My Condolences

Dear Jon,

I am so sorry to hear about Victor.  I’m lousy at expressing condolence.

I am anticipating a phone call about one of my brothers or sisters – essentially a family member that I have grown to dislike or they dislike me – no matter how close we were when we were children.  A call about a family member who began and ended references about me with, “What is she doing now?”  I perplex them with all my projects and shenanigans.  A family member who could not possibly appreciate the personality of an INTJ – confusing alone with loneliness.

At the end of the day, it is not about me.  When we go home — family puts us to rest.  Not your BFFs, your hundreds and thousands of FB friends who like everything you like, your brothers and sisters from another mother and father, your innumerable half-sisters, half-brothers and cousins who were not there when you were growing up – but somehow you were twins, random shopkeepers at spas who talk to your baby in mandarin — your baby hangs on every word and seems to understand, not the concierges, your neighbors, coworkers, managers, bishops or priests.  Your family puts you in the ground.

Your family makes sure you are wearing your favorite shoes, that you are wearing a whole and not a half-slip – even though you have never owned a whole slip.  Why?  Because it’s regulation, it’s mandated by the State!  Your family makes sure you are wearing your shade of lipstick, and the wig on your head is straight, the part is in the right place and despite the protestations of the mortician, the bangs are swept wistfully in the right direction.  Your friends give you brand new bibles to take to the pearly gates. Your family settles your estate — if you have one — cleans your home, takes possession of or finds a good will or thrift store for your belongings.

Oh, your friends will offer their condolences, show up for the funeral, sign the guest book, send a sympathy basket, donate to a charity, ask if there is anything they can do, say pretty thoughtful things about you, go to the repast – and that will be the end of it.  The last time you see them.  Your BFFs are not going to your gravesite to leave flowers on milestones and Christmas.  No.

That is what family is for.  The family you perhaps did not respect, did not value, and could not abide because you were not equally yoked.  Yes, I am waiting on that phone call, that text – so I can put that family member to rest, take my turn at the podium and say, “I anticipated a phone call about one of my brothers or sisters, because apparently this is what family is for…”

I am glad the call was not about you!  I would not have been able to write this letter with a steady hand.  Perhaps you might share it with your family.  It was oddly salubrious.  RIP Donnie “S”.

All the Best,

D

Copyright 2014 E Maria Shelton Speller.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s