Regarding my cousin, anger, & grief


Like I said on Facebook, it still doesn’t feel real. I keep expecting it to turn out to be a creepily real dream or even a really cruel prank. But I am ready to talk about it now.

I wasn’t as close to her (or her brother, or my cousins in Texas) as I wanted to be through no fault of my own. In addition to sadness, I feel angry. I feel robbed. Her mother and my grandmother were fighting about something, years ago (like 15 years I think, I know that’s the last time I saw Robin). I can’t even remember what it was, but as a result, I was basically cut off from a large chunk of my family for a lot of years. Until Facebook, I really had no idea what my cousins Robin, Matthew, Zach, Caitlin and Megan were up to. And even after Friending there, we still didn’t talk to each other. I probably should’ve tried to initiate but I couldn’t think of anything to say. As for why they wouldn’t talk to me, I would hope that they just had the same doubts I did and this wasn’t just some sort of assumption that I was on “Judy’s side,” whatever that was. I was living with my grandmother at the time, and even though I was like 11 years old, I got caught up in it all against my will. I had Becky and Michael around occasionally, but we started to drift apart too. This family, which had seemed so close when I was a kid was fracturing and I was nothing but an observer, as useless as the Monitors in DC’s Countdown. As of early this year, the only cousin I had any contact was Michael, and half our conversations were about weed and why the hell does he like Twilight? I didn’t even know my cousin Becky, who’d been like a sister to me, was married and pregnant until she was showing.

I had always hoped that one day I could do something to get all us Webber-Le Sech kids back together. Naive maybe, but there it was. But now I won’t get that chance, and I’m sad, and I’m angry, and I’m sad that I’m angry. And I wish I could discuss these feelings with my family (or at least the Webber side of it), but I remember what it was like back then and I fear accusations of “taking the wrong side” or some other bullshit like I would hear when I was younger. So here I am, opening up to people I’ve never met in most cases except for those of you who’ve bumped into me at BaltiCon or DragonCon.

This post wasn’t planned out. I just needed to say something. I’ve been relatively quiet on the social networks since Wednesday evening when I got home from work and I got the phone call telling me that Robin, my 23 year old cousin, was dead. I’ve been thinking about how I feel, wondering why it happened, and going through the motions of listening to my daily podcasts but only half listening. It was time to stop bottling this up. Especially since I record new episodes of Gilmore girls Re-watch tonight and a taciturn Arkle does not make for a good show.

I am going to be OK in the end. We weren’t that close, and it had been years since we’d done anything but confirm Friend Requests on Facebook. But that’s the thing isn’t it? Because her Mom and my Grandma fought about something that can’t have been that big of a deal if I can’t remember it when I can remember my first act of political activism (at age 6), I never knew, and will never get to know, what kind of person Robin was. She was family, but I didn’t get to know her. That’s not how it should go, especially when they weren’t that many of us to begin with. We’re not Catholics, we’re not like my buddy Nate at the Moral of the Story podcast who said he’s got more than 20 cousins. It shouldn’t have been this way, and I shouldn’t have had to suffer that lost connection. I was a kid dammit!

OK, it’s time to stop this now. But I felt I had to write something, so I did. It’s probably not very good, but then again did it have to be?

The next time you hear from me it will be about happier things. Be seeing you.


  1. I’m angry too Bri.

    I was planning on trying to have a relationship with her and I always thought there would be time.

    I don’t know why you are worried about anyone here thinking you are on “their” side. That fight ended long ago and things have been good with Aunt Wendy, me and nana.

  2. It’s sad when this kind of thing happens. I never got to know my first niece and nephew (and therefore your oldest cousins on this side) because when their mom and my brother split up she kept them away from our side of the family. We didn’t get any news from that side until we saw that my nephew had been killed in a car crash. That niece and her daughter are now Facebook friends, but they live on the other side of the country so we’ll probably still never feel like family.

    It sucks, I agree. I wish I had any good ideas on how to make it better. As for this one, at least I can send virtual hugs.

  3. Robin to me was a bit of a closed off person, Ive been friends with her best friend Terra for many years, I saw her somewhat regularly but we never had any deep conversations until about a year before she died and then only once. I wish I had reached out to her so much more, we always think we have time with people but life is way more fragile then I ever realized. I miss Robin & I miss that my friend will never be the same person again without her. I hope where she has found the peace she was looking for. -a friend

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