Advice and support for someone with no family
January 19, 2011 6:43 AM Subscribe
I am an unmarried only child. My mom died in December. My dad is 82 and has Parkinson's. Once he goes, I'll have no blood family. I need advice and guidance on how to make the best of things and build the best unfamilied life possible.
posted by Rosie M. Banks to Human Relations (21 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
In a nutshell: I am an only child, not married. One parent dead, the other old and in poor health. I have no living grandparents, uncles or aunts (both parents were one of two siblings, both of whom are long since dead). My various cousins are not near me in age, outlook, lifestyle, etc. In fact, I cannot say for sure whether my dad's nephews are dead or alive. I'm not sad at my lack of family; in fact, my gut reaction is "Hallelujah! Yay! No more albatross around my neck!" I never liked my family much, except for my grandmothers and uncle, and they are dead.
I do have friends - in particular, two close girlfriends whom I call sisters. One, however, has married and moved overseas. I have my own business, plenty of social contacts, lots of outside interests, and once my life settles down a bit in a few months, I'm joining my local Unitarian Universalist fellowship. I also have professionals - lawyer, financial planner, therapist - in my corner.
I may or may not marry in the future - I'm perfectly comfortable being single, but if the right man came along, I'd go for it.
What I am looking for is advice and support in getting along in the world without the kind of blood ties that most people have. I'm not of the age where most people make friends through school and so on. Many people my age are busy with their own blood families. I'd like to be able to tighten the contacts that I do have - and no, it's not just "what can you do for me?" but "how can we help and support each other?" In particular, I'm worried about situations where I might really need to lean on people and impose on them for lots of time and help. I've done this once - gone through chemo - and my friends DID step up and help, though I lucked out in being able to keep enough stamina that I could still go to school and take care of myself. I realize that something could come up in the future where I might not be so lucky.
Unfamilied MeFites, let me know how you do it! And please, do NOT tell me that I need to keep in contact with my cousins. I don't want to. Period. Finis. And no, I'm not joining a traditional church, either. The Unitarian Universalists suit me - a Robert Anton Wilson-ish "mystic agnostic" - just fine. If I WERE religious, I'd get on with what is left of family much better! I want to have people in my life whom I really like and who like me.