When my grandfather passed on 12/12/13, we all (about 14 of us, the whole extended family on my mother’s side) went back to my grandmother’s house after the wake and funeral. We had dinner and reminisced about the good time with gramps. It was my mother’s father. By then both my father’s parents had already passed.
So when my brother passed away we decided to do the same thing. His services were also on the 3 year anniversary for my grandfather. We all once again went to my grandmother’s place.
Our limo driver got us lost twice in the cemetery and then once on the actual road. It turned out that that was his first day on the job. By the time my parents, sister in law, and I arrived most of the people were leaving. It took us an extra 20 minutes to get there. I know people have lives to get back to but I was so…. disappointed to not remember my brother like we planned on.
Well when we got the news for dad, I said I didn’t want to do it for him. My mom was asked by my aunt a few days later if we were going to do anything after the funeral. Mom said she’d ask me about it and was very upset when I gave a hard no.
“We did it for your brother, we should do the same for your father,” my mother sobbed, choking on tears.
I asked, “Why are you so hell bent on having one for dad?”
“Because it’s not fair to do it for one and not the other. I feel like we’re not giving him the same respect. It seems like we don’t love him as much.”
Bitterness. That was all I could feel right then.
“You know no one is going to stay for very long. They stayed 20 – 30 minutes last time. They won’t stay much longer this time. And you know what isn’t fair? Seeing everyone with their whole, intact families. Our was already incomplete. It’s been broken twice now, within a four month span. No one else is suffering like we are. No one else there will be down two people, half of what they were. I don’t want to be reminded of what I no longer have. What I can no longer get back.”
Most days I end up grinding my teeth when people talk about having “the best big brother in the world”, “I don’t know where I’d be without my brother”, or “your brother is your best friend for life”. The same bitter, saltiness comes when things about world’s greatest dads come up too. It’s no one’s fault but I can’t help it.