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Why Bother Mending Family Matters?

A friend posed this question to me, “If you had twenty-four hours to live, would you spend them with your siblings?” If she had asked me this question four years ago, I would have had to say, “no”. But today, I would answer “yes”. 

Mending Family Matters, Matters

Four years ago, when my middle born sister, Diane, decided to initiate the Macek Maverick calls, her intent was to promote staying in touch with one another, but keeping in touch became the minor outcome.  A more important consequence resulted for me; emotional healing.

The suicide of my dad introduced trauma into my life. Some form of trauma happens to us all at some point, and though no one talks about trauma, neither does anyone forget it either. Not talking about the bombshell that hit our family’s life induced isolation, turmoil, anguish and pain for all its members. 

For the rest of her life, Mom lived in denial of Dad’s suicide leaving her offspring to wrestle alone with their grief. And wrestle we did. But none of us knew the degree to which any of us wrestled.

We all grew up, went off to college or careers, and married or stayed single. Some of us had our own families. Some of us stayed in touch while others stayed while others removed themselves sending out only the obligatory Christmas card. 

When Mom grew older and was unable to care for herself, my middle sister instigated conference calls so we could decide who would take care of Mom and how.

  I participated in only one of those calls. How could a family who’d never processed their grief together, make decisions together. In short, we could not. I vowed never to participate in another call such as that.

Mom passed and our family remained incoherent, that is until Diane sent out an email inviting us all to participate in the Macek Maverick calls.

Remembering how we couldn’t work together deciding on how to care for Mom, I deleted the first email. But talking with another sister, I learned I was the only one not dialing in. I reconsidered my decision and made a point to join the call a few weeks later. 

I was pleasantly surprised. The question one of my brothers posed had been sent out via email giving everyone a chance to consider their answer. Then the night of the call, we each took our turn to answer it. There was respectful listening until each of us had our say. 

Since then various discussions, including our how we wrestled with our personal sorrow and anguish following Dad’s suicide have ensued. 

Why bother mending family matters? Though it may take time and effort, mending family matters, matters. When we do, we just might be motivated to welcome them back into our lives while we are still living. 

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