Thursday, May 17, 2007

Better out than in

I wasn't sure about whether to talk about this or not, but being "a bear of very small brain," I decided it was better to get it out than keep it in.

This lady who is the last of a group of friends from 50-some years ago passed away April 9. Out of respect for the friendship she and her husband had with my grandparents, I stayed in touch with her after my grandparents both died and after her husband died. She wasn't alone, really. Her sons and their wives all retired and lived close by. They visited regularly and made sure she had everything she needed. I just stayed in touch because I'd always thought of her and her husband as my spare grandparents.

When she died earlier this year, her daughter-in-law called me to tell me that she had passed and that they hadn't planned when they were going to do the memorial service. She wanted to be cremated, so that was accomplished, but the family wanted a memorial service to celebrate her life, and they hadn't worked out the date yet because of everyone's schedules. She said she'd let me know when. They were still working on the obituary for the local paper here in Michigan, even though she died in another state, because there would be people here that knew her, etc.

Flash-forward 5 weeks, and the notice went in the paper May 16. The obituary finally was amended to add a photo on the local funeral home's website and the local paper in the state where she died was also amended. The date for the memorial service is this Saturday, May 19, which is not enough time for me to make plans to go, if I was planning to attend.

While I understand that the family may want this to be a private service, the daughter-in-law told me she would let me know. She didn't. I didn't get a call, a note, nothing. The only reason I found out was because I looked in the paper under the death notices and saw it there.

The thing is, it's OK that the connection I had to this family is gone - the grandparents were my grandparents' best friends for many years, and my grandfather always thought of the other man as his brother. They took vacations together, they prayed for each other, they were family.

It just hurts that no one told me, when the daughter-in-law said she would. This is the same woman that sent me their family Christmas newsletter I wrote about earlier, telling me that her son was getting married, so I trusted her to tell me what was going on, even if they had decided to just have the service for the family.

I tried to talk to my parents about it, but they just get bitter and snide, and I don't want that. I just want to express my own hurt about the situation without causing pain to anyone else, and then I can move forward.

Thanks, BTW, for listening.

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