As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.

A friend died last Friday. Her battle began several years back when she discovered that she had breast cancer. Although it responded well to treatment, a few years later, cancer was found in her leg. It was rough going. Several times it appeared as if she would win. And then, it was found in other parts of her body.
We were not present in her time of battle as she had chosen to distance herself from us. After her life partner had passed, (my mother in law) we were very close and had many good times together. As she withdrew from us and found new friends, we could only feel as if we had done something wrong. We can only speculate.
At the wake, we were the "Black Sheep" of the affair. We were listed last in the obituary. I was surprised that we were listed at all. During her battle with cancer, we only saw her once - at the funeral of our niece's baby.
I have disdain, more than grief. The hurt to the Lady; to be so shut out. The Lady would have given our friend more of herself than most.
The death of our niece's baby, and now of our friend / the Lady's mother's partner of over twenty years, has broken down the barriers between the Lady and her sister. A relationship that has been strained due to their drug use and interference with our oldest daughter and our wishes.
I am not sure if I am undergoing a sort of disassociative reaction in my older years, but the open door/ open arms way of life is over. Ever understanding and emphathetic has turned to a desire to be left alone. Years of bad behavior from family members, neighbors and the such, has me sidestepping them. I really don't care if I ever see any of them. Wish them well. Glad to give a smile and to say hello. But I don't want visits, holidays, get togethers.....
To see them at wakes and funerals is enough for me.


Loralee Choate said…
Ya know...kick even the sweetest, loveliest, most beautiful dog and their spirit withers and defensive reflexes take the place of patient, gentle adoration.

It is just fine that you feel distain more than grief. To sever a relationship like that? Death doesn't turn someone into a saint, although everyone acts like it does.

The fact that you could lose an infant in your family and still have her be distant and not communicate with the daughter of her partner makes me want to spit with anger (I get a bit emotional about stuff like that.)

I can't imagine what pain all this has brought to your other half.

It makes me angry that people have treated you like such crap that you have no choice left but defenses, because open arms and heart are rare things in this world.

Deep breath.

My condolances that this passing brought so much ick to think about and deal with again. I hope you find peace whatever way you can!

A BIG HUG. It may be cheesy, but it is sincere.

Bert said…
Hey Tim,

I've experienced the same with my mother. She suffered from breast cancer as well and due to the pills and treatments, she developed a very strange behaviour. Luckily this is over now.

About the other part of your story, it's always sad to let people go, but you have to make up for yourself if it's for the good or the worse. Sometimes it's necessary to protect yourself from being hurt.
Everyone has to make this choice in his/her life. That doesn't mean it's easy. I rather call it self-protection.
Rowan said…
I'm sorry to hear you are feeling bad...I have a similar problem with my mother and father's families....ya know what? most of the time I don't care...but sometimes, just once in a while, I wish I had a family of my own ...not my husband's brood. *shrug* anyway. I keep everyone at a distance from me. Even people who I feel are my very best friends. They tire of me because I just feel so drained after each visit with someone. I rather keep them close in heart and mind and keep to myself most of the time.