What Happens When Someone Exits The Family?
Like hitting a wall at Daytona going 200mph, you're told one day that a family member has decided to leave the family, cut off all contact, and even hire an attorney to investigate wrong-doings within the family business. No warnings, no time-trials ... just BAM ... head-on, right into the wall.
What would cause such a thing? Is it a deep seated emotional scar from long ago that simply won't heal, or was it something brand new that no one even noticed? Perhaps, it's something that privately took place within one or more members of the family in a private experience that nobody else is privy to. Whatever it was, it sure is serious. When you're a full-grown adult with adult children and you decide to pull the plug on your genetic offspring ... it's serious and it's devastating.
This does not just affect that person and his immediate family, but it runs generations deep. From parents, to grandchildren, all are affected by this decision. Every Holiday, family gathering, birthday celebrations, weddings, religious events, etc. are all now made extremely awkward. There are many friends that are in common, business relations, and commitments. There are legal documents and family assets that must be dealt with when a parent passes away, and much more that has not even been thought of yet. Bottom line, it's like a oil slick through otherwise clean water.
In my personal view, this is a very selfish, ego-centric act that takes no one else into consideration but themselves. Rather than trying to repair whatever known or unknown damage there may have been, they have elected to withdraw from the immediate tribe ... yet strangely ... still maintain relationships with other relatives who act as though nothing has happened. This is truly stranger than strange. One person, drawing a line in the sand of the entire family causing division for generations. How selfish and inconsiderate.
Have I actually experienced this type of event first hand? Yes. Do I have any answers as to how to bring about resolution and reconciliation? No. Simply because it was the furthest thing from my mind that anything like this could ever manifest. It's like trying to prepare for what you would do in the event your spaceship runs out of fuel on Jupiter. Since this is highly unlikely, you never gave it any thought.
Much damage has been done. Probably, irreparable damage ... both emotional, and financial. Of all the challenges that the experience of life can bring, both negative and positive, this type of event is certainly beyond the shadow of a doubt unnecessary, immature, and selfish. The only choice the rest of us have is to distance ourselves even further, be sure that proper legal counsel is on place, and count on a long and tiresome journey that may last a lifetime. Pray this never happens to you. It takes it's toll in many ways. I count my blessings that I am an only child.
Just a thought ...
Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.