Looking for something more

by Elouise

1961 Family picture

Family Photo 1961

Is death the only thing
That pulls this family
Together?
Death and old photos?

Moments interrupted by
Years of absence….

What keeps us coming back?
Regret? Longing?
Unanswered questions?
Love?

Or sorrow and grief for
More than one death….

How many deaths have
Gathered in this space
Looking for
Something more?

_____

I wasn’t going to post this poem. Yet I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s part of my grief about losing another brother-in-law to death.

I wrote the poem on the plane when D and I flew to Texas to be with other family members. An expression of grief and a wish for something more.

In 1960 I left home for college. I was 16. I wanted to get as far away as I could from home. It felt good and right. Some would say it was the best thing I could have done, all things considered.

Perhaps it was. I believe I was happier because of it. At the same time, it was the beginning of a costly pattern of living ever farther away.

I don’t regret the choices I made. I do, however, have waves of deep sadness about them. Sometimes the waves feel a bit overwhelming. As they do right now.

No one around me has known me from childhood to the present. My husband and my adult children have known me longer than anyone else. It’s wonderful to love and be loved by them and their families.

Yet I long for more personal contact with cousins and remaining aunts and uncles and all the children of their families who may not know me at all. I want more contact than I can have at occasional family reunions, weddings, visits that end too quickly, death or memorial services.

I love my family and grieve years of lost, never-shared history. Most of the time I don’t feel angry about this; I feel sad. I also know I’m not solely responsible. I just wish it were different.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 13 May 2015