February 08, 2009
Filed Under (You don't say...?) by svana

December was a very odd month for me. Aside from the general holiday hustle and bustle, Christmas concerts…whoops, “Holiday Celebrations”, shopping and staff parties…then death paid a visit.

My folks divorced when I was in my early teens. This was not a clean or easy separation of two people. It was dirty, bloody and caused a tremendous amount of pain for all the people involved. Their marriage was a classic example of two people who got married for all the wrong reasons, and then threw kids into the mix. My parents marriage was everything I didn’t want for my own life, so they taught me a great deal with their mistakes. I’d like to believe it’s made me a better parent, a better person too.

My brother and I were faced with the choice…reconcile ourselves with our father’s bitterness and continue to associate with him, or step away from him and forge ahead on a new path. To my brother’s credit, he tried for so long, and to a certain degree still tries to stay in touch with our father. Me, well, I tend to be more unforgiving and rigid regarding who I let in my life. So, after a visit to western Canada and a couple of years distance, I decided I needed a clean break. Unfortunately, with that clean break, I lost the two people I really cared for on that side of the family.

My father’s mother, my Grandmother, ruled her family with an iron fist. She dictated who was allowed to be in contact with us, and who couldn’t. Sadly, everyone followed her lead. After several abortive attempts to call my Step-Grandfather on the phone I knew that I’d never be allowed to talk with him again. It wasn’t until I got a call from him that I understood fully. My Step-Grandfather had to call me from the neighbour’s house across the street. He told me that he would try to call when ever he could, but he couldn’t call me from home because my grandmother simply wouldn’t allow it. From time to time, I would get those calls…and treasure them. I knew they would come to an end sooner or later.

The calls stopped about 6 months before my aunt, his daughter, died of cancer. My aunt was the only other person I really gave a damn about in that family.

I knew she was sick, I also knew the last time I saw her…would be the last time. We talked about it, I knew how she felt and knew she didn’t have the strength to fight her family and fight for herself. What broke my heart is, I found out about her death by surfing the obituaries. That’s also how I found out about my Step-Grandfather’s death too. The family closed ranks as the matriarch of the family decreed.

My Grandmother died on December 4, 2008. Oddly enough, I hadn’t been checking the obits looking for her. She wasn’t that important to me. I found out about her death by a random email from a lady in the Netherlands who had been researching my biological grandfather. No one from the family called or emailed. Even in her death, her control of her children was absolute.

Parts of me remain conflicted about her death. I hated this woman, and all the things that she allowed to happen, all the things she made happen. I believe all that happens, happens for a reason. I believe that she was put here for a reason, and for that very reason I am thankful.

I am, however, just as thankful she is gone.

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