This is what happens when family is estranged. I'm writing this so that it doesn't happen to anybody else.

We've talked about this on our show many times - serious life events that you've found out about in inappropriate ways. The most popular seems to be Facebook; the second most popular is texting. And that's how I found out that my Uncle Marty passed away yesterday.

It wasn't even a text to ME; it was a screenshot of a text to my sister. This didn't totally surprise me; it's happened before. It also didn't surprise me because my uncle's wife moved their family to St. Louis decades ago and never contacted us again. I don't know why; I was too young. But I knew that I'd never see my cousin again, who's the exact same age as I am.

My Uncle Marty frequently came up to visit, though. Whatever his wife's reasons, those were her own. He still kept in contact. The picture above is him, my grandma (who passed last year), and my mom - his sister.

Unfortunately, he became too ill to travel and was placed in a nursing home in St. Louis. My aunts and uncles drove down a few times every year to see him. My aunt was actually going to drive down this weekend...until she called to check on him.

"Oh! Marty? He passed last week."

Then, she googled his name - found an obituary. It named his siblings who had passed, but none of his living family on our side.

They had already had his funeral. And nobody called to tell our family. 

I'm so angry. I'm angry for my mom, her brothers and sister. I'm angry that somebody would think that their own feelings and motives are more important than a phone call. You don't want to talk to us? Fine. Hell, even an EMAIL would've sufficed.   But THIS ISN'T ABOUT YOU. Be a decent human being.

I truly wonder how some people sleep at night. I fully admit that my family and I got in a disagreement a couple of years ago and there are a few of them who still haven't spoken to me. But I know, FOR A FACT, that if something serious happened, we'd communicate about it.

Families fight. It's not weird, it doesn't mean that you're dysfunctional - it's normal. But there are times that you need to put yourself aside and think of others. This was one of those times.

I'm putting this out there so that, if this sounds like YOUR family, you don't make the same mistakes. This was nasty and unspeakable and I'd hate to see somebody else go through it. I'm lucky enough to have a platform to share this, and that's exactly why I'm doing it.

Be good to each other.