Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Without Family

For a while, I've felt that something was wrong.  Something didn't feel right in my world.  I wasn't sure what it was, and I didn't know how to ask about it.

Then today, I got confirmation.

For a while, I knew that my family was probably not happy with how I dealt with my grandmother's passing in February.  I'm sure that part of it is that I was living across the country, and didn't have to see her diminishing.  However, I also had the clearest head about it.

In her final 2 months, my grandmother was having health issues upon health issues.  She was less and less able to climb the stairs to our room.  She was forgetting things and she was regressing a bit.

It's not the kind of life I would want for any of my family.

I was extremely sad to see the end of her life be so painful.  I knew that her body needed to be at rest, and I anticipated it much easier than a lot of my family did.

While I anticipated that some of my family would be angry at me for mourning differently, I didn't anticipate that my actions would be misunderstood by my family.

Being the eldest of my 2 siblings, my natural inclination is to be the caretaker.  I'm sure that is what has lead me to my chosen profession. 

So, I knew that my inclination was to be the strong caretaker when my grandmother passed.  I wanted to make sure my siblings were okay, that my cousins, aunts, and uncles were okay, and that my mom (most of all) was okay.

The weekend of my grandmother's wake was a busy weekend.  Emotionally, that is.

On Friday night, I took the Fung Wah Bus to New York to be with my best friend.  Saturday morning, we drove to Connecticut to get her things from her ex-husband's house.  Later that evening, I took the bus back to Boston.  Early Sunday morning, the boyfriend and I flew to Los Angeles to join my family for my grandmother's wake.
Skies Over Flights
As we drove to the funeral home, I could feel the exhaustion.  It was going to be a long day, and I had a lot of people to be strong for.

At some point, the boyfriend wanted to go back to the house to watch the Superbowl.  He's a huge football fan, and he didn't want to miss the game.  I drove him back and decided to take the opportunity to rest my eyes and my energy just for a couple of hours.

Then after having some food to regain some energy, I rejoined my family at the wake.

Well, apparently, some people in my family assumed that I left the wake to watch the Superbowl and be with the boyfriend instead of with them.

Actually, I'm sure that some of my family members were angry that I even brought the boyfriend at all.  But he and I were staying in Los Angeles for 2 weeks after the wake to house sit, so of course he flew out with me.

So, okay, fine.  I suppose I didn't need to take a nap from such an exhausting weekend.

But, if they were angry at me for leaving them, why did I have to find this out in December?  If they were angry or frustrated or disappointed at me, why didn't they bring it up to me when those feelings first came up?

I'm hurt that that's what they thought of me.  I'm frustrated that my trying to stay strong was misunderstood.  Sure, I anticipated that they might not understand that I chose to be strong in front of my family, while I cried and mourned privately.  But I didn't anticipate that they would hold on to their misconceptions for so long.

I'm disappointed that they didn't feel like they could talk to me about those things.  But what am I supposed to do that about it?  I can't change the way they mourned and I can't change the way they want to deal with their emotions.

All I can do is speak for myself, on my behalf, and hope that I wouldn't be misunderstood.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, these things happen in big families and the judgment can be hard to deal with. There are few ways to address the problem head on, since it consists of many different people gossiping separately.

    Perhaps you should issue a statement to all, and just tell them all how you feel in a note. Not that it will help, it will also be a source of scandal, but sometimes you either have to live with people talking behind your back and glaring at you or people talking behind your back and fearing you.

    It sucks that people can be so cruel and judgmental.
    Be well..


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