Yesterday I was checking an email account that I don’t use often and found an evite from my cousin for a family gathering at her house the long weekend in May.
I have been to 2 family events since Janet died. One was a birthday party around 2 years later. It was awkward and I really wished I hadn’t gone. It wasn’t in the same city as me so I had to take the train to get there. My cousins husband wouldn’t even say hello to me. When I got home I didn’t tell my Dad the whole story but Mom understood because we had heard others talk about how people treat you differently after your loved one dies. They avoid you like you have the plague.
The next one was my Dad’s eldest sister’s 90th birthday a few years ago. I didn’t want to go because for me it was hard going without Dad. Plus I knew that it would be awkward and it was. But I had Mom there for support.
The thing that makes me upset is that my sibling and I lost the same people and yet I’m the one that is treated differently. I’m alone in my own family and that is a very painful thing to write. My Aunt understands it because she said your brother has a family and you don’t. They don’t talk about their loved ones after they die but for me it’s natural. They all live on in me. Dad is my link to these people. Growing up we attended ever family event…weddings, picnics, dinners. My parents raised us that if you were invited to something you went. Family was very important to Dad.
I have 2 family members that know I write a blog. Most wouldn’t understand the reason. Being raised to believe that crying is a sign of weakness is BS. I’m like Mom I can cry at the drop of a hat but I also know that it’s a healthy emotion to be sad. I have come a long way in 10 years. I know that my family would be proud. Success isn’t measured in dollars. At the end of the day I would rather have a heart full of love and memories.