Monday, March 1, 2010

families are tricky business

we're headed to New Jersey tomorrow, to spend a couple days with my husband's family.

when i suggested that we go this week, since he has the time off anyway, my husband reluctantly agreed.

when i called my father-in-law to tell him we were coming to visit, he wasn't sure that he'd have time to see us, but would try to drop in one evening...

when i e-mailed my sister-in-law to tell her we were coming, she wrote back to say they'd love to see us, and to invite us to stay at their house...

when i spoke with her this afternoon to confirm times and days, i mentioned that we'd like to either cook a nice dinner or take them out for dinner while we were there, and while my father-in-law was over.... and she said okay.

not one of them has mentioned anything about the fact that this week marks the anniversary of my mother-in-law's death.

and i feel a little strange about that.

does it go without saying? are they simply choosing not to acknowledge the date? do they not realize?

learning how to be part of someone else's family is tricky business.
i'd like to do something special in her memory... but is it my place to bring it up?
or do i just wait and see if any of them even mentions it?


  1. or maybe it's just too painful to talk about it? or they don't want to bring you down?

  2. In-laws are definitely tricky business. You're pretty good at following cues, Megs. If you get the feeling they're avoiding, I'd leave it at that and just be ready to participate when they do want to bring it up.

    I love you, my friend.

  3. BTW, the word verification was "dinkle". Sweet.

  4. wiggs... i'm so glad you came back to tell me that :)

  5. It's a tough call. I would put my money on it's still too painful for them to talk about. A year of grief seems like a long time, but you and I both know a year is only a drop in the ocean. I agree with Beedubya, just read their clues, and if it comes up, you'll be able to share your idea of some type of memorial thing. If it doesn't come up, let it lie.
    You'll know when the time comes.

  6. i guess it just seems a little odd to me given that i'm a talker... for me, grief is lessened when there is an outlet.

    but, i am learning that they are just not talkers. at least, not to each other... or to me.

  7. Take your

    your accuracy

    Listen to

    talk to

    and others
    will also


    of the burden --
    their own

    and grief.

    -by Ginsberg, from "Written in my Dream by W. C. Williams"

  8. thank you, Marn...

    it turned out to be a good visit.

  9. It's nice to hear you had a good visit.

    I think you are lucky, in a way (at least from my perspective). My in-laws try to find every reason they can to obsessively lament over anything. They still can go on and on about a relative who died "alone" in an ambulance on the way to the hospital five years ago, yet I had never even heard them mention this person until he died.

    Sounds like your in-laws are on the opposite end of the spectrum, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, right?

    I still cry on the anniversary of my grandmother's death, and she died 8 years ago. I even keep her obit open on my iPod touch... it's my strange way of having some piece of her with me.

  10. i cry on the anniversary of my grandmother's death too... and then i knit things with her wool.

  11. I say mention it in a family sort of way, While in a prayer before your meal, or as a part of the toast if given over dinner, make it sweet and subtle, You're allowed to bring it up, She has past on not disappeared, she was equally your family too.