It's been not quite two years since my mom died. I still can't write about it in any substantial way because I still can't think about it in any substantial way. I think of myself as a happy person, but there's a grief in me as blinding as the sun.
I'd like to think that my mom still exists in some form, would like to think that she knows I'm doing well (finally). I'd hope that the afterlife is real, because the thought that a kind, generous, good person like her could just completely cease to exist along with all her experiences ... that would be some kind of shitty universe we live in, wouldn't it?
I'm lucky in many regards. My husband adores me. I like my in-laws, and they seem to like me okay. I love my husband's niece and nephew and I want to help them learn and have fun while they're growing up. They're good kids.
But they are in some fundamental and unchangeable ways my husband's family, and not really mine.
My mother, as it turns out, was my only true blood family.
She has boatloads of living relatives. I didn't grow up around them, though we visited them every summer. Some visits required hellish trips from Texas to South Carolina in a Toronado with busted AC, or neverending rides on Greyhound buses that stank of diesel and BO. She wanted me to get to know the family better.
So, after her death, and after them saying nice things like "We'd love to have you visit" etc. at her funeral, I did try to get to know them better. Sent Christmas letters, emails, etc.
Their response at first was silence, and then later (after they didn't tell me my grand-aunt had been in the hospital for over a month and I pressed them as to why) they told me in their stiff Southern fashion to fuck off.
So, upshot is that my mother's relatives (aside from my dying grand-aunt) don't want anything to do with me. I don't know why, and it doesn't seem productive to try to find out.
The parts of my father's family that I know about are all dead, and the other parts never wanted anything to do with us in the first place, so they might as well be dead, too.
But, as I said, I see myself as a happy person. So I'll be happy for the readership of a few friends and interested strangers.