“I have an ongoing silent feud with one branch of my family (my dad’s cousins and their kids, my second cousins), and we haven’t spoken or really seen each other in over 10 years. I’ve pretty much written them off, and I don’t really care if we live out the rest of our lives without patching things up.
Two months ago, one of my cousins from that branch unexpectedly died at the age of 38. Their immediate family had always had financial troubles, so while I didn’t fly across the country to attend the funeral, I quietly sent my sister a bunch of money and instructed her to pretend it was hers and pay off part of their funeral expenses.
And then just last week, some of my other relatives started a GoFundMe for one of my aunts in that branch (she’s my dad’s oldest cousin). She has Stage IV (four) cervical cancer and wanted to leave the hospital to pass away at home surrounded by her loved ones, but the hospital wouldn’t release her until her medical bills were paid in full (this was in another country).
I hadn’t told my dad or anyone else in the family, but I anonymously donated my last paycheck plus the money I had been saving for my upcoming birthday trip. I don’t really consider it out of the goodness of my heart, though. It’s just that the thought of an elderly, terminally ill person dying alone somewhere that isn’t home eats away at me so much that I physically couldn’t sit by and not do anything.”