they loved him more and better is childish, and inconsiderate, in fact, it is vain. To do exactly the opposite of what the person we knew would want, is unacceptable.
We cannot do what this man requested, to insist, would only make matters worse. So, perhaps they will continue with the assumption they know what is best, but, just to be clear...we know what was wanted.He said so, in one of those non-visits!! They have managed to place guilt on one who made a promise to do specific things, and now is unable to follow through. It is still not too late, it can be mended, all it will take is the acceptance that others belonged in this life, and others have a right to honour it as they promised.
Be kind to one another, when you share a loss. Sharing the pain will not make it go away, but to remember together, will make it bearable. Sharing memories keeps everyone who has left, live with us for just a moment longer.