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Yesterday, my Grandfather died. It was sudden, and while he was in poor health, he seemed to be doing alright. It is weird that when I heard the news, I did not feel loss.

I always say that I was born in Minnesota and grew up in Illinois. This is true. For the first 4.5 years of my life, I lived in Minnesota, and after that, my Mother and I moved to Illinois, where... she married my step dad. From then on, I (and later my younger sister) were removed from my mother's side of the family. My step dad was also not very close to his family (outside of his father, who died in 1990) so outside the core group of four, we were removed from extended family.

This is a blessing and a curse.

I love my mothers side of the family. I am close with my Grandmother (for she often watched me when I was growing up in Minnesota) and I do remember fondly my older cousins and my Aunts and Uncles. However, after 1985, I was removed from their lives, and they mine. I have seen them a handful of times since, and again, I am not complaining, it is just a statement of fact. I did miss my cousins growing up, and I wonder how they see me, the ones who are never seen.

On the other hand, we have always stood apart from the typical family squables that tend to happen when families live too close to one another. My mother, sister and I have been able to play Switzerland against the ever shifting storylines of my family. Being an outsider always meant that people were always excited to see us, and we could cross boundaries without worry.

My grandtather is a different story.

My Grandparents divorced long before I was born, and my mother and my grandfather had a strained relationship. He was an alcoholic, and she and he (with stories and issues that I don't know about) were estranged. This lead to me only meeting him twice in my living memory. I honestly do not know what he looks like. Within the last two years, he became sober, and he and my mother began to reconsile, something I was very happy that my mother was able to do.

So when the news broke. My mother, tearfully telling me, I did not feel any sadness.

And I feel bad for that.

My Biological Father's side of the family is a void for me. I do not know of any of them, and while I have studiously have tracked down siblings who have no knowledge of my existence, I know of nothing from them... which sucks.

So, I kinda look at my situation (not THAT situation people!) I notice how limited my sense of family truely is. The death of my Grandfather is sad, and I will aid and comfort those who knew him much more than I did. I just reflect and understand why I don;t have those same feelings as they do.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
I am sorry for your mother's loss. You can't force yourself to feel what you don't feel. My grandpa (stepdad's father) died a couple of years ago, and while I was glad he was no longer in pain, I didn't feel a huge sense of loss because I hadn't talked to him in a very long time and we weren't that close.

You have nothing to feel bad about.
Feb. 18th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
my mom and i are close, that's about it.
one of my cousins barely as well..
otherwise, i really just don't know those people..blood or not.

so i'm with you on this.

Feb. 19th, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)
sorry about your grandfather. HUGS!
Feb. 21st, 2010 11:31 am (UTC)
You are handling it pretty well, and pretty appropriately. Emotions are a weird thing, especially when it comes to family.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )