My Aunt died 2 weeks ago...yet another loss to that horrible monster Cancer. She was my dads sister. My father is one of eight...big family? I think so since I was only one of three. This was very hard on all of them, not only did they lose a beloved sister but I believe more than one of them started to face their own mortality. I think that's natural, but my father actually told me to prepare myself for alot more funerals....his M.O. has always been saying the most inappropriate thing at the most inopportune time.
By some miracle I got the time off of work to go and drove down to Chicago both days for the wake and the funeral. As I stood in front of the open casket, I tried like hell to summon the appropriate emotion, but I couldn't...I feel sad, at one point I considered myself close to my aunt, I certainly loved her dearly, my heart ached for my uncle and my cousins, but I felt nothing. I was numb. People come up and say "doesn't she look beautiful" or "didn't they do a great job"...my honest thought is: no, she looks like she fought hard and lost, she gave everything she had and it wasn't enough. There is beauty in the determination but not the final result. Maybe my emotions are all used up. I feel selfish and ugly and wish I could offer more, but I stood there with my mouth shut, no comfort whatsoever.
Then my sister walked in. I have not spoken to her in 2 1/2 years, since my mom died. We were at moms house going through stuff and my brother got mad over a Christmas ornament. That was all it took for my sister to snap. She kicked me out of the house. She sent me a nasty letter calling me a bad mother, criticizing my then 3 year old. Told me she was tired of me "boo hooing" over mom. And said the list of things wrong with me is too long and goes too far back to list in her paragraph, single spaced, typed letter that she had certified mailed to me so she would be assured that I received such an emotional blow. She went on and had movers deliver a piece of furniture to my house which cost my portion of the estate $800 even though I had friends who were going to pick it up. She and my brother went through the stuff and picked out what they wanted and sold the rest in a garage sale. The biggest blow was distributing my mothers ashes according to her wishes without notifying me or giving me a chance to say a final goodbye. Over the past 2 years she has ignored my daughter every birthday and Christmas...and here she was.
I walked over to them with Maddie who was so excited to see my niece "B" and didn't recognize her when I was pointing right at her...alot changes in 2 years. B started crying and hugged me right away. Then my sister grabbed me and hugged me and cried and told me she was sorry and she did so many mean things to me but she was so angry that mom died. (no kidding, who would have guessed). I'm not sure I went through that type of anger, but I was very very sad for a very long time, sad and alone.
She has been texting me, just casual, how you doing type stuff...I respond pleasantly, but once again I'm unable to summon the appropriate emotion. Yes, she did mean stuff and I do consider myself a forgiving person, but so much time has passed and I'm not sure what I feel. To me, it was never about "stuff or money" there wasnt alot of either.