A Death in the Family

“Are you even sad?  Have you even cried?”  Ryan crossed his arms and stared at me. 

“What do you want me to do?  Scream?  Cry?  Make a scene?  What, exactly?”  I waited for his reaction, for him to tell me how I should be acting in the wake of our father’s death. 

“I want you to care.  I -” Ryan sat down on the edge of the couch as if he was going to start crying.   

“Ryan, I do care that our father was in pain and he suffered at the end of his life.  But at the same time, you do remember what he did to me?  How he treated me?  How he kicked me out of the house when I was fifteen?  Have you forgotten the fact he hasn’t talked to me in twelve years?” 

“But our father is dead.  We will no longer be able to ask for advice.  He won’t meet his grandkids.”  Ryan got up and started pacing.  It was almost like he hadn’t heard anything I had said. 

I knew he would never agree, our father had been his hero.  He worshiped him even when I got thrown under the bus.  I longed for Ryan to understand what it had been like for me to have not been a part of the family for over a decade solely because I dated Lori. I wasn’t sad. I felt more like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I was finally free. 


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