Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Death In The Family (actually, two of them).......

Those of you who follow Cindy's blog are aware of the difficult week we have just experienced.  At the first of last week, Cindy's aunt Billie passed away at the age of 68.   On Tuesday, her brother,  James, died at 57. 
James, Cindy's Brother
Billie, Cindy's Aunt (Upper Left)

The dreadful experience of death(s) in the family brings to mind the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by James Agee ("A Death in the Family"---1957).   In this autobiographical story, Agee recounts the death of his father.  He goes on to detail the family politics, petty disagreements, religious differences of the family members and various other points of contention during the days following the death.  It is a truly masterful literary work.  In 2005, Time magazine selected it as one of the 100 greatest English language literary works.
Jimbo (James) and Cindy, Circa 1956
I mention this because the same petty familial disagreements and wrangling that Agee described in his novel are playing out right here in our own family.  Who should be mentioned in the obit?  In what order should they be mentioned?  Should there be a service?  Cremation or burial?  Who should officiate?  Uncle Joe and Aunt Dora and niece Berniece all have voiced their opinions and made it known that anything short of following their opposing wishes will result in a serious family rift.  The church was consulted and they have their ironclad rules, some of which do not meet the approval of the next of kin.  Everyone involved thinks someone else should pay for the services.

Honest to God, next to a marriage ceremony, is there anything that comes close to a funeral for raising havoc within the extended family?

22 comments:

  1. My sincere sympathies goes to Cindy and yourself. I thought losing two people in 2 months bad enough but in 2 days must be an awful shock. I hope Cindy is bearing up as I know how these things makes one feel.
    Take care both of you.
    Yvonne.

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  2. funeral is usually simpler than the ensuing 'dividing of property' that occurs after... even if the property is nothing but 'worthless' personal items. then the claws and barbs come out. i'm truly sorry...

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  3. Me deepest sympathy to you and Cindy.

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  4. My sympathies to you both. I'm so sorry that this is a difficult issue for the family.

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  5. My prayers are with you. I am so sorry you are experiencing this. May God bless you both abundantly.

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  6. Clint, my deepest sympathy to Cindy and you on the loss of your loved ones. I know this all to well, the thoughtlessness of others I am referring to. When my Dad passed away a few years ago, my youngest sister had been taking care of him for many years after my Mother died and Diana was living with him as caregiver. So as far as I was concerned that apartment was hers after Dad died. Not the other 4 siblings. Them immediately went there and took whatever they wanted of Dad's possessions including the dining room table, recliner, dishes, etc. I was appalled. My sister was left with practically just her bedroom set. She had to move to a smaller apartment because she couldn't afford to refurnish this one. Clint, they thought nothing wrong with doing this.....amazing huh! I know that doesn't really help you and Cindy except to know that you are not alone in these trying times. God give you both the peace and answers you need to get through.
    Anonymous aka Carol B.

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  7. I am very sorry and send to Cindy and you my deepest sympathy!
    May Cindy find the strength to carry on!
    Greetings
    Monika

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  8. I read it in Cindys blog. I'm so sorry.
    Greetings Sabine

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  9. Clint and Cindy, may I extend to you my condolences and deepest sympathy. I am so sorry for your loss and for the difficult issues that you are now confronted with. I pray God's wisdom, peace and strength for you, dear friends.

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  10. My deepest sympathies to you and Cindy. How awful to lose two members of your family so close together. A sibling is especially hard.
    I have seen a death in the family divide the survivors permanently. Hope this does not occur here.One good reason to make sure you have your wishes in a will.
    Arkansas Patti

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  11. Clint I am so sorry for the losses your family has had to endure. It seems that true colors reveal themselves during these times. I'm glad you have each other to lean on.

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  12. wishing you and cindy peace during this difficult time.

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  13. I'm so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately these things tend to bring out the worst in people. I hope everything works itself out.

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  14. I read it in Cindy's Blog too and again my deepest sympathy to you and Cindy. It's really a hard time.

    I have already written down my wishes in case of my death.

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  15. My deepest sympathies to you both. This is really a shock! 57 years is way too young for a person to die.
    Best wishes und blessings.
    Inken

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  16. You hit the nail on the head for sure - as to funerals and havoc. I am sorry for your family's losses this past week.

    We, too, had two deaths this past year, my mother and a couple of weeks ago my nephew. Tension....yeesh!

    I think I will look up the Death in the Family book on my Kindle and give it a go
    Nice to meet you - Marsha @ Spots and Wrinkles.

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  17. Not really. Hold on to Cindy especially tight until her family members are laid to rest.This sounds really contentious and it is a shame. Death in the Family is one of my favorite novels. I read it when I was very young and it has stayed with me all these years. Tell Cindy I'll keep her in my thoughts. Blessings...Mary

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  18. My heart goes out to you and Cindy. No one should go through such a pain, in addition to the grief of losing two loved family members.

    Thanks for sharing this story. I continue to lift CIndy and you up to the loving care of Almighty God.

    May you be the physical pillar of strength that Cindy needs at this time. I do appreciate the stable and mature marriage relationship that you share with her. Especially at this time, she needs you.

    Blessings.
    Lidj

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  19. Oh I am so sorry, please give Cindy our sympathy and love.There is always a sadness when someone departs... Thinking of you both.

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  20. Yes, loss definitely illuminates different personalities and 'colors' in each person affected. I've been praying for you and Cindy.
    Peace to you both.

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  21. Yes, loss definitely illuminates different personalities and 'colors' in each person affected. I've been praying for you and Cindy.
    Peace to you both.

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  22. My deepest sympathies to you and your family in this extremely difficult time. B

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