I am going to my Uncle’s funeral today.
The last time I seen him was at his daughter’s funeral a year ago. She died due to COVID-19. She was barely in her thirties. Every time we spoke, he told me I should bring the family down and we could do a barbecue at a park. The truth is I am not close to my family. My mom moved us away from the area and probably saved our lives. Drug addiction is a problem for my mom’s side of the family, it persisted and the area itself is a trap and offers no life outside of trouble. I never knew my biological father or his family, so the only family I knew was on my mom’s side. What I know about my family is they are loving fucked up people, with a great sense of humor, and a whole lot of drama. When my cousin died it broke me. She was young, a mother, and still had a lot of life left to live. My uncle on the other hand was older and looking forward to retirement. It is heartbreaking to lose family. It is also just as sad to never have gotten to know them.
I have siblings, I no longer speak to.
I have siblings that are no longer a part of my life. Difference of opinions, values, and world view have created a chasm that has damaged the relationships beyond salvaging. I have people I call brother and we have no blood relation. We have chosen to be family. We have chosen to be there for each other, we can put most differences aside and enjoy each other’s company. The harsh reality of family is people feel entitled to you, your time, and your emotional state because your family. Because of that, they take you for granted, they dismiss the effect they have on you, and they miss out on you being a friend.
I know that is not all families. Somewhere there are families that get along and the whole time together is a love fest. I have had to spend years trying to teach my children to value the relationships they can have with their siblings, so that they will have a strong bond when they are older. I hope it works. So far we get along, I have young adult children and they aren’t trying to run away from us.
I have to get ready to go. The reality is we are all going to die. What we do, who we do it with, and how many lives we touch matters. Being human is to be in relationship. We are a network each touching each other and making life happen. Our individual lives represent a link in a long chain of lives and events. We each embark on a journey of life and have continual opportunities to change and grow. When we meet someone new this gives us a chance to widen our perspective. It gives us a chance to say yes to life. That person can become an ally in life and genuine mourner when we too pass. And you, you can become the greatest adventure another person meets.
We all die.
At any time for any reason we will all eventually die.
The impetus to live has to be from you.