A long Reply to a Friend about a Conversation we had about Family Members becoming “Distant” (2017)

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Many of our friends and family members are in our generation, more or less. Although we, each and all, are losing family members to death, several of us have noticed that our nieces, nephews, and, in some cases, even grandchildren, have become ‘distant’. Even our siblings have become somewhat and/or obviously ‘estranged’. Sometimes it has been over a disagreement of a will, or a political issue, or geographical challenges. The digital age we live in was supposed to overcome this problem, but cannot, if family members will not have the courage to face what these issues are, discuss them together or with a moderator, (e.g.) clergy member, social worker, mediator, therapist), to realize that a family is the anchor for each one of us. No matter how ‘dysfunctional’ a family might be, it is the ‘cradle’ of love, and therefore, the hearth of hope and belief in one’s Self, for each and all of us, no matter what culture of origin, on this earth.

No amount of money, land, fame or importance to which I have tried to attain, has been as important as my need to be close to my family of origin and my family of creation and /or orientation. My friends have also expressed the same emotions. I have listened to my friends and to my inner voice’s repetitious dreams, as they have with me. We have shared our losses of family members, our grieving more severe for those who have estranged us, than those whose deaths have unfortunately occurred.

Because my friends and acquaintances are mostly late middle age and seniors now, we realize just how precious life is and how time flies by so quickly. Many of us have a number of health issues. We have tried to reach out to family members who have estranged us or distanced themselves somewhat emotionally from us. Our spouses and partners have also experienced this grief and loss. One of my wishes for 2018 and beyond, is for my family and my extended family, to be in contact much more, and find ways in which we can be interactively together, if not in person, online, conference calls, emails and telephone.

Since obtaining my walker/rollator in July, I’ve enjoyed being able to become closer in spirit and body to my neighbours and friends; moreover, I can do many more activities with them while interacting, conversing and sharing. One of my many goals is to reach out to family members, much more, especially those who live far away. I hope we can have closer, warmer communications. Many of our friends and family members are in our generation, more or less. Although we, each and all, are losing family members to death, several of us have noticed that our nieces, nephews, and, in some cases, even grandchildren, have become ‘distant’. Even our siblings have become somewhat and/or obviously ‘estranged’. Sometimes it has been over a disagreement of a will, or a political issue, or geographical challenges. The digital age we live in was supposed to overcome this problem, but cannot, if family members will not have the courage to face what these issues are, discuss them together or with a moderator, (e.g. clergy member, social worker, mediator, therapist), to realize that a family is the anchor for each one of us.


Below is a quote from one of the good books I read last year. It was neither a happy nor a sad novel. It was one which propelled me to explore my own family issues from another’s perspective.

"We carry our families like anchors, rooting us in storms, making sure we never drift from where and who we are. We carry our families within us the way we carry our breath underwater, keeping us afloat, keeping us alive. I've been lifting anchors since I was eighteen. I've been holding my breath since before I was born." (by Erika Swyler, author of The Book of Speculation).

Love,
Diane

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