I don't usuallypost about personal issues; I am still fading; besides, I was raised in a family that would say we were doing well even if our house was burning down.
For the last month I have been stressing about seeing family from the West Coast; my brother, out for many years but now back in and gung ho, is bringing his son and daughter out. Family reunion, of sorts. I wanted to host, but then I realized that my disfellowshipped daughter would not be included. So I bowed out of hosting it; I have no interest in shunning my family in my own damn home.
The week took a downturn when my nephew's father in law died; long time ill, but young. And Thursday I got the news that one of my other brothers died from a massive heart attack. I am doing better than I was, but still in a fog. Now family reunion will begin with a memorial service for this brother, once the black sheep but baptized in recent years. I loved him, flaws and all; he was the outcast of the family and never able to completely stare down the demons that plagued him.
The real kick in the stomach came today: my oldest brother wants a collage of photos in the corner, and if anyone wants to say a few words, they can. No real memorial service, no kingdom hall; just let his memory exit the way he lived his life, I guess: like the throwaway child. And to top it off, I know my df'd daughter will want to come, to help me and her mother deal with the loss, but if she comes my oldest brother will probably not even come to the memorial service for his own brother. I am back at square one, trying to connect to family that is fractured and broken and unlikely to ever be whole as long as some are witnesses.
I left the memorial for the nephew's father in law, came home and read for a while on the deck. The air was completely still, and the sun shone through the trees around me as it went down. Something moved throught the woods, the noises told me. Sitting there, it came to me how beautiful the world can be, and that the deaths around me all week were just another part of the cycle of life.
At that moment I wished so hard it hurt, that I had been raised in a family and culture that valued the beauty in all parts of life, instead of blaming some invisible forces for our living and dying, and pining for a different time. Love now, embrace now, even those we wish were on a better track; it isn't for wishing and waiting and avoiding.
This is a good time, a good life. Bad days, and weeks, like the one I had this week. And next week too; I don't know how to get through the memorial. I loved my brother, I will miss him, and I wish I had tried harder to stay in touch with him. But the real pain will come in seeing how completely broken apart my family is: we can't even give my brother a decent memorial; we didn't know how to embrace him in life, and now he gets the short end again. I am determined to get him a memorial service that would make him smile, and realize I loved him. And I am determined that all of my family that wants to be there, will be there.