I almost laughed out loud yesterday, just after the graveside service. Immediately after the pastors finished, one of my aunts started talking to my Mom, and they began discussing setting up a visiting schedule.
This is fairly standard stuff for my family, really. Everyone’s concerned about my uncle being alone after many years of being married. So the family arranges to make sure he gets fed (natch), and that he’s not left by himself a lot. Especially for the first while, with the shock and the changes and everything else to get used to. They did the same for my grandpa after my grandma died.
What was funny to me is the fact that, despite his age, my uncle is not a doddering old man (yet). He could pass for someone in his 50s, and as my grandparents’ oldest son, inherited among the biggest portions of the family’s formidable stubbornness and go-getter attitude. He’s also one helluva talker, and, like my Dad, will strike up a conversation with pretty much anyone, any time.
So having some idea of his personality and social sphere, I suspect that if my uncle wants alone time, he’s going to have to go hide somewhere. Like France.
Let’s see… Eight surviving siblings and their spouses, seven children and their spouses, oodles of grandchildren (and, in some cases already, their spouses and their children), hundreds of extended family relations, the church community, the local community (my uncle’s lived in the same house for pushing 50 years, I believe), the clubs/organizations he belongs to…
As an introvert who cherishes a fair bit of alone time, but who lives within the same family mentioned above, the idea of the aunts organizing around you is a bit terrifying in a funny way (the five sisters alone…) At the same time, though, there was an understanding my aunt and my Mom shared while talking, that I could observe, but was well outside of, relating to how completely dismantled life would instantly become after losing your spouse after many years. (The two women in question have nearly 100 years of marriage between them.)
So hey, I’ll smile, let the ladies get to work with their scheduling (and casseroles, one imagines), and hold on to some gratitude that in the event of such dismantling, my end of the family would receive, and need, no less.
(Don’t worry, I’ve no plans to continue writing about dead relatives indefinitely. Next week will bring a change of scenery — quite literally.)