Families are created out of nested and chained and interlocking collections. They are (to quote Gordon and Austin at As Above and many times since) rhizomatic — sprouts from the same root network. For example, I have my little family back in the Pacific Northwest (my husband, my son). We are rooted together. There’s also my family in New Mexico and we too, share roots.
A fantastic meditation on connections and grief in the context of the death of a parent.
I've never been all that deeply connected to my birth family, but a lot of the connection I did have was through my Yaya. I had already moved across country when she passed, but she was very much the taproot of the family even when holidays weren't being held in her home. She kept tabs on everyone. When she was gone, family holidays just sort of... stopped. My dad told me about arguments with one of his brothers that went much further than anything I can remember.
Without that taproot, we feel like a bunch of separate, smaller systems. That's why connection is so important.
When root bunches are separated as when you divide a plant into several clusters (or when I move across the country with my own family) connection can be maintained through the mycelium. Mycelia are more fragile than roots, more ethereal, but they are everywhere. I find that both sad (so easily broken) and uplifting.