Familial Faux Pas

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

On Saturday night I sat next to my cousin's husband on the couch and we went through old photo albums. It was a really nice thing to do. I don't think he is the type of person given overly much to introspection. Indeed, he hadn't looked at his photos for years and so we went through book after book of photos of a younger him and his younger wife and their two kids as they grew.

For someone who had just carried his wife's body out of a church a few hours earlier along with his sons, he was holding up remarkably well. Denial and numbness are pretty effective at this stage of the game. To help it along, he nursed a straight scotch in his lap as he turned the pages, pointing out different people to the friend sitting next to him. A continually rotating round of people draped themselves over the back of the couch for a gaze too.

It was actually a really nice day, you know, apart from why we were there. It was good to catch up and it was good to reminisce. Losing a family member that quickly (I didn't even know she was ill until the week before) causes you to count your blessings, indeed. Us cousins did at the end of the night make tentative plans to meet up down in Melbourne in October. I like my cousins and we barely see each other any more. Surely it cannot be impossible for us to meet up at least a couple of times a year.

Andrew picked up a loose photo of his brother-in-law Grant (my cousin) with his ex-wife. He explained to the friend next to him who this couple was, and that they weren't together any more.

"I didn't like her anyway," I confided to Andrew, with a broad grin. After I said the words, the sinking realisation set in. Sort of in slow motion.

"That's okay, neither did I," said Grant, smiling at me from behind the couch where I hadn't see him. "That's why I divorced the bitch."

Oh, the shame, the shame :)

"It's alright," Grant laughed later on, as every time I looked at him my capillaries vomited forth 14 litres of blood into my cheeks. "You only said what everyone else was thinking."

Some things are better just thunk :)


  1. Haha...well, THAT was embarrassing!

    Some things ARE better thunk than said, but then where would we ever be without the people who say what they are thinking? There are sometimes benefits to that.

  2. oh man
    that was funny
    but probably not for you
    at the time
    but now it is

  3. Your photo is exactly how I feel inside when I do something like this. Which I tend to.

    It's a really strange thing about families and funerals. My family is much smaller than yours, no cousins in this country, and now I have just three siblings plus their spouses and a few grown-up children (theirs not mine!). You'd think it wouldn't be too difficult to arrange a get together, other than at funerals, but somehow we don't.

    I wonder if there comes a point at which family relationships have just run their course.

    BTW, on your other post about dying, I would like a little warning, so as to make my peace and not get pitched headlong out of this life. But I'd be seriously pissed if it happened anytime soon.

  4. Sue...as a mother I think it is only fair to warn you that "if you keep making that face, it will freeze that way" It really will. Mom's know these things :-)

    I tell my daughters one day..to their horror, they will hear my words coming out of their mouth. They will not believe me. But it will happen...just like there are times...I realize..."oh my God, I am turning into my mother"

    I just stopped by to see how you were doing. I haven't been here for a while (and have never posted a comment) and I haven't heard a peep out of you on any of the forums/lists we share. I see you are still alive and kicking..and making funny faces. Blessings to you...



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