these guys were my cousins but they were like brothers. she buried the oldest, Tom at the age of 36 and her father, my grandfather about 10 days later. Pete and I are now the patriarchs of the family. He's 62 I think, I'm about to turn 60. Me, a patriarch. that's ******* scary.
We have all been married and divorced a few times so there are so many mates, ex mates, children, half children, step children, cousins, nieces and nephews it defies all understanding but everyone, once having been a family member was always a family member to Aunt Natalie. At thanksgiving we had a parade of people that stretched a block in and out of her house. Thanksgiving was our big holiday because it involved eating, drinking and football.
After she sold the house and moved into an assisted living facility a couple of years ago we all began to drift, which was to be expected I suppose. She was the glue that held the family together. I don't think Pete and I are up to that job. squinney and I had as many family members as possible...mostly our kids and possibly her sister coming to out house this year. That may change as we may get together for one last family Thanksgiving now. Then we will drift. funny how you get to a point and it's only death that really brings us all together. Perhaps that is one of it's functions.
It is also a reminder of just how important you are as an individual which is not really. My beloved Aunt Natalie.... mother, friend, grandmother, wife, lover, daughter, sister....she is gone. and everyone is going about their business...the world is still turning. I have already made a joke or two and have shared laughter with a couple of family members.
What does this mean? It means that if a wonderful person like her has not caused the world to grind to a halt with her passing....certainly when I go it will be a non event. The lesson here.... get over yourself. Perhaps this is also a function of death.