Letting Go of the Past.

January 5, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Posted in Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy), My life, Stuck with You (aka: Family) | 4 Comments

This summer, I heard from my cousin that my uncle is getting remarried.

His wedding is happening as I am writing this, actually.

I found out from my cousin’s post on Facebook that the wedding was today.

I recognize that I am still grieving the loss of my Aunt Judy, and I’m sure I’d have mixed feelings about this day no matter what. But hearing about his wedding via social media? It just put in sharp relief just how far apart our family has grown.

There was a time when I spent every DAY at my aunt and uncle’s house, when I was a child. My mom and Aunt Judy were best friends, it seemed. We had weekly meals and ALL holidays – including birthdays – at our house or their house. And in fourth grade, as an act of desperation with my academic (and emotional) struggles, my mother asked my Aunt Judy if I could spend time at their house after school, because she was my favorite and I was “happier there.”

My cousin Amy and I were best friends and worst enemies and best friends, often in the same day. She was as close to me as my own sister.

It changed so many years ago; first with my grandmother’s death, and then Amy’s death, and now Judy’s death. A slow pulling away, time and distance coming between the people who used to be my childhood lifeline.

I used to lay in bed at night, dreaming about my aunt becoming my guardian in the event that my parents died. What it would be like to be a part of their family? My aunt made me feel loved and happy and how good I felt whenever I spent time with them.

I didn’t know how much of an anchor Judy was for me until she died.

I have felt, from the moment my cousin called me to tell me she was brain dead and on life support so that my uncle could see her one last time, this strange sense: I am not part of their family.

That day? I really, really wanted to drop what I was doing to drive down and see her before she died. I wanted to cry, hug her, and tell her I love her. I even asked my cousin, under the guise of wanting to be helpful. New Haven wasn’t that far. But he didn’t want me to, and I wanted to respect their privacy, because how much loss he has suffered over the years.

And honestly. I am not part of their family. The memories I have, those feelings of being part of them, was all in my head.

And 30 years ago.

I wish my uncle and his new wife happiness with my heart and soul. My uncle, my godfather, is a good man, and he deserves to spend the rest of his life with a companion who will make him happy. From what I can glean from social media, his new wife makes him happy.

And she’s my new Facebook friend, so I suppose that’s something.

It’s just really hard to let go of the past.



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  1. God. That must be so hard.

    Abiding with you.

  2. It is a hard reality that I have found happening too often in my own life–people/family who I was so close to–drifting apart. People who were so important to me…gone through death or simply life making its impact.

    Sorry you found out through FB instead of a more personal way.

  3. My life was similar growing up…my parents both worked so my siblings and I were raised by my maternal grandparents and my maternal uncles (and one of my uncle’s wives (who, incidentally, is en route here now with dinner). My grandmother kept the family together…she was the matriarch and we all came together for her. I remember when she was dying in the nursing home saying to my cousin that when she passed away, that would be the end of our family. We weren’t strong enough and didn’t like each other nearly enough to come together without her. She died in 2005 and that has been exactly what has happened…we’ve all gone our separate ways. I’m close to my uncle/aunt, but that is it. I haven’t seen my sister since Thanksgiving 2011, I’m estranged from my parents and other than having my mother at my baby shower, haven’t seen my father since Christmas 2011 and can’t recall the last time I saw my cousin, even though we are close in age and grew up practically as sisters and she has a son 18 months older than mine.

    It is sad and a shame and for many reasons I wish it could be different, but it just can’t. I’ve come to accept that and drop any pretense of it being otherwise.

    It takes a lot of effort on all parties parts to keep things going for everyone’s sakes and sometimes that’s just too much.

  4. Ah, Serenity. I wish it was… I don’t know. Different. Sunnier and rosier with more big, happy singalongs. Or something.

    I’ve been shocking at commenting lately (my excuse is reading on my phone) but my heart is breaking for you. You wrote recently about wanting peace in 2013, and I do hope you find it. I will have to try to let you know more often that I am thinking of you.

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