Point of View
UNITED STATES—Family is important, for some of us it’s all that we have. It was a notion that I was forced to acknowledge after recently attending the funeral of a loved one that passed away. There was a bit of hesitation from me to attend the funeral. For starters I hate funerals, it just gives me a sense of dread knowing at one point I will also die; its something promised to all of us. The nerves were more of a fact coming face-to-face with a side of my family that I rarely speak to.
I asked myself time and time again why we are so distant. Why don’t we get together more often besides the typical holidays. This past Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years I spent a lot of time with family and it was nice to bond with cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and grandparents that I hadn’t seen in awhile. It made me realize we take family for granted.
When I made my way into the funeral home I was so stunned to run into cousins that I literally haven’t seen in almost 10-12 years; I’m not kidding you. We chatted and laughed about old times and how much we’ve all changed. The irony was we haven’t really changed at all; we’ve just aged quite a bit. Most of my cousins looked the same, we’ve just transformed into more responsible adults. While we were all grieving at the passing of my uncle who lived a vibrant life, it was just as much a celebration of our family. It is the first time since I was born that we’ve ever buried a member on my father’s side of the family. I guess we really do have good genes. Heck my grandfather will be 91 in March and he moves like he’s still 40.
The big discussion we had at our post funeral gathering is how grown we’ve all gotten. We talked about our jobs, the children we’ve created and the fact that we’ve been so out of touch and we need to change that pronto. It was such a revelation to meet second cousins of mine that I didn’t even know about. The funny thing is we’re more connected than we know because it appears to be a tradition in our family for us to attend
I attended the school, so did my sister, two of my older cousins, my uncle and now one of my younger cousins just started his freshman year at the university. It’s a legacy that we have going and will probably continue with my kids and the rest of my relatives’ children. We bonded over food, drinks and just the comfort of family; things we did so often growing up, but somehow got disconnected as time passed by. We took photos, we laughed about embarrassing moments and we planned to formulate a party this summer for everyone to reunite again.
I had the best feeling at the end of the day. It was a sad one as a loved one is no longer with us, but at the same time I was able to re-bond with a side of my family that I hadn’t spoken to in years. It also gave me the opportunity to meet new faces that I was not aware were apart of my family. We live in such a small world. In the end, I learned family is important and blood is indeed thicker than water.
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