This is supposed to be my place, my little thought chamber, my “see how it sounds out loud” room. I write it down so that it forces me to articulate my feelings into words, mold those into sentences, and eventually a message. Like playdo. I wish it was the new stuff, a freshly opened plastic container with smells of memories from a time of childish innocence.

So why do I keep coming back here, to write. To make up sounds in my voice that you can see while I feel…while I feel…those words echo.

Family member just passed away. From my Mom’s side…of course if you’ve been on this ride with me for this long, you know that comes with some baggage of its own. I don’t know how I feel. I can remember those happy times with them, when I was younger and they were one of the people that spent time with me. Taught me to fish, to be dangerous with small fireworks, drive a go-cart. I can remember thinking I wanted to be more like them then me.

Then we all grew up. As we get older, it becomes easier to judge the fallacies in others’ lives. Might be that we can recognize them or memories connect dots and we realize they weren’t who we thought they were. And time passes and they too grow older like you. And they learn and grow and have a family.

It’s been over 20 years since I spoke with them. So why am I debating flying across the country for the service? The Spousal Unit asked me questions and helped me land on where my grief is coming from.

I felt no need for connection before now.

I feel no obligation to attend.

I feel very little grief for that individual. (Of course I feel for their spouse and kids, death of a parent is always a trying ordeal)

I feel…well…almost nothing.

Except, I miss those memories. That hope I had that my family was close and would be again. I feel that I must remind my children that they have an amazing family, one born of love and who care deeply for each other. It’s just not my childhood family.

I miss my grandma. I miss my mom. I miss those holidays where a rowdy bunch of hooligans got together and sang the “Twelve Days of Christmas” at the top of our lungs and horribly, screechingly off-key.

I miss all of that, yet I don’t miss what I would’ve become otherwise.

So while my “childhood” family is almost zero, it continues to get smaller. The family I have now – continues to grow and amaze me everyday. From those connected to me through blood, marriage, or simply because I suckered you into being my friend, thank you. I love each of you. Deeply and for longer than you might have hoped. (Next time I may make eye contact and hold it until it gets awkward, but that’s cause I love ya)

Rest in peace, say hi to Mom for me. I’ll miss what we were once, though I look to the future of new adventures with who I’m with now.

I guess I do feel something.