The old father-in-law is sobbing in a tiny hall bathroom in a relative’s house. With him are his very old wife and their grown up son.
The rest of the family continues to sit around the Christmas table looking confused.
Too much “Merry Water” and the grandfather makes what he thinks is a kind remark about another grandfather who is dead.
This sets off a furor between the son-in-laws who verbally attack the old man about the dead man’s character.
Bad goes to worse and the old guy starts crying and retreats to the bathroom.
That was last year’s holiday party.
This year it’s another doozer.
I decide we siblings need closure after our mother’s death a year ago.
After two times of trying and having interlopers show up and ruin the gathering, a new date is finally set. Just my siblings and I will meet at my house along with our Great Aunt Ruby, the last of the oldest relatives. Nobody else is invited.
We will vent and air our feelings about our mother’s long and difficult dying from cancer. We will sort through all the un-resolved “PTSD” some of us feel we have acquired, the “loss of faith” and “fear of dying Mom’s way” that some of us have said we are feeling.
This is my plan.
We need to do this I believe, in order to either dump or pick up our worn emotional luggage and clatter on. (more…)