Saturday, February 09, 2013

Hell Ain't Hot



My grandmother held an Irish wake for her eldest daughter (my aunt) who eloped with the local protestant minister. This from their small Irish Catholic town. Subsequently, the whole family was denounced from the pulpit by the compassionate parish priest who accused them all of harbouring a harlot. Then my father, her brother, lost his position as the head altar boy. And another one of his sisters was refused admittance to the convent because of her shameful family. This all happened in the early thirties of the past century. My grandmother and grandfather never spoke to their daughter again. They say she broke her father's heart and sent him to an early grave as she was his favourite.

A few years ago I phoned an aunt (now deceased) to cry on her shoulder about Missing Daughter. I knew my mother, if she'd been alive, would have sorted it all out. She had that way with her. So telling her sister made sense to me. Even though she lived in London, England. She wept with me. And then told me one of her grandchildren had done the same thing. Fled to Australia with a boyfriend, severing ties with her parents and by extension, her grandparents. She could only offer me empathetic tears, no solution.

We're a very fragmented family, our family. Very rarely is Missing Daughter mentioned. Except by one or two, who always ask for news. Whether this absence of support is a genetic legacy or cold-hearted 'I'm alright, Jacks'. I don't know. I don't care. I'd sure like to fix it though. Inject some compassion into the dispassion. Heal it up a little.

This whole post was triggered by a long, sobbing message left on my voicemail by Daughter while I was out yesterday. She was in Montreal and missing her sister so much she had to call me in floods of tears.

And ended her message with this:

"Mum, I can't imagine what hell you're going through without any family support. At least I have you!"

Yeah, hell would be a good term for it. Forget about those fires those compassionate parish priests talked about.

Hell is just unbelievably cold, bleak and lonely.


24 comments:

  1. It is sad to be separated by things which can be repaired.

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  2. I sure hope that she comes to you or contacts you.I know you would welcome her with your arms wide open.I know about your heartbreak WWW. I have a son estranged from me.

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  3. I had to work at a family problem for twenty years, I refused to let or be let go, and eventually we have things where they should be.

    Never give up hope.

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  4. I've probably mentioned before that Himself has 4 grown-up offspring and one is of the "disappearing" variety - his younger daughter. She did get back in contact - during the time I've been here, and keeps in touch - but rather infrequently. There's a definite and uneasy chasm between her and her 3 siblings though, which I fear will never fully heal.

    Different psychological makeup - odd one out, in spite of careful equal treatment some cannot shake feeling unable to fit in to an otherwise integrated family circle....those feelings of being somehow different must linger long.

    Don't give up hope, though, WWW We all grow, and grow in understanding - she will too!

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  5. I'm so sorry. Wishing you continuing strength and hope.

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  6. TWM:
    Especially when one can't figure out what went wrong :(
    XO
    WWW

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  7. GFB:

    Thank you for that. I've known from prior posts about your situation and we are not alone. One of my friends, his son refuses contact for the last 17 years and thus my friend has never seen his 3 grandchildren. I take small comfort that MD has no children, at least that I know of :(
    XO
    WWW

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  8. GM:

    I try not to. Most days. But today is not one of them.

    XO
    WWW

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  9. T:

    Yes you have and I am grateful for it.

    It is unbelievable the heartbreak it has caused and the huge gap/displacement is felt so deeply.

    I try not to give up hope but Daughter's heartbreak yesterday affects me profoundly.

    XO
    WWW

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  10. I am so sorry as this is your child. A number of relationships in my family not what they use to be. But I have put the "trying to figure it out behind me" or I would be crazy. These made me so sad and if I think on them it is not good for me.

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  11. It's possible that you may have to harden your heart and learn to live with the fact that you are never going to see her again. Why torture yourself with the hope that one day it will happen? Live as if it won't and don't let this gap exist in your life. Don't live in mourning. There us nothing you can do about it.

    Much love and compassion,
    Irene

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  12. Easier said than done, dear Irene, if wishing and thinking could made something so it would be a far easier world for all of us.

    Unfortunately I live in the real world where wanting to be in different headspace doesn't make it go away.

    It just looms up now and again and I need to flow with it.

    And there are no facts in this situation.

    Just faint hope.

    XO
    WWW

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  13. OWJ:

    Yeah, I try not to obsess too much except now and again when it becomes far too overwhelming.

    A friend called today and we chatted for over 4 hours. She has known my girls since childhood so it was a real tonic just to have her soothing wisdom.

    Thanks for caring.

    XO
    WWW

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  14. Be good to yourself. Treat yourself. Love yourself. Be your own best friend.
    love,
    Betty

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  15. It must be so hard when children or grandchildren sever ties and just disappear. It's all very well saying they must have had their reasons but that doesn't lessen the hurt and the sorrow.

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  16. Nick:

    It's almost impossible to comprehend that something so dreadful could happen.

    Thanks for your compassion.

    XO
    WWW

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  17. I can't imagine the hurt and loss of it, WWW. Always use what supports are there when you need them.

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  18. Stan:

    Yes I do, I am blessed with friends who care very much.

    XO
    WWW

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  19. I feel so sorry for you and your family. And I know how it is. My sister tolerates me but does not really like me, and I don't know why.

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  20. We four siblings were estranged from our father, two totally and my sister and I kind of made up due to persuasion from our respective spouses, though not to any degree of father children levels. From the child's point of view, despite being almost seventy years old now, I could never establish a warm child parent relationship with my father. When I come across other young people estranged from their parents, I go back to my own experience and see what I could bring forth as part of the counseling I do. I can tell you, it is extremely difficult. While as a father I can relate to another parent agonising, I can relate to the child who does not want to have any thing to do with the parent too. Yes, it is very difficult, but it does not have to be bleak and lonely. That can be changed.

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  21. I wish you a calmed spirit now and for whatever the future may hold.

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