Oh crappy week for this drunk writer. Well, crappy with a side of great. Which is strange. But my aunt died suddenly last week and this weekend was the funeral - don't worry, no need to send the cyberhugs or whatever. She was not healthy but she leaves behind a family that is left grieving for the mom and wife they had years ago and the mom and wife they wished they'd been able to have and the mom and wife they could have had. It's complicated.
But the side of great was that my extended family is entrenched in those years where the only times we get together are weddings and funerals. And we're about out of weddings. But for as problematic as my aunt was (and at one time really beloved) EVERYONE came. And I mean from around the country and even my uncle in Kabul made the epic trip home.
And the hugs were amazing. And the catching up long past due and when the sun set my dad and his brothers unleashed the stories that we've heard a million times and some we've never heard and some with surprise elaborations. And it made everyone so so so happy.
The next day was tougher and everyone started drinking (which was strange because my Aunt died of alcoholism) and the stories stopped and people were not as happy. Every one's grief had lost that bright edge of happy memory.
I know people read romance novels for escape - to find some happy in not happy times. And usually I say it with a shrug like it's the more minor of it's charms. But stories and storytelling with a good dose of happy - it should be a part of a health care system. I'm not joking.