When one sibling remains alienated

Mother Erased: a memoir

It is a few days after Christmas and our home phone rings. I see my mother’s name on the caller ID and answer it right away.

After she says hello and asks how I am, her voice catches and she tells me my grandmother has died. She gives me some details and I listen and respond.

We talk.

I’m sorry, I say.

And I am sorry.

I am sorry for the loss.
I am sorry for my mother’s loss and the loss of all who loved my grandmother.

I’m sorry for my loss too, for missing out on all the years I should have stayed bonded to this grandmother who loved me.

I am sorry that the traumatic breakup of my parents’ marriage caused such unjustified estrangement from my mother and her family.

I am sorry life is so brutal sometimes.

It is mostly brutal when people are brutal.

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