Someone asked if I miss a couple ex-relatives. Please don’t think I’m insensitive in my use of the term ex, coupled with relative. Once related, always related, right? I absolutely agree families weather a lot, and even if we don’t have a close relationship with someone, we still share that bond of family. The only reason I use the term is because they distanced themselves by choice. I don’t hold it against them. It’s what they chose, and I’ve healed from it. Okay, so I’m still healing from it. But, for now, I have no contact or interaction with them.
Anyway, when I heard the question, I paused. Because a quick yes or no felt thoughtless and insensitive. Also, a quick yes or no didn’t accurately reflect my answer, because it’s not that simple.
I grieve the relationship we had. I grieve what was. I don’t miss them in my present, because I am content where I am. It wouldn’t be healthy for me to allow their choices to continue to impact my now. Even that answer might seem simplistic, but it’s the best I can do for now.
Why do you need to know? It’s not as much about this specific situation as a reminder that simple answers aren’t always as simple as we think. And even a slightly more complex answer might not capture the process leading to it. I would answer the same question slightly differently over time, perhaps with a different rationale behind it. It’s important to allow people space to answer well, process well, and even change well over time.
Sometimes a simple question and answer are truly simple. Other times, there is much more feeding into them. Give yourself and others the space and time to process authentically and share appropriately.