In the space of a month I went to two of the biggest occasions that result in the reunion of many families, especially those that are spread out across a country or across the world, a wedding and a funeral. Neither of which were actually for my direct family at all, but rather I was lucky enough to be allowed in on these special, very personal occasions.
Taking the time out to go for a long weekend in Germany for a close family friend just under 2 weeks before leaving the country was probably one of the most stressful occasions in the run up to leaving home. Having nightmare issues with my India visa and not feeling anywhere near confident that my passport was going to be back in time to even get to Germany my hair was starting to feel like it might turn grey very quickly. I’d also panicked in the back of my mind that it might be just a bit too much, too close, but I knew my mum was really keen to go and felt bad if I didn’t go with her. So despite my own misgivings about the dates I told my mum to sign me up and booked our flights! And despite a last minute stress at London Luton airport that we were going to miss our flight we made it on board and had a fantastic weekend. I’m glad I went despite my original misgivings, we had fun, drank too much and I got to spend some quality time with my mum!
On arriving in Canada the family friends I am staying with were in the process of organising a memorial, celebration of life, for Lib’s mum who had passed away 4 days after her grandmother. You can’t make these stories up. It’s fascinating to watch the scenarios that occur as all the members of the family descend for this one day. The stress of hoping it will turn out all right and the relief when no one says anything they’re not supposed to and it all goes relatively smoothly. As a friend of the family it was interesting to sit back and watch all the different dynamics and despite people saying they were fine and they didn’t need so and so on the day the realisation dawned that they actually did. It also reenforced the idea that no matter what ‘family is family’ you can’t always live with them but you can’t live without them.
It’s also made me gutted that I am not at home this summer for family weddings of my own that I am not able to attend. Being away for an extended period of times aloes you to createsome great memories and visit fantastic locations but you miss out on the memory making moments of those close to you. And I especially love a good wedding!