I complained to my oldest maternal cousin once, that emailing the maternal cousins was sometimes like dropping my words into a black hole: resounding silence.

He was unsympathetic and said that most people lurked.

My sister was not very sympathetic either, until she sent an email after our mother died, about how much she missed her and how miserable she was.

Resounding black hole silence. I answered, but was the only one.

Within a day, another cousin emailed that she was trying to pick drawer pulls for her new kitchen.

All four of the other cousins answered and there was an enthusiastic discussion on email about drawer pulls.

What the f? emails my sister privately.

Black hole, I respond. They black holed your grief.

And then when she or I would bring up a topic that no one would touch and no one would discuss or answer, we'd send each other a private email: drawer pulls.

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