Dysfunctional family’s take their own family for granted. I am the youngest child of five siblings, three brothers and a sister. We are separated by age and our last names. My three oldest siblings, two brothers and a sister belong to their father, my other brother, a year older than me, belongs to his and I belong to mine.
When I was a child we were very close. Then during the teenage years, the three oldest, began shuffling between our home and their father’s home. We grew apart and their decisions would eventually devastate each of us in our own way.
They partied too much, got into drugs and spent time in prison. My sister in time came to the realization that drinking and drugs was not what she wanted for her life. But my brothers continued on the path racing to the finish line.
David passed away in 2004, from a drug over dose. My mother called me from the hospital; her words and voice are etched in my memory. His funeral was on Mother’s Day. I was angry with him. His death devastated my mother. Not only had I lost my brother, but my mother was lost to grief.
Six months after my brother’s passing, my mother’s husband passed away, another loss to grief.
On Easter Sunday 2007, my mother’s beloved holiday, she passed away from a massive stoke. My mother was an emotionally strong person so I truly believe with each loss; her heart began a slow deterioration.
In September of 2007, my grandfather passed away. At this point I felt my loss to be overwhelming. But that was not the end, my uncle passed away in October.
In January of 2008, on my wedding anniversary, my oldest brother passed away. He was living in a convalescent home in Los Angeles; he was only fifty years old.
The loss of my family was crushing. Due to my brother’s addictions and choice of life style, I also experienced another loss, not knowing who they really were. I had distanced myself from them. They were an embarrassment.
My strength in such a turbulent time came from my faith in God. And for each passing that we endured, we learned how to cope with the next. We have over come our grief and no longer take each other for granted.