Sometimes it’s hard to decide just exactly who are the people in a life. The first assumption is blood relatives, and from there it can be extended to in-laws or other legalized relatives. But, are they really the people in someone’s life, sometimes even in regard to a child? Is the grandmother who baby-sits a child while the parents work on a par with a neighbor’s kid who baby-sits for money? Or, is that grandmother really more a part of a child’s life than parents who are elsewhere?
A couple of people can sleep, eat do their thing and so forth inside of the same four walls and not really be a part of each others lives. They might each do certain things contributing to a common goal and still not be a part of each others lives. In something like senior citizen apartments occupied mostly by lone individuals, divergence (for want of a better description) about the matter is quite clear yet nebulous. It’s thought to be one way but it’s actually another, and to the detriment of many.
The apartment building management most likely has a paper filed away listing someone as next of kin. Said next of kin may show up as regular as clockwork a couple of times a week and do assorted important things. They may be mentioned somehow in every chat in the hallway. But, they are less a part of the life than the person in the next apartment. It becomes very evident when the person in the next apartment makes a lot of noise, raises suspicions in some way or otherwise is forever in mind.
Relatives can be strangers.