There is that annoying relative - or as my brother says, "a family visit is not a vacation". However, for better or worse, we stick together, support each other. Bad times bring out the best or worst in families. Say the loss of a loved one. I’ve heard horrible stories about “will wars” that break normally close families apart.
We will soon lose a dear one and I have a very difficult relative who I am supporting like crazy to the nth degree. The person is bossy and unyielding but due to my relationship with the dear one about to leave us, I am standing firm on honoring my dear one’s wishes above the difficult one’s, which are often to serve their own needs, not the departing one’s. This is an oath I took and I live by that. As a physician, I have had to stand firm against families yelling at me who wish to keep their failed beloved family members on life support beyond point of return in order to honor the patient’s wishes. Now I am in that same situation in my own family. Somehow I do not find it difficult as I believe in it so strongly.
The difficult one is actually responding and following my lead regarding my insistence on honoring the dear one’s wishes at every turn. Incredible to me but true. This is a great relief and I am most grateful that there are no wars for us. Let’s hope it lasts. I have several obstacles that I will carry on to be sure my loved one is honored and given the opportunity for those who care to pay their respects and have a marker to visit in the future for eternal remembrance, which the difficult one has no plans for or interest in honoring.
One of my kids appears not to get it, so I simply said, “You don’t have to get it – we are visiting a lot simply because that’s what families do. Remember that because that’s what you will do for the rest of your life. That’s what families do.”
Families have their quirks, foibles, and disagreements, and mine is far from perfect, but in the end, this is what families do. I hope yours does too.