10 1 min 9 yrs

As my own family will testify, I have strong views on many things, and over the years I have altered my position on very few.

As some at ATW may remember, I wrote of my brother’s death in the final days of May. He died with his friends around his bed, together with my brother who had travelled down from the North-East.

We had not spoken for over a year, as my brother and I had argued; the reasons for our arguments are not important, but he was similarly annoyed, so we just stopped answering the phone.

I still believe that my stance was correct, but wish we had not broken the way we did!

We had our laughs, as families do, but we were both as stiff-necked as they come.

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10 thoughts on “An argument, and a memory

  1. Cunningham,
    I also have a fractured relationship with my only surviving brother. After years of patching up and reconciliations I finally gave up two/three years ago. To my great sadness I accepted that he is a “brooder,” and there will always be some resentment or accusation brewing inside him that will only surface when he is “in his cups.”

    I have talked it out with the wondrous Mrs Agit8ed and my only surviving sister, and decided that when I pop my clogs, I don’t want him to be informed or invited to the funeral.There would be no point. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly.

  2. ‘You can choose your friends, but not your family’, – true, even if obvious words of wisdom.

    It would be very sad if the concept of ‘family’ went the way of so much of our culture and was disposed of by society as being of little value. That would be one big mistake.

    It matters little as to why siblings disagree, – jealousy and envy being the least of the reasons. Even Cain and Able had their little tiffs!

    ‘Family’ is the one and only permanent bulwark against the world and all its trial and tribulations, – discard the idea at your peril, or take it for granted, without family, either siblings or relatives, you are truly very alone…

  3. Wise words Ernest,and I believe in family. But the reality is that sometimes people just can’t be reconciled. I don’t hate my brother, nor wish him ill. I just recognise the situation is what it is.

  4. Sometimes a family member is the cause of trial and tribulation. Life isn’t easy. Efforts at reconciliation sometimes can simply become exhausted.

  5. Agit8ed,

    Just because it’s called ‘family’ – doesn’t necessarily mean it is easy! Tolerance of ‘black sheep’, ‘arseholes’ and other sundry scrotes, is the price you pay for them tolerating you!

    You may think that yours is the bigger price paid, so what? – just look on it as your contribution to the overall concept. Whatever you feel it isn’t something you can just run away from – they, he, she, will still be your family! and they, or their memory will always come back to haunt you, and you will always wonder that if you had tried that little bit harder, that things may have been different.

  6. Mahon,

    Also very true, all I’m trying to say is – ‘don’t give up too easily! – reconciliation can be so worthwhile!

  7. Ernest – I agree. Look my political differences with Mike aside, he obviously cares deeply about family as evidenced by his writings about his grandkids. And I think even if someone is in the right, they still feel a measure of guilt/sadness when a family member who they are estranged from dies. I hate to think of people having those kind of issues.

  8. There’s always love in the family context in one form or another. Problems are inevitable as people love in different ways; they love generously, sadistically, egotistically or humbly depending on whether they are generous, sadistic, egotistic or humble people. The fact that families are forever is also a threat for many as there is no escape valve. Just imagine the number of spouse murders there would be if there were no divorce.

  9. Just finished a book on the Bhuttos of Pakistan. Wow, I thought my family had tiffs. Seriously though, it’s always desperately sad to see family falling out, but I agree with others, sometimes acceptance that it’s not going to get better is the best course.

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