6/9/14

Y2R Adventure 21: A Funeral and Other Family Drama


What I did: Return to my hometown for a family funeral


When I did it: March 2014

Notes:  


When tragedy struck, I made plans to return to my hometown. My family needed me, especially my mother. I arranged childcare and arranged for a hotel room so that my estranged sister could stay with my parents. 
At the end of the funeral, my grieving aunt walked across the graveyard to me. "You told me 'anything you need'.This is the thing you can do to for me." She puts an arm around my waist and turns me toward my sister. 

"No!"

"I need something good to come out of this day. And this is what I want." She kept her grip tight as she walked--dragged me over to meet her face to face. 

I laughed nervously and tried to hold us back. I protested; my aunt persisted. "I must love you even more than I know, Aunt M," I said as I gave up the fight. She led me like a lamb to slaughter.
My cousin, standing near my sister, saw what was coming her way. She backed out of the scene slowly. Then one look at the panic on my face and she stepped back into the fray. She grabbed my hand and held on. I squeezed her hand in gratitude.
The "ambush" (my sister's word) didn't go so well. We made a big scene, but not much progress. Not that I was surprised. See, my estranged sister and I had already made contact, before the funeral started. I saw her late entry into the graveyard and had walked over to accompany her to the graveside. She recoiled when I approached. I withdrew and headed closer to hear the stories told by my grieving relatives, but not before I'd handed her one of the clean tissues I'd brought for myself. 

No biggie, as I as leaving immediately after the service. We wouldn't see each other again on that trip. I'd head back to my life and away from the tatters of my childhood.  

I know our reconciliation is my parents' biggest wish. For their sake, I'm hoping we can be in the same room together, without all this unnecessary, unfounded drama. As for me, I'm apathetic. She has free will. I harbor no ill will for her thoughts toward me. I wish her peace and happiness. If her life doesn't include me, then it doesn't include me. Sometimes you were born into the same family, and that's the majority of what you have in common. As for me, "family" may not be blood; "family" are the ones you love and count on, and the ones who love and count on you back. Maybe one day we'll become family again.

Rest in peace, my dear uncle and assorted aunts, cousins and grandparents.
The Takeaway/What I learned:  Be there for others. Sometimes your presence is more precious than anything else you can offer.
Do Again?:  When necessary.

Rant:  Considering that I talk to dead people, you'd think I'd be hospitals and funeral homes. I'm not. Because my sensing abilities are stronger than my seeing abilities, these places always spook me. I can feel the presences, I can sense the activity. But if I've dragged myself to either place, it's because of a loved one. I'm likely to be emotional, not detached and sensing. 

Rave:  Although I ended up spending most of the wake outside in the rocking chair, meditating away far away from the casket, I stayed until the end. It meant a great deal to my mom, aunts and cousins, to share in the grief. It meant something to me and to them. It cemented our relationships and gave me more people who have my back. I'm glad I went to celebrate the lost loved one and celebrate the living.

Words of Wisdom:  What we do for others shows our love.



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