Have you ever met anyone who completely lacks depth? I mean the kind who one would describe as being as shallow as a dried up mud puddle or as barren as the desert? What about the poor people who are related to such one dimensional people?
When there is a death in the family it is shocking sometimes to see what can happen. Already strained relationships often get worse. Unfortunately, rather than becoming closer many families split even farther apart. Jealous feelings rooted in childhood competition can be unleashed because grief can dissolve a person’s ability or desire to keep such emotions in check. It might be because the person who died was the glue who kept everything together and everyone on his or her best behavior. There are probably reasons we cannot even fathom or understand. On the other hand, I am convinced that healthier families might not go through such negative experiences. Lucky them but for today’s blog post I am talking about the unhealthy ones.
Dealing with grievers for as many years as I have has made me privy to some unbelievable stories about poor sibling behavior, bad stepparents, surviving parents who blew their kids’ minds and inheritances. It is so sad for everyone involved. I have heard of adult children upset because within weeks of their mother’s death their dad was proposing to the neighbor. Underage children whose stepmother kicked them out of the family home immediately after their father died. My friend Luerachelle told me yesterday, “You cannot make sense out of irrational behavior….” So true.
It seems as if there is often at least one person in the family who behaves badly and it is usually tied to money or possessions. I remember when my grandfather crossed over the rainbow bridge and my aunt treated my mother with contempt. The behavior worked though because my mom was so mortified by the venomous things my aunt claimed my grandfather had said about her that mom immediately signed over her share of the estate. My mother told me that she knew that her sister was lying. She also felt that if her sister wanted the money that much then she would rather just give it to her. My mom was grieving the loss of her dad and she knew that his property and money wouldn’t bring him back. I was pretty upset with my aunt but awed by the grace of my mother. Of course my aunt knew how to play my mom. It didn’t make her any happier though. She eventually died alone after living the last years of her life driving everyone away by her rude behavior. In my immediate family when my parents died there was some infighting and dirty dealings too. At the end of it all we made up but it took several years. I don’t believe that every family can make it back from the brink after feelings are hurt and ties are broken. I hope that if you are going through anything even close to these examples that you remember what is important, family– love — and respect…and as my friend Luerachelle pointed out when faced with people whose souls are as barren as a desert “you cannot make sense out of irrational behavior and sometimes you just have to walk away.” Great advice and I am lucky that I can always fall back on my mother’s example of the true meaning of grace.