Thursday, January 3, 2019

Defining Family.

grief, family, loss, divorce, relationships, connections, in-laws, spouses, extended family


When a couple has been together for a long long time - their families intertwine.

His family becomes her family.

Her family becomes his family.

I use his-her because that is the couple I was a part of.

But know that this applies for his-his relationships, and her-her relationships.

And yes. I know. It does not happen all the time.

Sometimes families remain divided. Separated. Distant.

But. Not always.

Because.

When family is good.

Because.

When family is open.

Because.

When family is real.

There's a love and respect that develop simultaneously.

A nature that leads to calling the family members of your partner by their familial titles.

Aunt so-and-so.

Uncle whatshisname.

Cousin 'yes-that-is-the-one-we-like'.

You can laugh. You know you do it, too.

But then. There are those who don't need description or definition.

Those who are just immediately family.

And when a couple dissolves it's so so very hard.

It can be so difficult to distinguish - maybe that's not the right word - but determine is wrong, too.

It's just so hard to define (there you have it) who remains family and who does not.

Because when spouses are no longer spouses, in-laws are not quite exactly in-laws.

Not anymore.

And yet.

[You'll notice this is one of my favorite phrases. I don't know why. It just is.]

After years.

After a decade and then some.

Family doesn't just leave the heart.

Family doesn't just fade away.

And family is still loved.

Even when - by the very definition of the word - they're no longer family.

No longer related.

No longer family by marriage.

No longer.

And yet.

Still.

The circle I once described as family recently lost one of their own.

Someone who was, in the very essence of the word, a member of my family.

Once.

So now I offer condolences to loved ones.

For this is not my pain to bear - this is not my loss.

And yet.

Still.

I weep.

My heart hurts.

I recognize the weight of this loss. 

For the entire family.

And if you take a moment, after reading this, and want to offer your condolences, please consider - instead - a gesture in honor of someone who deserves to be remembered. Take a few moments to do something for someone. Whether someone in your life, or someone simply crossing your path. Bring a meal to a friend. Treat a stranger to coffee. Call that person you haven't spoken to in a while. You don't need a reason, just call to check in and see how they're doing. Do it in honor of someone who always treated me like family. Someone who is greatly missed. 

2 comments:

Comments are like air to a writer.

So please - say something - help me BREATHE!