Love, Loss and Family


My family is complicated, like many, i know but complicated. I didn’t have a traditional wedding, in part because I didn’t truly appreciate value of the ceremony. The other part was that my family and my husband, Steve,s family were very different and have different ways of celebrating, to the point that I couldn’t see how they would connect. It was within that first year of marriage that my father in law died suddenly. After that I wondered if I made a mistake. (Not the marriage but the wedding) My family would never meet this wonderful man.

I am lucky to have a son and daughter and 5 beautiful grandchildren, all who, Steve and I feel very blessed to have in our lives.

It was about 2 weeks ago, now that my brother in law, Ned, passed away. The last few years have had some family divisions which led to long periods of absence around family gatherings. Our Christmas, Thanksgiving and Birthdays have been celebrated with friends and our immediate family. This seems to work for us.

Then Ned died. Ned was the guy who would talk (maybe longer than you wanted) about books, movies and baseball( if you were a fan). He was the entertaining and engaged Uncle to my children and a person I knew before I had met my husband. So, of course, we went through a lot of stages. The last stint as I said, we were not together much. We acknowledged that we missed each others’ company but no-one moved to change anything.

When you loose a person that you have been with, laughing, sharing then you loose a friend. When you loose a friend/relative that you have been distant from, you loose the chance to change anything for the future. And that is where I am.

My friend, Jeanine, said to me once that when someone is sick, as soon as they pass, they immediately are restored to the figure that they once were. It happened to my father as I saw him in bed for a year, sometimes confused, sometimes combative, sometimes struggling to breath. After he passed I only saw him in my meDad Chrsitmas 1971mory with our family on holidays, playing with the kids or of course, in his garden
So when I saw the beautiful video of old pictures at Ned’s service filled with smiling faces and green grass and happy times, I couldn’t stop crying.  Not only because he was gone, and there would be no more of those times with him, there was no chance of restoration or change.IMG_2660

But, the other day, I pulled out some pictures and saw him smiling and clowning around and he was back as always…


Please share any of your comments or experiences. Has your family suffered loss when there is already separation?   I would love to hear from you.  Thanks for reading

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  • Jeanine

    Annie, Steve and family,

    I am sorry for your loss. Over the years I recall

    many stories that included Ned. Here’s to happy

    memories! xo Jeanine

    February 21, 2016

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    • Ann

      Thanks Jeanine, You always offer wise words. xx

      February 21, 2016

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