Friday, September 30, 2022

An ending

Last Sunday afternoon, just as I sat down to dine with three dear friends in a restaurant across town, I got a text from my brother-in-law saying his and my husband's sister had just died. I rushed home, thinking to comfort my husband, but he had gone into his cave, watching the ballgame silently in between fielding calls and texts from family members. His sister had been ailing for some time with lung cancer, which had lately spread to the frontal lobe of her brain. Her death was expected, but no less devastating, especially as this sister and our family had for years been estranged, due to, of all the empty reasons, a continuing stalemate over the terms of her parents' will. We had managed a warmer communication toward the end, but it is a thin comfort when I remember all the years before, when our families were close, when the cousins played and laughed, when my mother in law was still alive to be the glue. Families are hard. This death is hard. My husband is emotionally submerged, my son was philosophical, my daughter wept. "You're taking it the hardest of us all," I said. "No," she replied, my wise child. "I am just the one with the most access to my emotions." At least our sister is at peace now, and I like to think, understands that love never went missing, not for a moment, even though speech was, for so many wasted years, withdrawn. And now she is gone, and the earthly things that drove a bitter wedge into the heart of a family can never truly be healed, at least not in this life. They say there is no point in regretting what can never be changed, and yet I do. 




11 comments:

  1. I'm sorry. Yes, families can be, often are hard. Your daughter is wise.

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  2. It is sad to lose a family member when all the misunderstandings hadn't been resolved. Still we learn to make peace with what is and what can never be. I am sorry for your loss.

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  3. Oh, man. That's hard. I am so sorry for the family. Unfinished business can be far more disturbing than peaceful memories. Or...not. And your husband will deal with all of it in his own unique way, as you know, and your daughter is right, as you also know. Sometimes I think that complete closure and healing are not even truly possible in this world of ours. Humans are awfully complex. We do our best and then, sometimes, we just have to let go.
    Sending love.

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  4. This is so hard to read. I am going through similar family conflicts right now and it's impossible to set limits or to avoid getting caught up in the bitterness. Stay close, look after your dearest ones and pay your respects to the love that has been lost. Much love.

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  5. I'm sorry. Grief is always more complicated when things have been difficult. Sending hugs for your whole family.

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  6. I am sorry for your loss. The circumstances make the loss harder. I understand. Family issues are never easy.

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  7. That's hard, when people leave your life with unresolved issues. I'm so sorry for your family and the loss you have had.

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  8. So hard. My husband lost his brother late last year and yes, he went into a solid state. He is only now starting to be able to cry. And heal. We have had so much love from my brother-in-law's friends, who were really his family. And where there is love, yes, it is always better. I am so sorry. Sending best wishes to you all.

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  9. This death is hard. Sending love to you and your family.

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  10. I send condolences and hugs...

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  11. I'm sorry for your and your husband's loss. Family issues are strange and implacable. I hope your hearts will ease.

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