Funerals for family members are always tough and potentially gut wrenching. Emotions fly all over the place. Some people sob. Some people yell and get angry. Some people sit silently with a stoic facade, as if the outward appearance of strength will magically help themselves and others. Everybody searches for that perfect blended strategy that will allow them to both express their own emotions and comfort others at the same time. Some people are fortunate enough to have a ton of amazing stories of the deceased to share. We find ourselves grabbing for our rose-colored glasses, just in case our memories aren’t what we hoped, thinking that it will lesson our pain.
Ideally generations are able to gather and even broken bridges are able to be rebuilt over the realization that life is short and precious and time should never be wasted. However, this hope for relationship rebirth and mending of fences is truly only dependent on one thing: either party’s capacity for change and accountability. It is unrealistically painful to expect any sort of new outcome without it. As much as we would like to waive our magic wands and affect instant change, it doesn’t work that way. Change and healing are two sided entities that require movement and effort by both parties. I think that affecting change and healing in families is just that much harder because of the increased level of intimacy and emotional attachment. We tend to think that blood ties both bind people together and excuse all actions eventually with mutual exclusivity. I could not disagree more. There are some hurts that cannot heal regardless of shared genetic material, and that just is what it is. I am a firm believer that blood ties do not justify all wounds. We preach self preservation and value every day in order to empower ourselves and embrace the world around us so that we can be healthy both mentally and physically. Why wouldn’t this apply to relationships with family members? Should there be a separate set of rules for families? In my opinion, the answer is simply, no.