Posted in Relationships

My Estranged Family

Do people really have healthy normal families, or is that just another Hollywood lie?

I ask because I have been to Northern California twice in the last week, and there has been family drama each time.

The first time I visited my grandfather. The trip I just got back from was to attend my grandmother’s funeral.

It feels so weird and wrong to say that. She wasn’t my grandmother. I mean, she was the woman who was genetically and legally my grandmother. She was the mother of the man who is genetically and legally my father.

But she wasn’t my grandmother. I didn’t know her. I’ve heard many stories of her and have met her a few times.

My cousins and younger siblings have fond memories of her, and I have nothing. She never baked me cookies or read me stories. She never attended a violin recital or a school play. She chose not to know me.

The family thought I’d want to engage in the ceremony because I was the one who didn’t get to see her as often. They thought wrong. I couldn’t refuse. But I felt like a liar—an outsider looking in.

I’m glad it was a preassigned reading. I’m glad I didn’t have to say anything because it wouldn’t be as genuine as others. I don’t think standing up there only to say she was a lovely woman would have tasted right in my mouth.

As terrible as it is to say I didn’t go to mourn her. I went to support my grandfather. He needed all the support he could get. They may have been divorced for over 30 years, but they were friends in their way. My grandparents would have been companions if she was never sick with dementia. Never remarried, but they would have lived together and traveled together.

I went to play peacekeeper. I promised my grandfather I would help to the best of my ability that no arguments would happen. But there was still drama, mainly from my aunt. I tried to excuse her behavior and say it was because she was pregnant and grieving her mother. It turns out she’s just a bitch. Who causes a scene at their mother’s funeral?

I did learn the best way to deal with the adults of my family is to stay high or drunk. I say the adults, but I mean my dad and his siblings. It’s also better to deal with them as individuals instead of having the five of them together.

I did get reacquainted with my cousins, who are all around my age. My uncles and aunt may all be pieces of work, but their children are amazing. These women are the support system I never had. I genuinely didn’t know how to react to their support and positivity.

I never knew my father’s side to be loving except my grandfather and an aunt through marriage.

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