What my week brought me

by Pistoff 27 Replies latest social relationships

  • Pistoff

    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.

  • luna2

    So sorry about your brother, Pistoff....and that your family cannot be united in grieving for him. I applaud your determination to give him the best memorial you can. A difficult time for sure. My heart goes out to you.

  • Arthur

    I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. Sorry to hear about all of the drama that you have to deal with now too. I wish I had some good advice to give you, but I'm afraid I'm at a loss for words. Just wanted to tell you that you have my sympathies. I wish you the best.

    Take Care,


  • TresHappy

    Sorry to hear for your loss.

    Why can't you put your own collage of photos together on a poster board or something and have your own memorial for him. Whoever wants to come can. Have it at your house or at a favorite place your brother loved to gather. Then go out to his final resting place and talk to him; cry and embrace his memory.

    We did this for a friend who had been D/F'd years ago. We all went to a cafeteria of all places, because he loved to go there and read his USA Today every day. Then we went out to his final resting place, a niche at the local cemetery. We brought balloons and let them go. It was truly symbolic of our love for this poor man who truly loved God but not the WT.

  • Pistoff

    thanks, luna. I live at the edge of the forest, but get the evening sun through the trees onto the screen porch. It was such a beautiful sunset; the air cooling down, and all of the forest sounds. It reminded me of how much I have come to value each day, each moment and all of life, even the difficult times; I no longer see it through any filter of "this imperfect life" or "life in this system is so unfair" type of thing.

    Life is life, and includes loss. I just well up with sadness and frustration when I see the filters on others in my family screen out this one or that one because they might be a witness, but not doing enough, or have their own ideas. What is acceptable to them is so incredibly narrow; to be active in the truth, but not TOO active. Work hard, but not TOO much. Know just what rules to ignore in the name of "balance". The concept that all in the truth are brothers, but, well, that doesn't mean we have to spend any TIME with them, they are (nerdy) (ugly) (overweight) (below average income) [select one or all that fit.]

    My daughter was right so many years ago; she said that she knew NO ONE in the hall that accepted her. For a time she was earnest about the truth; no takers. Then, she got into music and sports; no takers, no friends. The people that accepted her ultimately were non-witnesses; they love her. She is bright, social and political. And now has a degree and a good job, and a mate that can't figure out her crazy family.

    I am so glad I can vent here.

  • Pistoff

    Thanks, Arthur; I have been writing what I want to say about him myself, and making arrangements. His wife, not a witness, declined to have a service for him, or at least one she will tell us, his family, about. I know her though, and I am sure she can't face my judgemental brother and disconnected from reality mother. I am sure she had one for him there, which is 2500 miles away from us, fortunately for her!

    Thanks, Tres; I am going through old albums now, and my favorite memories of him, and music I know he loved.

    Just his luck: he and his wife were due to inherit from her father. THAT is his luck totally.

  • okie46

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. Heartache is so all encompassing and you have alot to deal with this week. I understand the pain of wishing your family were different. I hope that with time the pain of losing your brother will lessen. When my father died I felt so guilty because I didn't get to spend much time with, he was in New York part of the year and in Florida the rest and I was in Oklahoma raising children on my own. What helped me was trying to remember the good times we did have together. By wanting to remember your brother in a memorial service, it will help you to remember those good times and heal. Your kind heart will get you through it.

  • Pistoff

    Maybe you can identify with this: I wish I had been raised in a family where I had been shown the way, given the tools, to get through bad times, to overcome unmet needs.

    Of course, if my family had been one that gave me those tools, I would not need them so much.

    Catch 22.

  • serendipity

    ((( Pistoff ))) I'm sorry for your losses.

    I hope that y'all can have a meaningful memorial, despite the constraints. It's a shame we can't just love our families, without all the conditions. That's one of the greatest tragedies.

  • JamesThomas
    I don't know how to get through the memorial.

    Take your own advice: Love now, embrace now...

    Stay out of the mind and all it's judgments, memories, hopes, wishes, commentary, drama, etc.; and be in the reality of here and now. Be totally present with your family. Really feel and be attentive to what it is to exist. Allow your love to embrace and run free -- especially in regards your own sorrow. When you notice the tension of thoughts, stop, step back, be still and just feel what it is to breath. In other words: be in the moment, and not in your mind. Then spread this gentle way of being into the rest of your life.


Share this