Dottie Riley

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dragonflyby
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Dottie Riley
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Brandon, FL
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01/19
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Design

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Life & Events > Relationships > What Have I Lost?
 

What Have I Lost?

My niece, Joy, died New Year's day. It was sudden and quite unexpected. She had not been ill and was taking a nap before preparing dinner and died quietly in her sleep. Joy was only 47 years old.
Except for one phone call from her, I had not spoken to her since 2011 when I cut off all ties to most of my family. Joy was always critical of me. I am Catholic- she a Fundamentalist Christian who believes Catholics are heathens who pray to statues and are going to hell. I am liberal. She is a staunch Republican. I could care less what she believes. I could simply no longer take the incessant criticisms.
I cannot say that I miss her but I still feel a sense of loss. I lost a member of my family. I lost the opportunity to ever have a normal relationship with her- if such ever existed. My world has grown smaller. I feel the loss despite the absence of a warm, loving relationship. Why is that?
I feel very badly for Joey, her husband. He is a very nice guy and I never had an issue with him. I feel badly for my sister. She loved her daughter and was completely dependent upon her. I wonder how she will fare now? She has lived with her daughter and son-in-law for the past ten or more years. Liz will be 70 next month and has never handled being alone very well.
So many young people have died recently. Jeri lost her son. Someone of no relation but whom I thought was my cousin until I was nearly an adult lost his wife. She was only 40 years old. Another friend's wife faces imminent death from pancreatic cancer. She is down to 40 pounds and the doctor's cannot believe she is still holding on. "...any man's death diminishes me, ...I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."
Is that all I care about? I care about only me? Am I that self-centered?

posted on Jan 3, 2016 11:40 AM ()

Comments:

Sorry for your loss. The 'what might have been ' is a hard thing to get over. Lives move in distorted circles take care.
comment by tracy on July 29, 2016 1:03 PM ()
We share these bad times, knowing that they must and will get better. Love.
comment by jondude on Jan 4, 2016 6:05 AM ()
When we lose someone who has been a part of our lives, and perhaps the relationship was better before it wasn't, it is like losing a part of ourselves. It is not self-centered to dwell on the impact of the loss in your own life. How can we not examine such events in terms of what they mean to us? It is sad to cut off ties with family. When my sister died two years ago, I was trying to be kind to her husband, visiting and being supportive. Then he raged at me for a liberal piece I wrote that was published in the local paper and I had to withdraw from the relationship. I tolerated a lot while my sis was alive and there was no longer any reason to absorb his rages. But we were close for many years, before he turned into a right-wing monster. I am the only one left from my immediate family. I miss the people I have lost who knew what I knew when we were all young.
comment by tealstar on Jan 3, 2016 9:03 PM ()
I think you nailed the issue- we lose a part of ourselves when we lose someone who was a part of our history, our lives. Thank you.
reply by dragonflyby on Jan 4, 2016 9:11 AM ()
Dottie, I recently lost a friend who was a wonderful bright person with a lot of friends, but had descended into a black hole and I was not surprised when I heard she'd been found dead in her kitchen, a spilled large glass of wine next to her. She was 52.

At first I was relieved that she is finally at peace after a turbulent tortured life, but then I realized there is now a hole in my life and I miss the idea of her. It's not that we need to see certain people all the time or get along with them, they are a link to our family and our past and the character traits that make us what we are, even if we work hard to be the opposite. In this case I've lost my last connection to my mother - this gal who died was the last person on earth who knew or cared about the things that were important to my mother, and we could share our memories. Now it's all up to my own memories, and nobody to share with. If there is something I can't quite remember, I have no one to ask.

I like to think of my friend somewhere having a good laugh about it: see? you thought more about me than you ever knew.
comment by troutbend on Jan 3, 2016 6:39 PM ()
Yes, they leave a hole behind. So very true.
reply by dragonflyby on Jan 4, 2016 9:12 AM ()
Even though Bobby lived with cancer from the fall of 2011 and was told it
was terminal in 2013, you never stop hoping and you never cease to cry
and grieve. At the last, he was comatose and I could let him go. I know what you mean. I feel as though part of me has been amputated.
Fortunately, my daughter in law is young and has a lot of friends so
that her life will be full. I love the quote from John Donne. I have
thought of it often. Take care dear Dottie, some of our loved ones
depart too soon as you well know.

comment by elderjane on Jan 3, 2016 1:57 PM ()
Yes, a part of us is permanently amputated when we lose a child. I did not begin to truly learn to accept his loss until I started to dream about him--- or maybe the dreams helped me come to terms? Not sure what order that belongs in.
reply by dragonflyby on Jan 4, 2016 9:14 AM ()
I saw her picture on fb. Sad, even tho I wouldn't have gotten along with her either. It's a shame that religion is so destructive yet believers think it is so wonderful. I was Catholic until I was 14 but that was too backward-looking for me so I left the game entirely. I suppose I'd feel a loss if my youngest brother--who I haven't had contact with for 15 years--died, but in the real world, it really wouldn't matter. Be well...
comment by jjoohhnn on Jan 3, 2016 1:16 PM ()
No, it does not matter in as you put it, "the real world". It is my internal landscape that has changed.
reply by dragonflyby on Jan 4, 2016 9:16 AM ()

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