Thursday, 18 August 2011

Thankful for MY family

Life, loss, grief and love intertwined the last week and I am forever thankful for the family into which I was born.
Though I am and /or not so thankful really to be reminded at how fragile life is , after attending the funeral of an Aunt [64], seeing her husband's grave [she is beside him now -who passed away 20 yrs ago] and seeing photo of her granddaughter's grave site who passed away from SID's at 5 .5 months[ 22 yrs ago] - freshly decorated grave site.

SJ was my cousin's daughter (he & I are the same age- started a family at 19-20 and still has children almost as young as mine).Two of his other, older girls went to their sister's grave [same cemetery] , left flowers and then posted a photo to FB. My sister showed me.

It was bittersweet ; also for their mother now in WA  I can imagine.

My grief was multiplied by anniversaries remembered in August of my own precious little angel (in 2 wks) and my father's in 8 days. It feels like forever since I last saw my Dad [6yrs] I remember his love very clearly . 
I've read a few poignant posts and comments about experiences of loss this week. It sucks every emotion from you. Death is the final separation from loved ones.

I am so VERY thankful for my upbringing , the stability of my parents and my immediate family and extended family now (DH's included)
Two of my cousins did not attend their mother's funeral, nor one brother [my uncle]- each for their own complicated reasons. That was sad. The 3 male sons [cousins] present wept openly for the loss of their mother. Tears slid down my face, for their loss too.
After the funeral and burial  - my mother, brother, sister and 3 uncles went to have a 'drink' together at a near by local pub; not with the others. Very complicated but we chose to share an hour with the one uncle who wouldn't go elsewhere... the wake was kind of casual and being held outdoors

It was the right thing for us all in a way. It was a quiet venue, we got to chat with our uncles rarely seen (maybe only at funerals - WHY ?) and chat, new phone numbers were exchanged. Promises were made not to wait till the next funeral to organise a family get together.

My Dad had a very dysfunctional upbringing for some of his childhood and adolescence. Later some of his siblings weren't able to escape their 'difficult'  childhoods. Their children (some of my cousins) have also had a different and more difficult life than my siblings or I. 
My father , the 3rd brother /son was the glue who held some of his siblings [6 of them] together. He helped them financially (at times), he housed them in our home with their children (at times) or alone. Dad supported them and stuck by no matter what. He made sure they stayed in touch. He was also very close to both his divorced parents. As children we saw about 8 of my 16 cousins regularly - now it's never bare funerals (2 adult cousins deceased)

One year ( almost to the date - August 26th,) before he passed away, Dad organised a family get together - so as a funeral need not be the next reason he said. As my grandmother and a cousin had passed the previous year.

Through FB I have contact with a few cousins. Admittedly, we lead different and busy lives Some are spread far and wide across Australia now.

Though we don't always see eye to eye on everything,  I know my mother and 2 siblings (+ spouses) will always be there for us. THANKFUL is an understatement.

I am joining with Kate's Thankful Thursday - what are you feeling thankful for ?

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