…that my mom passed away. People keep asking me, “How are you feeling about it?”, or “Are you going to be okay?” In all honesty, I’m completely fine. It’s because I’m happy with every decision I’ve made over the past year or so. I also have a genuine group of friends out here on the west coast that I can confide in, and who support me. When my mom died, everything seemed to change. The way I look at life, my relationship with others shifted, I was able to see people as they truly were; all of these things happened very quickly after my mom passed.
When my mother was alive, my family consisted of my dad, sister, 2 aunts, 1 uncle, grandmother and 1 cousin; this are my immediate relatives. The people who I call “family” after my mother died, are my dad and my sister. My mother was diagnosed with MS in 1998, and had been confined to a bed for the last 6yrs of her life. So, her death was a surprise at the time, but we knew the path she was on. I was extremely sad, but at the same time, happy that she wasn’t in the bed anymore. Allow me to explain.
The evening my mom died, I was in Las Vegas and everyone else was in Beaumont, Tx. I called my dad sobbing and asked him if he and my sister were able to hold off the funeral for a week. I was going out of the country for the first time and my mother was so happy that I was going. He said, “Yes, of course. It’s okay with me and your sister. We’ll have the funeral when you get back and you can fly down.” Perfect! The next morning after I got out of yoga class, I have numerous texts/phone calls from my aunts and my sister. I called Jesika (my sister) and she told me, “Maw maw just called me and said, ‘If you hold us hostage with this funeral, we’re never speaking to you again and you’re out of the family'” I can’t BEGIN to tell you how angry I became. I then called my aunt Jeanette and spoke to her because the other two women wouldn’t answer their phones. She began to lecture me on how this was not my decision; who am I to tell them, who am I to say, etc….
Okay, it had been less than 24hrs since my mom died. MAYBE it was a little insensitive of me to have everyone waiting; I wasn’t thinking clearly. So, I told her, “Have your funeral, do what you need to do. Because, I’m not going to see my mother in some box.” Even after I told her this, she kept trying to pester me about how wrong I was and that I should be showing more support to them, etc. So I told her, “Jeanette, Shut UP! Shut the FUCK up! This is not about you!”. She then quickly hung up on me. That was the last time I spoke to either aunt.
My grandmother told me how disappointed in me they all were and they weren’t sure if they could forgive me for such an outrageous comment. They all tried to make me feel bad that I wasn’t sobbing my eyes out nonstop like they were. They didn’t understand that I had already made peace with everything, and that it wasn’t out of disrespect. They didn’t get it. I don’t regret cursing at my aunt because I did nothing wrong. I had strong emotions, and I expressed them. It was weird how they made my mother’s death about them. They never once asked how my sister and I were doing. Not once. After the funeral, apparently they had their own gathering at my grandmother’s house and left my dad, the widower, at his home with 3 other people. But, I was the disrespectful one.
Death can bring out the worst in people sometimes, and people will show their true colors. Just you wait! I can honestly say that I am no longer angry with these women anymore. I haven’t spoken to them for a year now. I still wish them well, but no longer call them my family. Relatives or not, I made a decision a long time ago to not surround myself with negative/bad people. And you shouldn’t either! They’ll only bring you down.
Family doesn’t just have to be blood relatives. I have friends who know the real me more than my relatives ever did. And, for that, I am grateful.
I love you mom, dad and Jes. And the rest of you….You know who you are!
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